Boots has installed analytics software to provide managers with faster reports on the performance of each store following its merger with Alliance Unichem.
The company has upgraded its SAP system and added business intelligence acceleration software to provide data to about 1,000 extra managers who are expected to use it following the 2006 merger.
The upgraded system, which enables managers to view daily reports on each shop's performance, has also saved about three hours of processing time a night.
Stuart Cunningham, business systems manager at Boots, said that previously the SAP business intelligence system was unable to cope with the rapid growth in demand for reports.
"At peak periods, up to 400 reports would be run every minute. It was a huge strain on the system and the servers were under a lot of pressure. We would end up with users waiting for the system in a queue."
Boots upgraded its SAP business intelligence 3.1 system to the 7.0 version in February. It rolled out the Net Weaver business intelligence accelerator in April.
About 1,800 managers use the system to access between 20 and 30 daily reports. The system's database is growing by 20% a year and there will be a further 50% increase of managers using the system following the merger, said Cunningham.
Boots hoped for a 50% growth in the system's capacity when it made the upgrade but ended up with between 300 and 400% growth.
The company has used the system to save time and disc space by automatically aggregating the daily data into weekly and monthly statistics, saving three hours a day of processing time.
Boots uses the daily reports to benchmark stores against each other and provide managers with the information they need for decision making. Some reports now run up to 50 times faster and the system is better able to deal with unpredictable surges in demand.