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Linux and DI-Diver: An Overall Strategy for Standard Beverage Corporation


Standard Beverage Corporation, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, is a full-line wholesale distributor of alcoholic beverages to licensed customers in Kansas. Through the implementation of innovative business practices, they maintain their position as the market leader.

"Establishing a problem solving and entrepreneurial culture within an IT Department is essential for a company to carry out successful operations," says Geoffrey Newman, IT Manager. "Linux supports that culture because it is 'open source.' We are responsible for maintaining and enhancing it, and the best way to do that is for our programmers to work together as a team and to be trained in many areas, not just an assigned application. DI-Diver also follows the open source philosophy: it doesn't try to be all things to all people, but it empowers users so they don't have to rely on the IT department for their numbers. Knowledge is valued over hierarchy. It doesn't matter where the idea or solution came from when you foster a non-bureaucratic culture. If you gear up your staff and use an open source system like Linux as a tool, you can get real competitive advantages."

 

Standard Beverage deploys Linux at 10% of the cost of a closed system because they don't pay for licensing of software. They are able to channel more money into training and hardware. A general trend towards updating databases and making information more accessible to users prompted the search for a business intelligence solution. A year and a half ago, they purchased DI-Diver.

 

"DI-Diver is very good at empowering other people in the organization that don't have programming skills, but have accounting skills, or sales skills - whatever the variety of talents are that people bring into the organization. DI-Diver fits into our culture because it brings talents together and allows people to focus and gain a competitive advantage. Executives and people who manage relationships with our market and supply chain use DI-Diver every day. Our accounting, IT, and purchasing departments also use DI-Diver. It gives us the ability to fine tune and target our sales strategy. We're able to define successful portions of our market, which in turn, tells us where to introduce similar products. We focus on strategy, looking at opportunities, and fixing problems. It allows us to telescope into opportunities," explains Newman.

 

Linux users share the same technical language and the same values. Dimensional Insight develops and tests software on a Linux platform. There are two main advantages with DI-Diver running on a Linux operating system: speed and the ability to tune the data. Filtering utilities allow Standard Beverage to strip unwanted elements, and the Linux operating system processes a Model of 900,000 rows (January 1 - End of May), in 5 minutes. A full year (January to December) is about 2,000,000 rows, and takes about 12 minutes. Models with a year's worth of data are re-built daily.

 

Standard Beverage has a Linux box as a server that remote users connect to using DI-ProDiver and DI-DiveLine. In the future, Standard Beverage is implementing a dial-in so their suppliers can check the progress of sales of their products Standard Beverage represents.

Copyright 2008. Inroads Ltd, Hong Kong.