Tag Archives: MDM

PIM is not Product MDM, Part 2

Part 1 of this blog touched on the differences between PIM and Product MDM.  Since both play a role in ensuring the availability of high quality product data, it is easy to see the temptation to extend the scope of either product to play a more complete part.  However, there are risks involved in customising software.  PIM and MDM are not exceptions, and any customisations will carry some risk.

In the specific case of looking to extend the role of PIM, the problems start if you just look at the data and think:  “oh, this is just a few more product attributes to add”.  This will not give you a clear picture of the effort or risk associated with customisations.  A complete picture requires looking beyond the attributes as data fields, and considering them in context:  which processes and people (roles) are supported by these attributes?

Recently we were asked to assess the risk of PIM customisation for a customer.  The situation was that data to be included in PIM was currently housed in separate, home grown and aging legacy systems.  One school of thought was to move all the data, and their management tasks, into PIM and retire the three systems.  That is, extending the role of PIM beyond a marketing application and into a Product MDM role.  In this case, we found three main risks of customising PIM for this purpose.  Here they are in more detail:

1. Decrease speed of PIM deployment

  • Inclusion of the functionality (not just the data) will require customisations in PIM, not just additional attributes in the data model.
    • Logic customisations are required for data validity checks, and some value calculations.
    • Additional screens, workflows, integrations and UI customisations will be required for non-marketing roles
    • PIM will become the source for some data, which is used in critical operational systems (e.g. SAP).  Reference checks & data validation cannot be taken lightly due to risks of poor data elsewhere.
  • Bottom line:  A non-standard deployment with drive up implementation cost, time and risk.

2.  Reduce marketing agility

  • In the case concerned, whilst the additional data was important to marketing, it is primarily supporting by non-marketing users and processes including Product Development, Sales and Manufacturing
  • These systems are key systems in their workflow in terms of creating and distributing technical details of new products to other systems, e.g. SAP for production
  • If the systems are retired and replaced with PIM, these non-marketing users will need to be equal partners in PIM:
    • Require access and customised roles
    • Influence over configuration
    • Equal vote in feature/function prioritisation
  • Bottom Line:  Marketing will no longer completely own the PIM system, and may have to sacrifice new functionality to prioritise supporting other roles.

3.  Risk of marketing abandoning the hybrid tool in the mid-term

  • An investment in PIM is usually an investment by Marketing to help them rapidly adapt to a dynamic external market.
    • System agility (point 2) is key to rapid adaption, as is the ability to take advantage of new features within any packaged application.

PiM

  • As more customisations are made, the cost of upgrades can become prohibitive, driven by the cost to upgrade customisations.
    • Cost often driven by consulting fees to change what could be poorly documented code.
    • Risk of falling behind on upgrades, and hence sacrificing access to the newest PIM functionality
  • If upgrades are more expensive than new tools, PIM will be abandoned by Marketing, and they will invest in a new tool.
  • Bottom line:  In a worst case scenario, a customised PIM solution could be left supporting non-marketing functionality with Marketing investing in a new tool.

The first response to the last bullet point is normally “no they wouldn’t”.  Unfortunately this is a pattern both I and some of my colleagues have seen in the area of marketing & eCommerce applications.  The problem is that these areas are so fast moving, that nobody can afford to fall behind in terms of new functionality.  If upgrades are large projects which need lengthy approval and implementation cycles, marketing is unlikely to wait.  It is far easier to start again with a smaller budget under their direct control.  (Which is where PIM should be in the first place.)

In summary:

  • Making PIM look and behave like Product MDM could have some undesirable consequences – both in the short term (current deployment) and in the longer term (application abandonment).
  • A choice for customising PIM vs. enhancing your landscape with Product MDM should be made not on data attributes alone.
  • Your business and data processes should guide you in terms of risk assessment for customisation of your PIM solution.

