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Keeping it Fresh

Tony’s Fine Foods serves up the newest mission-critical data with BI tools

Tony’s Fine Foods serves up the newest mission-critical data with BI tools
Photo by Mike Graffigna

Similarly, Tony’s IT department can turn reports into scheduled jobs, with report results being e-mailed to groups of people at certain times of the day as an automated routine. And the results can be in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or even a PDF, depending on user requirements. Notably, such reports can also be sent to BlackBerry users, who can view the documents when they’re not even in the office. “They don’t have to be tethered to their desks,” Nasater says.

As an added bonus, SEQUEL can be used to relate data from other sources, such as acquired companies, to Tony’s existing database. “It’s a great tool when you’re cleansing or scrubbing data. Using SEQUEL, you can identify holes in the data,” Geery explains. “For example, if we’re already selling data to a customer that was also a customer of a company we acquired, we can use SEQUEL’s compare tools that attempt to match up names, even if they’re a bit different. The same holds with item numbers, which might be different from company to company, even though the items are the same. In those cases, we can relate those items based on the corresponding UPC numbers.”

Avoiding a Nightmare

Both Geery and Nasater consider SEQUEL an essential component to helping Tony’s continue to serve its customers with the same care the company’s founder gave. “It’s one of the things we’ve purchased that’s really pervasive throughout the company. We have other specialized tools—and we need them—but they perform very specific functions. SEQUEL covers it all, from accounting to operations,” Nasater says.

And in the perishable-foods industry, tools such as SEQUEL are indispensable. “It does a lot of things that used to be manual and time intensive. And anything that gets us quicker to market is a big thing, as is anything that helps us control our inventory,” Geery says. “You need to make sure all the orders make it out every night. Otherwise, the cheese might go moldy—or worse yet, the chicken might go bad. We like to sleep quiet at night and avoid the nightmares.”

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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