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Untitled Document For years, organizations have relied on Business Intelligence (BI) solutions to help them glean valuable information from the systems they use to run their day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, these solutions are often costly and needlessly complex. At a time when many analysts are predicting a downturn in IT spending, it's time to consider whether sophisticated BI solutions are still the answer for solving ongoing business problems.

This is exactly what independent product distributor Checker Distributors discovered after disappointing performance from its BI solution.



Checker Distributors is a family-owned distributor of more than 80,000 quilting, sewing and art needlework products based in Ohio, selling to independent retailers throughout North America since 1948. With high levels of sales and transactions, Checker Distributors determined 15 years ago that it would need a BI solution for effective shipping and inventory management, sales management, employee productivity and more.


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"Checker Distributors' sales are widely dispersed among thousands of independent-only retailers. Our overall number of sales transactions and shipments are about three times greater than a typical distributor with similar sales revenue," says Gina Krieger, IT director for Checker Distributors. "This means a much higher degree of complexity in managing our business. It's been absolutely essential that we have easy, user-friendly data access and analysis."

Checker Distributors' ERP solution came with a leading BI tool included, "but we have found that tool to be far too complex," Krieger explains. "Even worse, this BI tool sometimes yields data we cannot reconcile; it's simply incorrect."

Checker Distributors turned to an alternative to traditional BI solutions: a programming-free Report Mining system that bridges the gap between BI and Enterprise Content Management (ECM). The software mines data "hidden in plain sight" in static reports to make it actionable across the organization. Leveraging the time and energy already put into reports, the tool turns the unstructured text documents into actual structured data for analysis or for uploading to a data warehouse. The solution has effectively replaced the well-known BI tool that Checker Distributors previously used.

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