Bottom Line:  If the risks seem too large, then consider enhancing your IT landscape with Product MDM.  Trading PIM cost & risk for measurable business value delivered by MDM will make a very attractive business case.

 

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Posted in PiM, Product Information Management | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

How Citrix is Using Great Data to Build Fortune Teller-Like Marketing

Build Fortune Teller-Like MarketingCitrix: You may not realize you know them, but chances are pretty good that you do.  And chances are also good that we marketers can learn something about achieving fortune teller-like marketing from them!

Citrix is the company that brought you GoToMeeting and a whole host of other mobile workspace solutions that provide virtualization, networking and cloud services.  Their goal is to give their 100 million users in 260,000 organizations across the globe “new ways to work better with seamless and secure access to the apps, files and services they need on any device, wherever they go.”

Citrix LogoCitrix is a company that has been imagining and innovating for over 25 years, and over that time, has seen a complete transformation in their market – virtual solutions and cloud services didn’t even exist when they were founded. Now it’s the backbone of their business.  Their corporate video proudly states that the only constant in this world is change, and that they strive to embrace the “yet to be discovered.”

Having worked with them quite a bit over the past few years, we have seen first-hand how Citrix has demonstrated their ability to embrace change.

The Problem:

Back in 2011, it became clear to Citrix that they had a data problem, and that they would have to make some changes to stay ahead in this hyper competitive market.  Sales & Marketing had identified data as their #1 concern – their data was incomplete, inaccurate, and duplicated in their CRM system.  And with so many different applications in the organization, it was quite difficult to know which application or data source had the most accurate and up-to-date information.  They realized they needed a single source of the truth – one system of reference where all of their global data management practices could be centralized and consistent.

The Solution:

The marketing team realized that they needed to take control of the solution to their data concerns, as their success truly depended upon it.  They brought together their IT department and their systems integration partner, Cognizant to determine a course of action.  Together they forged an overall data governance strategy which would empower the marketing team to manage data centrally – to be responsible for their own success.

Citrix Marketing EnvironmentAs a key element of that data governance / management strategy, they determined that they needed a Master Data Management (MDM) solution to serve as their Single Trusted Source of Customer & Prospect Data.  They did a great deal of research into industry best practices and technology solutions, and decided to select Informatica as their MDM partner. As you can see, Citrix’s environment is not unlike most marketing organizations.  The difference is that they are now able to capture and distribute better customer and prospect data to and from these systems to achieve even better results.  They are leveraging internal data sources and systems like CRM (Salesforce) and marketing automation (Marketo).  Their systems live all over the enterprise, both on premises and in the cloud.  And they leverage analytical tools to analyze and dashboard their results.

The Results:

Citrix strategized and implemented their Single Trusted Source of Customer & Prospect solution in a phased approach throughout 2013 and 2014, and we believe that what they’ve been able to accomplish during that short period of time has been nothing short of phenomenal.  Here are the higlights:

Citrix Achieved Tremendous Results

  • Used Informatica MDM to provide clean, consistent and connected channel partner, customer and prospect data and the relationships between them for use in operational applications (SFDC, BI Reporting and Predictive Analytics)
  • Recognized 20% increase in lead-to-opportunity conversion rates
  • Realized 20% increase in marketing team’s operational efficiency
  • Achieved 50% increase in quality of data at the point of entry, and a 50% reduction in the rate of junk and duplicate data for prospects, existing accounts and contact
  • Delivered a better channel partner and customer experience by renewing all of a customers’ user licenses across product lines at one time and making it easy to identify whitespace opportunities to up-sell more user licenses

That is huge!  Can you imagine the impact on your own marketing organization of a 20% increase in lead-to-opportunity conversion?  Can you imagine the impact of spending 20% less time questioning and manually massaging data to get the information you need?  That’s game changing!

Because Citrix now has great data and great resulting insight, they have been able to take the next step and embark on new fortune teller-like marketing strategies.   As Citrix’s Dagmar Garcia discussed during a recent webinar, “We monitor implicit and explicit behavior of transactional leads and accounts, and then we leverage these insights and previous behaviors to offer net new offers and campaigns to our customers and prospects…  And it’s all based on the quality of data we have within our database.”

