Business Intelligence: Working Smarter

A new wave of workers-from sales reps to logistics staffers-use business intelligence tools on the job. (

When a sales rep from Mölnlycke Health Care U.S., a maker of surgical and wound-care products, gets ready to hit the road to visit a customer, she is likely to warm up her computer and obtain a report showing how many scar-treatment dressings or synthetic gloves the customer purchased over the past year—and how that compares to last years orders or another customers orders in a nearby territory.

Before the company developed its business reviews, sales representatives compiled the information from online analytical processing tools and AS/400 queries from sales, pricing, contract and demographic files, says Susan Dean, business intelligence manager at Mölnlyckes U.S. headquarters in Norcross, Ga.

Now, in a matter of minutes reps can get the data necessary to work all areas of a hospital or facility. The reviews show history, usage, product mix and penetration by product line.

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