Voice of Experience: Jon Dell'Antonia, OshKosh B'Gosh

By Kim S. Nash  |  Posted 2002-04-15 Print this article Print

The clothing maker's VP of MIS discusses the ins and outs of business intelligence software and how his company settled on a set of tools.

Jon Dell'Antonia
VP, Management Information Systems
Oshkosh B'gosh
Oshkosh, Wis.

Manager's Profile: Dell'Antonia has put in 37 years in information technology and business management, 12 of them at OshKosh B'Gosh, which sells men's and children's clothing. He manages a staff of 50. For the past two years, Dell'Antonia, 60, has also been mayor of Oshkosh. He holds a B.S. from Pittsburg State University, Kansas.

What He's Analyzing: Sales and inventory data for both wholesale customers such as J.C. Penney Co. and from the company's stand-alone stores.

What's Improved: OshKosh B'Gosh wanted to analyze returns to ferret out manufacturing or supply chain problems. Was the product from a particular plant? Was OshKosh B'Gosh late on delivery? They used to spend three or four days a week working on this. "Now, it's down to running a report," he says.

Project Particulars: About 90 end-users create detailed reports drawn from a 200 gigabyte data warehouse built on IBM's DB2, running on an AS/400 server. OshKosh B'Gosh spends more than $20,000 annually in maintenance for analytic and reporting tools from Cognos and ShowCase, a division of SPSS Inc.

What Didn't Work: Some of OshKosh B'Gosh's staff found Cognos' reporting tools tough to use. Dell'Antonia then brought in ShowCase, a more graphical and intuitive tool. "It's just click, click, click to create," he says.

What He Learned: Clean data is a must. Create a data dictionary, Dell'Antonia says. "If you're going to have something out there called 'sales,' everyone needs to understand what that means," he says. "Is 'sales' gross? Net? Less returns? Less credits? Both wholesale and retail?"

What's Next: More analysis of traffic and sales at the company Web site.

Senior Writer
Kim has covered the business of technology for 14 years, doing investigative work and writing about legal issues in the industry, including Microsoft Corp.'s antitrust trial. She has won numerous awards and has a B.S. degree in journalism from Boston University.

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