Interstate Batteries Dreamforce Story: How Can You Be #1 Without Trusted Customer Information?

Last week I posted this blog, OppenheimerFunds Dreamforce Story: Lay a Foundation of Trusted and Complete Customer Information for Salesforce.

Another superb Dreamforce story was delivered by Interstate Batteries’ director of Market IQ, Mike Darr.

Did you know Interstate Batteries is the number one replacement brand battery in North America? Did you know batteries were perishable? These were some facts that I learned during Mike’s presentation at Dreamforce 2012.

For more than 60 years Interstate Batteries has focused on ‘outrageous’ dependability for both products and service. The company’s distributor network is made up of 300 distributors that service more than 200,000 dealers in North America.

With a trusted customer information foundation, Interstate Batteries is better positioned to keep our number one position in their market,” according to Interstate Batteries’ Mike Darr

The team recognized that what got them to number one today won’t keep them at number one tomorrow. The changing business environment has significantly impacted operating costs, including a:

  • 267% increase in the cost of fuel,
  • 2.5x  increase in the number of automotive battery types they sell, and
  • 70% increase in the cost of lead. 

To maintain their number one position, they embarked on a transformational strategy to improve operations. They engaged Credera, a consulting firm, to enable distributors to optimize their routes, better service existing customers and win new business. To enable these operational improvements, distributors would need access to a lot of accurate up-to-date information: account contact information, battery information, service frequency information, location information, etc.

They built a custom solution from several best-of-breed solutions including salesforce.com, Microstrategy, Experian and Informatica. Why did they need master data management? 300 Distributors, the National Account team and Interstate Batteries’ own sales team used different systems and lacked a single view of accounts and opportunities. It was impossible for management to see across territory lines and understand what opportunities and threats existed.

Mike used an interesting analogy to explain the value of Informatica MDM, “A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.” Informatica MDM is the one watch that everyone can depend on for trusted customer information.

Salesforce contributes 1,000,000 unconsolidated accounts and opportunities and generates 5,000 to 10,000 daily transactions. Other enterprise data sources contribute more than 2,000,000 accounts and opportunities. Informatica MDM manages this business-critical information on an ongoing basis. It cleanses, de-duplicates (when necessary) and delivers a single version of the truth about 3,000,000 accounts to distributors, sales teams, national accounts, and others at corporate in real-time, regardless of which system they use.

With a trusted and complete customer information foundation, Interstate Batteries is better positioned to keep their number one position in their market. They can grow market share profitably and find the next dollar. They can react quickly. They can serve customers better. They can create targeted plays. Want more?

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