I encourage you to take a few minutes to listen to Dagmar discuss Citrix’s project on a recent webinar.  In the webinar, she dives deeper into their project, the project scope and timeline, and to what she means by “fortune telling abilities”.  Also, take a look at the customer story section of the Informatica.com website for the PDF case study.  And, if you’re in the mood to learn more, you can download a complimentary copy of the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for MDM of Customer Data Solutions.

Hat’s off to you Citrix, and we look forward to working with you to continue to change the game even more in the coming months and years!

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PIM is Not Product MDM – Product MDM is not PIM

Working for Informatica has many advantages.  One of them is that I clearly understand the difference between Product Information Management (PIM) and Master Data Management (MDM) for product data[i].  Since I have this clear in my own mind, it is easy to forget that this may not be as obvious to others.  As frequently happens, it takes a customer to help us articulate why PIM is not the same as Product MDM.  Now that this is fresh in my mind again, I thought I would share why the two are different, and when you should consider each one, or both.

In a lengthy discussion with our customer, many points were raised, discussed and classified.  In the end, all arguments essentially came down to each technology’s primary purpose.  A different primary purpose means that typical capabilities of the two products are geared towards different audiences and use cases.

PIM is a business application that centralizes and streamlines the creation and enhancement of consistent, but localised product content across channels.  (Figure 1)

PIM image

Figure 1:  PIM Product Data Creation Flow

Product MDM is an infrastructure component that consolidates the core global product data that should be consistent across multiple and diverse systems and business processes, but typically isn’t. (Figure 2)

MDM image

Figure 2:  MDM Product Data Consolidation Hub

The choice between the two technologies really comes down the current challenge you are trying to solve.  If you cannot get clean and consistent data out through all your sales channels fast enough, then a PIM solution is the correct choice for you.  However, if your organisation is making poor decisions and seeing bloated costs (e.g. procurement or inventory costs) due to poor internal product data, then MDM technology is the right choice.

But, if it is so simple – why I am even writing this down?  Why are the lines blurring now?

Here is my 3-part theory:

  1. A focus on good quality product data is relatively recent trend.  Different industries started by addressing different challenges.
    1. PIM has primarily been used in retail B2C environments and distributor B2B or B2C environments.  That is, organisations which are primarily focused around the sale of a product, rather than the design and production of the product.
    2. Product MDM has been used predominately by manufacturers of goods, looking to standardise and support global processes, reporting and analytics across departments.
  2. Now, manufacturers are increasingly looking to take control of their product information outside their organisation.
    1. This trend is most notable in Consumer Goods (CG) companies.
    2. Increasingly consistent, appealing and high quality data in the consumer realm is making the difference between choosing your product vs. a competitor’s.
    3. CG must ensure all channels – their own and their retail partner’s – are fed with high quality product data.
  3. So PIM is now entering organisations which should already have a Product MDM tool.  If they don’t, confusion arises.
    1. When Marketing buys PIM (and it normally is Marketing), quite frankly this shows up the poor product data management upstream of marketing.
    2. It becomes quite tempting to try to jam as much product data into a PIM system as possible, going beyond the original scope of PIM.

The follow-on question is clear:  why can’t we just make a few changes and use PIM as our MDM technology, or MDM as our PIM solution?  It is very tempting.  Both data models can be extended to add extra fields.  In Informatica’s case, both are supported by a common, feature-rich workflow tool.  However, there are inherent risks in using PIM where Product MDM is needed or Product MDM where PIM is needed.

