Data Junction Corporation, developers of the world's most widely deployed integration solutions, announced that Simon & Schuster, a leader in the field of general interest publishing, is using Data Junction integration technology to improve the efficiency of their business operations by integrating data between many of their business systems. The use of Data Junction products eliminates redundant input processes, improves the accuracy of data systems and allows for the direct import of information across these systems saving time and manpower.

Two different divisions within Simon & Schuster use Data Junction products in a variety of scenarios. One division is using Data Junction solutions to integrate tables of data from Greystoke, a sales rep forecasting system, into EPIK, their data warehouse, to ensure their supply chain is operating at peak efficiency.

Simon & Schuster sales reps solicit book orders in the year preceding a book's publication from retail booksellers (e.g. Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon, plus thousands of smaller independent accounts), book wholesalers (Ingram is the largest in the industry) and independent distributors who stick airport newsstands, grocery stores, etc. Before these orders are officially placed, the sales reps must accurately forecast what these orders will be. Simon & Schuster uses Greystoke to forecast, among other things, how many books to print and be able to prepare accurate budgets. This data is used by the Supply Chain Group to make the production warehouse and delivery processes as efficient and competitive as possible. Having the data centrally located in the data warehouse makes everything more efficient and accessible. Refreshing the data twice daily using Data Junction technology ensures that the most current sales forecast are being used.

"Data Junction technology gives us a solution toolset that is powerful and flexible enough to use across many scheduled and ad hoc business projects. Much of what we do with Data Junction solutions is ad hoc data manipulation, putting out fires. We have a plethora of mailing lists in our publishing systems and the data in these systems changes daily. Instead of rekeying the new information with each change, we are able to do a direct import into our publishing systems and take care of the problem quickly. We effortlessly integrate the data to respond to each particular request," said Tom Masciovecchio, director of Publishing Systems Information Technology at Simon & Schuster.

Data Junction technology also plays an important role in Simon & Schuster's marketing systems and initiatives. Data Junction processes now replace a manual process for updating information in Simon & Schuster marketing databases. In the old process, members of the sales force manually filled out and created spreadsheets weekly with customer data. Then a clerk would rekey this information from the spreadsheets into select databases. As with any manual process, error rate was a concern as was the fact that they were only able to do this weekly.

Using Data Junction products, Simon & Schuster built a process, run on a scheduler and executing nightly, that reduces any error concerns by reading the spreadsheets created by their sales force and importing the data into their database marketing system. "The new process saves us approximately forty manpower hours per week and improves the integrity of our databases. We removed the responsibility from the clerk and returned it to the sales person who is the originator of the data and thus, is more knowledgeable about it," said Masciovecchio.

In another scenario, Data Junction technology is used update Simon and Schuster's Title Management System. Data Junction's Process Designer is used to schedule a nightly process that extracts data from the publishing and budgeting systems and importing.

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