Written by: Wil Davis
you have to do it yourself. That was one of my grandfather’s favorite sayings, and it is now taking on a whole new meaning with me. As I mentioned before, I have been assigned the task of developing a Key Performance Indicator report for our GIP team. After finally deciding what metrics we wanted to measure, I had to figure out how we were going to actually collect the data (and then report it). At the start we saw two options: first, we could collect the data through our SharePoint site and report in Excel; second, we could both collect the data and report it through Access. After pursuing the SharePoint idea, we realized that the data input/collection features of SharePoint were very limited. We then moved on to Access, but soon discovered that the time it took our Swiss colleagues to access the database while it was hosted here was prohibitively long. We were left scratching our heads and looking at the ceiling.
The World of Visual Studio
Enter Microsoft Visual Studio. Most people who aren’t programmers have never heard of this program. It allows users to create their own Microsoft programs and applications from scratch, making it extremely flexible (similar to what Adobe DreamWeaver does for websites). For the last three weeks I have been building a proprietary windows application that will be installed on user’s desktops and will both collect data through customized forms and report it through a separate dashboard. All of the data is stored on a SQL table, so speed of access is not an issue. The capabilities of Visual Studio are incredible, and it seems like the possibilities to automate any process you can imagine are endless (similar to the kid in 9th grade who learned how to program formulas in his calculator before everyone else). The best part about the project is that I will be traveling to Germany at the end of August (Das business trip!) to present it to my boss, and if he approves it will be deployed to our entire Global Supply Chain Team. Not a typical project for a finance major, but hopefully one that will provide skills that give me a leg up!
MTD released earnings on July 28, 2011. We had a solid year of growth, with EPS up 23% year-over-year, and local currency sales up 11% over the same period. A full earnings release is available here.