After discussions with our customer, we identified 3 risks of modifying PIM when it is really Product MDM functionality that is needed:

  • Decrease speed of PIM deployment
  • Reduce marketing agility
  • Risk of marketing abandoning the hybrid tool in the mid-term

The last turned out to be the least understood, but that doesn’t make it any less real.  Since each of these risks deserves more explanation, I will discuss them in Part 2 of this Blog. (Still to be published)

In summary, PIM and Product MDM are designed to play different roles in the quest for the availability of high quality product data both internally and externally.  There are risks and costs associated with modifying one to take on the role of the other.  In many cases there is place for both PIM and MDM, but you will still need to choose a starting point.  Each journey to high quality product data will be different, but the goal is still the same – to turn product data into business value.

I (or one of my colleagues in a city near you) will be happy to help you understand what the best starting point is for your organisation.


[i] In case you were wondering, this is not the benefit that I joined Informatica for.

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At Valspar Data Management is Key to Controlling Purchasing Costs

Steve Jenkins, Global IT Director at Valspar

Steve Jenkins is working to improve information management maturity at Valspar

Raw materials costs are the company’s single largest expense category,” said Steve Jenkins, Global IT Director at Valspar, at MDM Day in London. “Data management technology can help us improve business process efficiency, manage sourcing risk and reduce RFQ cycle times.”

Valspar is a $4 billion global manufacturing company, which produces a portfolio of leading paint and coating brands. At the end of 2013, the 200 year old company celebrated record sales and earnings. They also completed two acquisitions. Valspar now has 10,000 employees operating in 25 countries.

As is the case for many global companies, growth creates complexity. “Valspar has multiple business units with varying purchasing practices. We source raw materials from 1,000s of vendors around the globe,” shared Steve.

“We want to achieve economies of scale in purchasing to control spending,” Steve said as he shared Valspar’s improvement objectives. “We want to build stronger relationships with our preferred vendors. Also, we want to develop internal process efficiencies to realize additional savings.”

Poorly managed vendor and raw materials data was impacting Valspar’s buying power

Data management at Valspar

“We realized our buying power was limited by the age and quality of available vendor and raw materials data.”

The Valspar team, who sharply focuses on productivity, had an “Aha” moment. “We realized our buying power was limited by the age and quality of available vendor data and raw materials data,” revealed Steve. 

The core vendor data and raw materials data that should have been the same across multiple systems wasn’t. Data was often missing or wrong. This made it difficult to calculate the total spend on raw materials. It was also hard to calculate the total cost of expedited freight of raw materials. So, employees used a manual, time-consuming and error-prone process to consolidate vendor data and raw materials data for reporting.

These data issues were getting in the way of achieving their improvement objectives. Valspar needed a data management solution.

Valspar needed a single trusted source of vendor and raw materials data

Informatica MDM supports vendor and raw materials data management at Valspar

The team chose Informatica MDM as their enterprise hub for vendors and raw materials

The team chose Informatica MDM, master data management (MDM) technology. It will be their enterprise hub for vendors and raw materials. It will manage this data centrally on an ongoing basis. With Informatica MDM, Valspar will have a single trusted source of vendor and raw materials data.

Informatica PowerCenter will access data from multiple source systems. Informatica Data Quality will profile the data before it goes into the hub. Then, after Informatica MDM does it’s magic, PowerCenter will deliver clean, consistent, connected and enriched data to target systems.

Better vendor and raw materials data management results in cost savings

Valspar Chameleon Jon

Valspar will gain benefits by fueling applications with clean, consistent, connected and enriched data

Valspar expects to gain the following business benefits:

  • Streamline the RFQ process to accelerate raw materials cost savings
  • Reduce the total number of raw materials SKUs and vendors
  • Increase productivity of staff focused on pulling and maintaining data
  • Leverage consistent global data visibly to:
    • increase leverage during contract negotiations
    • improve acquisition due diligence reviews
    • facilitate process standardization and reporting

 

Valspar’s vision is to tranform data and information into a trusted organizational assets

“Mastering vendor and raw materials data is Phase 1 of our vision to transform data and information into trusted organizational assets,” shared Steve. In Phase 2 the Valspar team will master customer data so they have immediate access to the total purchases of key global customers. In Phase 3, Valspar’s team will turn their attention to product or finished goods data.

