But the result was sluggish system perform ance so

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Harding says. But the result was sluggish system perform- ance. So the team created summary tables to make the queries work faster, and those tables needed to be tested. It was a lengthy process, Harding says, but in the end, it worked very well. The journey has taken well over two years. The system went live 18 months ago but “really came into its own” in February, Harding says. Of course, building a data warehouse is a never-ending job. New companies are acquired, products are added, cus- tomers come and go, and new features and enhancements are ongoing. But from an IT standpoint, the data ware- house is complete and has 85 percent of the data from the core transactional system. The next major goal is to provide the European operation with its own data warehouse system and tie it into the one in the United States. Harding says his project will surely justify the costs, but he lacks hard numbers. “We didn’t have a formal ROI that you could track later. I don’t even know how you would do it,” he says. “The reason we’re doing the project is because of the value it brings to the business.” Lou Ferraro, vice president and general manager of Schein’s medical group, says the business benefits are out- standing. He can now figure out who his most profitable cus- tomers are, target customers for certain types of promotions, and look at the business by product categories or sales terri- tories. Ferraro says the data warehouse also helps select customers for direct-mail marketing campaigns that range “upward of 25 million pieces annually.”
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  • Fall '15
  • JUHA
  • Vice President of the United States

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