Logitech MDM Case Study: 7 Lessons for Mastering Product and Customer Data (Part I of II)

Severin Stoll played a critical role selling MDM within the business organization as a solution to their business challenges. Currently he’s in IT, responsible for the overall MDM program.

Severin Stoll played a critical role selling MDM within the business organization as a solution to their business challenges. Currently he’s in IT, responsible for the overall MDM program.

Logitech’s Severin Stoll, Senior Business Engagement Manager of Global IT Solutions participated in a webinar with David Decloux, MDM technical lead in EMEA about Logitech’s Global MDM Implementation.

Severin shared the business challenges that led the global electronics company to pursue an MDM program, their business requirements, and the seven lessons for mastering product and customer data. Their next step is mastering consumer data.

In the next two blogs I’ll share some of the highlights from the discussion, the Q&A session and the poll results from this popular webinar which attracted more than 800 registrants.

  • David:  Give us some insight into Logitech’s business?
  • Severin: Sure. Logitech is a global electronics manufacturer with revenues of $2.3 billion.  We have more than 10,000 employees in 30 countries. We are truly a global company. The brand was founded in Switzerland. Most of the engineering and operations are in Silicon Valley. Our manufacturing plants are in China. Our business is divided in two sections.  We have retail, which contributes roughly 85 percent of our overall revenue. We also have key computer manufacturers such as Dell and HP. We produce peripherals for them.
  • David: How many products do you sell?
  • Severin: We sell a couple million products every year.  Our product portfolio goes beyond keyboards and mice. We have video conferencing systems, digital video security systems, and new products around Windows 8. And we just launched a new brand of audio peripherals.
  • David: Tell us about your customers.
  • Severin: We have two definitions of customer. Direct customers purchase products directly from Logitech.  Some of them are direct retailers, but we have around 1,000 distributor partners. We have hundreds of millions of consumers that buy through these retailers and distribution partners. Only by understanding what our retail and distribution partners are doing can we have a clear picture of demand for our products.
  • David: What triggered your need for a master data management (MDM) program?
  • Severin: We wanted to gain a trustworthy single source of truth for product data, customer data, and consumer data. We wanted to design and implement processes and tools to create, share, and maintain information across those three business-critical entities. The current solutions are rather heavy, and they are not really efficient. So we wanted to bring the business a very usable solution to maintain master data. We started our implementation focused on mastering product data, which we launched last year. We then followed by mastering customer data. We are currently looking at mastering consumer data.
  • David: What were the business challenges you were facing?
  • Severin: We were trying to overcome five business challenges:
    1. Multiple sources of truth
    2. Different character sets
    3. Outsourced data cleansing for POS data/inventory reporting
    4. Need integrated approval workflow engine
    5. Increase level of granularity for BI & PRM
    Below are a three:
    1. Multiple sources of truth:
    You never know where to go to look up information. What also happens when you have multiple legacy systems, you have the same attributes, the same naming, but the meaning on the business side might be completely different.
    2. Different character sets:
    One big challenge for us, a global company selling products and receiving data from around the world, is managing different character sets. We need to have a system which supports Cyrillic, Arabic and Chinese.
    3. Increase level of granularity for Business Intelligence (BI) & Partner Relationship Management (PRM): We need to know more detail to run our business to understand why certain stores have better performance than others. We need store-level information across different counties for analytics, market research, for sales.
  • David: What types of benefits you were anticipating?
  • Severin: I’ve grouped the benefits into four main categories: compliance, growth, efficiency and IT agility. I’ll go into detail about two of them below:
    Growth: It is difficult to manage hundreds of thousands of customers and hundreds of product lines without MDM. With MDM we can focus on the most profitable customers and products. We gained a 360-degree customer view. We didn’t always believe in that. We thought it was a line from the MDM suppliers. But it’s true. We started putting together all of our different sources and now we really truly have a 360-degree customer view. We can increase customer satisfaction because we know much more about our customers.
    2. IT Agility:
    This is a key benefit for us the Global IT Solutions department. By having one trusted single source, one single system, we dramatically reduce the integration costs for any future project. We have a single source and leverage on that one. There’s no dispute anymore about what is the right source. MDM is also an enabler for CRM and PRM applications. Another cost benefit is the potential to phase out existing systems that we no longer need to maintain. And last, but not least, we can reduce the time-to-market for any kind of new projects.
  • David: What did you learn from your phased global MDM implementation approach?
  • Severin: We learned seven valuable lessons. Here are the first three.
    1. Crawl, walk, run.
      Don’t try to achieve an ideal situation.  Start with an entity you know best. For us this was product data. It’s critical to have the data model defined. Then start with a small set of data. See the progress you’re making.
    2. Assess existing sources:
    I highly recommend assessing your existing sources, not only from an IT perspective or from an architecture perspective. You also need to look at the business side. You need to understand those different fields in your legacy systems, what they mean. And you need to document that. They may have the same meaning, but they might not. A good example is the “strategic importance” of a customer. “Strategic importance” to the finance department means something different than what it means to marketing or sales.
    3. Cleanse and standardize data in existing sources:
    Standardizing and cleaning data before you consolidate is an essential step. It helps you manage the business’ expectations so they know what to expect from the MDM system. If you don’t clean data at the source, the data will look a lot different in MDM vs. the legacy system and they won’t trust it.
  • David: Thanks for sharing this great presentation, Severin.
  • Severin: It was my pleasure, David. I hope this information helps at least one person shape their thinking about better managing their own business-critical data.

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