Steve ended his presentation with some advice. “First, include your business counterparts in the process as early as possible. They need to own and drive the business case as well as the approval process. Also, master only the vendor and raw materials attributes required to realize the business benefit.”

Total Supplier Information Management eBook

Click here to download the Total Supplier Information Management eBook

Want more? Download the Total Supplier Information Management eBook. It covers:

  • Why your fragmented supplier data is holding you back
  • The cost of supplier data chaos
  • The warning signs you need to be looking for
  • How you can achieve Total Supplier Information Management

 

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Posted in Business/IT Collaboration, Data Integration, Data Quality, Manufacturing, Master Data Management, Operational Efficiency, PowerCenter, Vertical | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

8 Information Management Challenges for UDI Compliance

“My team spends far too much time pulling together medical device data that’s scattered across different systems and reconciling it in spreadsheets to create compliance reports.” This quotation from a regulatory affairs leader at a medical device manufacturer highlights the impact of poorly managed medical device data on compliance reporting, such as the reports needed for the FDA’s Universal Device Identification (UDI) regulation. In fact, an overreliance on manual, time-consuming processes brings an increased risk of human error in UDI compliance reports.

frustrated_man_computer

Is your compliance team manually reconciling data for UDI compliance reports?

If you are an information management leader working for a medical device manufacturer, and your compliance team needs quick and easy access to medical device data for UDI compliance reporting, I have five questions for you:

1) How many Class III and Class II devices do you have?
2) How many systems or reporting data stores contain data about these medical devices?
3) How much time do employees spend manually fixing data errors before the data can be used for reporting?
4) How do you plan to manage medical device data so the compliance team can quickly and easily produce accurate reports for UDI Compliance?
5) How do you plan to help the compliance team manage the multi-step submission process?

Watch this on-demand webinar "3 EIM Best Practices for UDI Compliance"

Watch this on-demand webinar “3 EIM Best Practices for UDI Compliance”

For some helpful advice from data management experts, watch this on-demand webinar “3 Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Best Practices for UDI Compliance.”

The deadline to submit the first UDI compliance report to the FDA for Class III devices is September 24, 2014. But, the medical device data needed to produce the report is typically scattered among different internal systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) e.g. SAP and JD Edwards, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and external 3rd party device identifiers.

The traditional approach for dealing with poorly managed data is the compliance team burns the midnight oil to bring together and then manually reconcile all the medical device data in a spreadsheet. And, they have to do this each and every time a compliance report is due. The good news is your compliance team doesn’t have to.

Many medical device manufacturers are are leveraging their existing data governance programs, supported by a combination of data integration, data quality and master data management (MDM) technology to eliminate the need for manual data reconciliation. They are centralizing their medical device data management, so they have a single source of trusted medical device data for UDI compliance reporting as well as other compliance and revenue generating initiatives.

Get UDI data management advice from data experts Kelle O'Neal, Managing Partner at First San Francisco Partners and Bryan Balding, MDM Specialist at Informatica
Get UDI data management advice from data experts Kelle O’Neal, Managing Partner at First San Francisco Partners and Bryan Balding, MDM Specialist at Informatica

During this this on-demand webinar, Kelle O’Neal, Managing Partner at First San Francisco Partners, covers the eight information management challenges for UDI compliance as well as best practices for medical device data management.

Bryan Balding, MDM Solution Specialist at Informatica, shows you how to apply these best practices with the Informatica UDI Compliance Solution.

You’ll learn how to automate the process of capturing, managing and sharing medical device data to make it quicker and easier to create the reports needed for UDI compliance on ongoing basis.

