For a relatively modest investment, TRW is reaping big rewards from a data warehouse that helps the company streamline discount purchasing and analyze supplier, purchasing and inventory patterns. Before building the data warehouse, TRW was looking for a better way to identify its top suppliers, break down spending on commodities and analyze particular supplier relationships. Now, TRW has an international data warehouse supported by more than 30 European and North American data feeds that is helping the company save $35 million in corporate agreements and other areas. The North American portion of the project took about seven months to complete at a cost under $900,000 and covers 23 different purchasing systems and 17 OS/hardware combinations. TRW plans to use the same architecture and build data warehouses for human resources data and other departments, according to Dan Olsen, a TRW project manager who addressed seminar attendees Monday at TDWI World Conference -- Spring 2001 in Washington, D.C.

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