Ozark is an irregular-route truckload carrier serving the continental United States. Using both company drivers and owner operators, they provide quality transportation for a number of companies including Federal Express, Inland Container Corporation, Toshiba America, Sharp, and Sanyo. Today, Ozark boasts a fleet of 450 company trucks, augmented by about 225 owner-operator tractors leased to the company. Equipped with satellite communications equipment, Ozark drivers deliver freight to customers throughout the United States. The company maintains its main terminal in Memphis and a second terminal in Lebanon, Tenn., near Nashville.
Ozark runs application software from Innovative Computing on its IBM® System i . They have been using Sequel Data Access since 1995. Neil Aird, Vice President of Administration, describes how they use Sequel to make it all work. “I am the primary Sequel user. I use it for everything—bank reconciliation, file balancing, and keeping the data in sync.We do satellite tracking of our shipments with Qualcomm.With Sequel, we make sure that the data received from Qualcomm is in sync with the data in our Innovative database on the System i.
“We use Sequel to do a lot of automatic reporting. Sequel opens files, retrieves data, formats a report, and automatically emails the report. Sometimes we have Sequel send the data as an Excel file, a PDF file, or using FTP. Sequel gives us a lot of flexibility. The reports go to our customers weekly, monthly, or whenever—each customer is different. Since Sequel is command-driven, we run the reports off our job scheduler. There is very little I cannot do with Sequel.
“When data comes back from the bank, the electronic statement is in the form of a file.We use Client Access to upload the file to the System i. I use Sequel to determine what checks have cleared and whether the amounts match. My bank reconciliation takes 20 minutes a month.
“Sequel is a wonderful tool for finding data. For example, I use it to audit my fuel bills at the end of the month without having to write an RPG program. That is where the Sequel Tabler comes in handy. My records have to match the spreadsheet that the fuel vendor sends me. Sequel makes it easy to see lower levels of detail. For instance, I can check my fuel records against the vendor for a specific truck, or for all trucks.
“Sequel is very flexible. I can easily join many files, summarize data, and output the results in a variety of ways: email, print, physical file, display, and FTP. I can also convert dates to show the date in a different format or do date arithmetic.
“Once you learn the Sequel syntax, it is really quick. And, customer support is really terrific. I have never had a problem getting an answer. I can easily combine Sequel with CL. Sequel does the file handling for CL and Sequel’s setvar parameter makes it easy to pass parameter values to any part of my Sequel statement.”
"Sequel is a very powerful tool for a small shop that does not have a lot of programming staff."
Neil sums up the real benefits they have enjoyed with Sequel. “Sequel is a very powerful tool for a small shop that does not have a large programming staff. You can do quick ad hoc things and put production items in place. Sequel has solved a lot of problems for us by enabling us to extract data in the form we need.We’re real big Sequel users and fans.”
Use the interactive checklist to define your IBM i data access must-haves—and if Sequel Data Access is the best tool for you.