 

 

20 Questions & Answers about Complying with the FDA Requirement for Unique Device Identification (UDI)

20 Questions & Answers about Complying with the FDA Requirement
for Unique Device Identification (UDI)

Also, we just published a joint whitepaper with First San Francisco Partners, Information Management FAQ for UDI: 20 Questions & Answers about Complying with the FDA Requirement for Unique Device Identification (UDI). Get answers to questions such as:

What is needed to support an EIM strategy for UDI compliance?
What role does data governance play in UDI compliance?
What are the components of a successful data governance program?
Why should I centralize my business-critical medical device data?
What does the architecture of a UDI compliance solution look like?

I invite you to download the UDI compliance FAQ now and share your feedback in the comments section below.

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Posted in Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Quality, Enterprise Data Management, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Master Data Management, Vertical | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is the Internet of Things relevant for the government?

Get connected. Be connected. Make connections. Find connections. The Internet of Things (IoT) is all about connecting people, processes, data and, as the name suggests, things. The recent social media frenzy surrounding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has certainly reminded everyone of the power of social media, the Internet and a willingness to answer a challenge. Fueled by personal and professional connections, the craze has transformed fund raising for at least one charity. Similarly, IoT may potentially be transformational to the business of the public sector, should government step up to the challenge.

shutterstock_132378518

Is the Internet of Things relevant for the government?

Government is struggling with the concept and reality of how IoT really relates to the business of government, and perhaps rightfully so. For commercial enterprises, IoT is far more tangible and simply more fun. Gaming, televisions, watches, Google glasses, smartphones and tablets are all about delivering over-the-top, new and exciting consumer experiences. Industry is delivering transformational innovations, which are connecting people to places, data and other people at a record pace.

It’s time to accept the challenge. Government agencies need to keep pace with their commercial counterparts and harness the power of the Internet of Things. The end game is not to deliver new, faster, smaller, cooler electronics; the end game is to create solutions that let devices connecting to the Internet interact and share data, regardless of their location, manufacturer or format and make or find connections that may have been previously undetectable. For some, this concept is as foreign or scary as pouring ice water over their heads. For others, the new opportunity to transform policy, service delivery, leadership, legislation and regulation is fueling a transformation in government. And it starts with one connection.

One way to start could be linking previously siloed systems together or creating a golden record of all citizen interactions through a Master Data Management (MDM) initiative. It could start with a big data and analytics project to determine and mitigate risk factors in education or linking sensor data across multiple networks to increase intelligence about potential hacking or breaches. Agencies could stop waste, fraud and abuse before it happens by linking critical payment, procurement and geospatial data together in real time.

This is the Internet of Things for government. This is the challenge. This is transformation.

This article was originally published on www.federaltimes.com. Please view the original listing here

 

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Posted in Big Data, Business Impact / Benefits, Data Integration, Data Security, Master Data Management, Public Sector, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Information Difference Pegs Informatica as a Top MDM Vendor

Information Difference MDM Diagram v2This blog post feels a little bit like bragging… and OK, I guess it is pretty self-congratulatory to announce that this year, Informatica was again chosen as a leader in MDM and PIM by The Information Difference. As you may know, The Information Difference is an independent research firm that specializes in the MDM industry and each year surveys, analyzes and ranks MDM and PIM providers and customers around the world. This year, like last year, The Information Difference named Informatica tops in the space.

Why do I feel especially chuffed about this?  Because of our customers.

(more…)

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How Much is Poorly Managed Supplier Information Costing Your Business?

Supplier Information“Inaccurate, inconsistent and disconnected supplier information prohibits us from doing accurate supplier spend analysis, leveraging discounts, comparing and choosing the best prices, and enforcing corporate standards.”

This is quotation from a manufacturing company executive. It illustrates the negative impact that poorly managed supplier information can have on a company’s ability to cut costs and achieve revenue targets.

Many supply chain and procurement teams at large companies struggle to see the total relationship they have with suppliers across product lines, business units and regions. Why? Supplier information is scattered across dozens or hundreds of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Accounts Payable (AP) applications. Too much valuable time is spent manually reconciling inaccurate, inconsistent and disconnected supplier information in an effort to see the big picture. All this manual effort results in back office administrative costs that are higher than they should be.

