The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) named Owens & Minor (O&M) the winner of its 1999 Leadership in Data Warehousing Awards competition. Nominated by Business Objects, Owens & Minor is the nation's largest distributor of name-brand medical and surgical supplies. "The competition for the Leadership Award was exceptionally strong this year, but Owens & Minor stood out in the scope, ingenuity, and foresight in its data warehouse," says Steven Crofts, TDWI president. O&M's distribution centers serve hospitals, integrated healthcare systems, and group purchasing organizations. The company also offers CostTrack Supply Chain Management (SCM), an activity-based management program that helps O&M customers identify and track distribution activity cost drivers and provides information management, logistics, asset management, and product mix management products and services. The program helps customers cut costs, drive workflow efficiencies, and raise worker productivity. Because of its size and supply-chain complexity, O&M needed easy access to detailed and timely sales, inventory, and accounts receivable data. Unfortunately, the information stored on its mainframe transactional system was difficult to access and analyze, and mainframe-generated reports often were outdated by the time they were received. To remedy this, O&M built a data warehouse for decision support. Using Business Objects' WebIntelligence, O&M could identify cost-saving opportunities and extract significant supply-chain cost savings by analyzing sales, inventory, and accounts receivable data. In addition, O&M improved customer and supplier operations by allowing them to tap into this data warehouse through an extranet.