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Quaker Chemical

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Sales reps no longer must remotely log into an ERP application and send a query to view open orders. The information is pushed directly to their laptop computers in spreadsheet format on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The company also is considering a purchase of BlackBerry PDAs (see "The Hard Sell,") so these mobile users can receive data wirelessly, too.

The push approach is a logical next step for Quaker Chemical, which four years ago implemented a single-instance ERP system to eliminate the multiple ERP applications at each of its regional sites. The company also integrated its existing clustered Windows 2000 SAS 9 data-warehouse system with the PeopleSoft ERP application. Today, the ERP app, which runs on IBM i-Series servers, acts primarily as a transaction engine, and the data warehouse handles business intelligence.

The data-warehouse engine uses ODBC, a common interface between the application and the database engine, to extract data from the ERP system. The data warehouse parses that data into smaller data marts, such as salary and billing, according to Tyler. This approach streamlines the different ERP applications so that users don't have to be trained to glean data from ERP apps they don't use regularly.

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