A data warehouse transformation project by QuantumIT has enabled pharmaceutical and medical suppliers CH2 to pick, pack and invoice up to 20% more orders a day.

Ged Halstead (above), CH2 CIO said, “When you’re serving up 50,000 reports a month, the data transformation engines have to be very efficient, and a faster database means we can process our batch jobs faster.

“Overall we achieved productivity gains of 20 to 30% in our batch processing. It means we can keep our warehouses operating for one to two hours longer each day, especially in peak periods of Christmas, Easter and long weekends.”

He explained, “Where we previously processed say, 30,000 orders during a busy 10-hour day, by extending that day by two hours, we can now work longer to fulfil those orders so that we can meet customer delivery KPI’s.”

Prior to engaging QuantumIT, CH2 was running three different versions of SQL—2000, 2005, and 2008.

Those databases supported the distribution of 50,000 reports every month to 500 suppliers, and hundreds of internal and external partners, customers and staff.

This mission critical system was functional but CH2 struggled to find software vendors that could accommodate such old architecture and so it recognised the need to transform its ETL technology from DTS to SSIS.

Ged said, “Our plan was to upgrade the JD Edwards ERP system, upgrade the SAP Business Objects and upgrade our databases to MS SQL 2012. We knew we could no longer run our aged databases. We needed to modernise our platform so we could take advantage of software that was only compatible with the latest SQL versions.”

He said CH2 had little experience in the database transformation area, and insufficient resources to do the work in house so he investigated outsourcing the project.

“We went to market and looked at other suppliers, but I’d worked with QuantumIT before and found them to be solid citizens who were easy to do business with, so we engaged them for the Business Objects part of the project, and we did the other two projects as a collaboration between us and Quantum.

“QuantumIT spent a lot of time understanding our goals, objectives and constraints, and scoping out what needed to be done. They didn’t create code until they knew what the end goal was going to be. It’s something they should be applauded for. You are not forever waiting for a project to finish. You know where you are and when you will get there. That capacity of being able to say with certainty it’s going to cost this much and it’s going to be delivered on this day, delivers certainty.

According to Ged, certainty is important to a CIO and something they always seek.

He admits that it’s often difficult to do in house projects because the team can have has too many conflicting priorities.

“There’s only a small circle of people you trust in the world,” he added. “Gus and his team do a good job and I respect that, which is why I keep going back. I can rely on them.”