The Organizational Challenge: Outgrowing Excel
Interchem (Chemist Wholesale) Limited is a pharmaceutical wholesaler, buying medicines from vendors and then selling them to retailers. As director of the company, Shaheed Fazal's job is to maximize Interchem's profitability by analyzing and comparing metrics such as the various prices offered by vendors and the company's own incoming and outgoing stock.
In the past, Fazal had used a combination of Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Excel. However, taking data from SQL Server and analyzing it in Excel was both time consuming and error prone. Moreover, speed and scalability became problematic with the Microsoft-only solution. In particular, Excel grew prohibitively sluggish as the Interchem data set grew to hundreds of thousands of rows.
The Online Solution: Zoho's Easy-to-use Business Intelligence App
Researching online business intelligence solutions, Fazal concluded that Zoho Reports was the application best suited to the needs of Interchem. Zoho Reports gave Fazal access to a variety of reporting components, including charts, tabular view, and dashboard components that ensure the most insightful report building and analysis possible. He uses pivot tables extensively to review vendor prices.
Says Fazal, "Zoho Reports has a number of outstanding features. It integrates with all databases and supports automated data uploads. Better still, Zoho Reports has a simplified interface for data handling and report creation, so anyone can use the tool regardless of the user's technical proficiency."
Today, Interchem has approximately 800,000 rows of data in Zoho Reports. The company has built about 50 reports for wholesale procurement and another 30 reports for retail sales. Zoho Reports is configured to automatically upload data from the company's SQL Server database every hour, allowing Fazal to make decisions in near-real time. Going forward, the company has the option of using the Zoho Reports API to establish real-time data analysis.
Benefits & Results: Taking Interchem to the Next Level
For Interchem, Zoho Reports makes it easier to share data and reports online, from any computer with a browser and an Internet connection. Meanwhile, the Zoho Reports pricing structure makes the solution affordable on Interchem's tight budget.
"Our business depends on our ability to act fast and make timely decisions," said Fazal. "Zoho Reports has saved us a lot of time and money and helped our business reach the next level. It's so easy to use - no coding required - but is nevertheless more powerful than many other products on the market. I would recommend it to anyone looking to procure a business intelligence solution on a shoestring budget."