Nike’s Material Planning department deals with factories and vendors all over the world, buying finished goods from factories. They also cooperate with factories and their vendors in planning ahead how much goods, and consequently raw materials, will be needed to fill orders.
Up to now, they had been depending on ad hoc reporting which they had to request from their IT to assist with their materials buying and ensuring that there was sufficient inventory. This process would take days or even weeks, and the department really needed to keep on top of the inventory fluctuations.
Thus, the department contracted with Advisicon to develop a reporting tool, using a combination of SQL Server, Citrix Metaframe, and Microsoft Access.
The SQL Server is used to collect and store large amounts of data from the corporation’s main database. The users all over the world use Access via Citrix to define the criteria and options they want to see in one of a few different report templates.
Access then automates Excel, pulling a million rows of data from SQL Server, formatting the data into sheets and adding some calculated data into the Excel worksheets. The whole process takes less than 30 seconds to fill in the criteria and less than 2 seconds to return the generated Excel report to the user.