Do these quotations from supply chain leaders and their teams sound familiar?

  • “We have 500,000 suppliers. 15-20% of our supplier records are duplicates. 5% are inaccurate.”
  • I get 100 e-mails a day questioning which supplier to use.”
  • “To consolidate vendor reporting for a single supplier between divisions is really just a guess.”
  • “Every year 1099 tax mailings get returned to us because of invalid addresses, and we play a lot of Schedule B fines to the IRS.”
  • “Two years ago we spent a significant amount of time and money cleansing supplier data. Now we are back where we started.”
Webinar, Supercharge Your Supply Chain Apps with Better Supplier Information

Join us for a Webinar to find out how to supercharge your supply chain applications with clean, consistent and connected supplier information

Please join me and Naveen Sharma, Director of the Master Data Management (MDM) Practice at Cognizant for a Webinar, Supercharge Your Supply Chain Applications with Better Supplier Information, on Tuesday, July 29th at 11 am PT.

During the Webinar, we’ll explain how better managing supplier information can help you achieve the following goals:

  1. Accelerate supplier onboarding
  2. Mitiate the risk of supply disruption
  3. Better manage supplier performance
  4. Streamline billing and payment processes
  5. Improve supplier relationship management and collaboration
  6. Make it easier to evaluate non-compliance with Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  7. Decrease costs by negotiating favorable payment terms and SLAs

I hope you can join us for this upcoming Webinar!

 

 

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Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Business/IT Collaboration, Data Integration, Data Quality, Manufacturing, Master Data Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Rely on CRM as Your Single Source of Trusted Customer Data

Step 1: Determine if you have a customer data problem

A statement I often hear from marketing and sales leaders unfamiliar with the concept of mastering customer data is, “My CRM application is our single source of trusted customer data.” They use CRM to onboard new customers, collecting addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. They append a DUNS number. So it’s no surprise they may expect they can master their customer data in CRM. (To learn more about the basics of managing trusted customer data, read this: How much does bad data cost your business?)

It may seem logical to expect your CRM investment to be your customer master – especially since so many CRM vendors promise a “360 degree view of your customer.” But you should only consider your CRM system as the source of truth for trusted customer data if:

Shopper
For most large enterprises, CRM never delivered on that promise of a trusted 360-degree customer view.

 ·  You have only a single instance of Salesforce.com, Siebel CRM, or other CRM

·  You have only one sales organization (vs. distributed across regions and LOBs)

·  Your CRM manages all customer-focused processes and interactions (marketing, service, support, order management, self-service, etc)

·  The master customer data in your CRM is clean, complete, fresh, and free of duplicates


Unfortunately most mid-to-large companies cannot claim such simple operations. For most large enterprises, CRM never delivered on that promise of a trusted 360-degree customer view. That’s what prompted Gartner analysts Bill O’Kane and Kimbery Collins to write this report,
 MDM is Critical to CRM Optimization, in February 2014.

“The reality is that the vast majority of the Fortune 2000 companies we talk to are complex,” says Christopher Dwight, who leads a team of master data management (MDM) and product information management (PIM) sales specialists for Informatica. Christopher and team spend each day working with retailers, distributors and CPG companies to help them get more value from their customer, product and supplier data. “Business-critical customer data doesn’t live in one place. There’s no clear and simple source. Functional organizations, processes, and systems landscapes are much more complicated. Typically they have multiple selling organizations across business units or regions.”

As an example, listed below are typical functional organizations, and common customer master data-dependent applications they rely upon, to support the lead-to-cash process within a typical enterprise:

·  Marketing: marketing automation, campaign management and customer analytics systems.
·  Ecommerce: e-commerce storefront and commerce applications.
·  Sales: sales force automation, quote management,
·  Fulfillment: ERP, shipping and logistics systems.
·  Finance: order management and billing systems.
·  Customer Service: CRM, IVR and case management systems.

The fragmentation of critical customer data across multiple organizations and applications is further exacerbated by the explosive adoption of Cloud applications such as Salesforce.com and Marketo. Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity is common among many larger organizations where additional legacy customer applications must be onboarded and reconciled. Suddenly your customer data challenge grows exponentially.  

Step 2: Measure how customer data fragmentation impacts your business

Ask yourself: if your customer data is inaccurate, inconstant and disconnected can you:

Customer data is fragmented across multiple applications used by business units, product lines, functions and regions.

Customer data is fragmented across multiple applications used by business units, product lines, functions and regions.

·  See the full picture of a customer’s relationship with the business across business units, product lines, channels and regions?  

·  Better understand and segment customers for personalized offers, improving lead conversion rates and boosting cross-sell and up-sell success?

·  Deliver an exceptional, differentiated customer experience?

·  Leverage rich sources of 3rd party data as well as big data such as social, mobile, sensors, etc.., to enrich customer insights?

“One company I recently spoke with was having a hard time creating a single consolidated invoice for each customer that included all the services purchased across business units,” says Dwight. “When they investigated, they were shocked to find that 80% of their consolidated invoices contained errors! The root cause was innaccurate, inconsistent and inconsistent customer data. This was a serious business problem costing the company a lot of money.”

Let’s do a quick test right now. Are any of these companies your customers: GE, Coke, Exxon, AT&T or HP? Do you know the legal company names for any of these organizations? Most people don’t. I’m willing to bet there are at least a handful of variations of these company names such as Coke, Coca-Cola, The Coca Cola Company, etc in your CRM application. Chances are there are dozens of variations in the numerous applications where business-critical customer data lives and these customer profiles are tied to transactions. That’s hard to clean up. You can’t just merge records because you need to maintain the transaction history and audit history. So you can’t clean up the customer data in this system and merge the duplicates.

The same holds true for B2C customers. In fact, I’m a nightmare for a large marketing organization. I get multiple offers and statements addressed to different versions of my name: Jakki Geiger, Jacqueline Geiger, Jackie Geiger and J. Geiger. But my personal favorite is when I get an offer from a company I do business with addressed to “Resident”. Why don’t they know I live here? They certainly know where to find me when they bill me!

Step 3: Transform how you view, manage and share customer data

Why do so many businesses that try to master customer data in CRM fail? Let’s be frank. CRM systems such as Salesforce.com and Siebel CRM were purpose built to support a specific set of business processes, and for the most part they do a great job. But they were never built with a focus on mastering customer data for the business beyond the scope of their own processes.

But perhaps you disagree with everything discussed so far. Or you’re a risk-taker and want to take on the challenge of bringing all master customer data that exists across the business into your CRM app. Be warned, you’ll likely encounter four major problems:

1) Your master customer data in each system has a different data model with different standards and requirements for capture and maintenance. Good luck reconciling them!

2) To be successful, your customer data must be clean and consistent across all your systems, which is rarely the case.

3) Even if you use DUNS numbers, some systems use the global DUNS number; others use a regional DUNS number. Some manage customer data at the legal entity level, others at the site level. How do you connect those?

4) If there are duplicate customer profiles in CRM tied to transactions, you can’t just merge the profiles because you need to maintain the transactional integrity and audit history. In this case, you’re dead on arrival.

There is a better way! Customer-centric, data-driven companies recognize these obstacles and they don’t rely on CRM as the single source of trusted customer data. Instead, they are transforming how they view, manage and share master customer data across the critical applications their businesses rely upon. They embrace master data management (MDM) best practices and technologies to reconcile, merge, share and govern business-critical customer data. 

More and more B2B and B2C companies are investing in MDM capabilities to manage customer households and multiple views of customer account hierarchies (e.g. a legal view can be shared with finance, a sales territory view can be shared with sales, or an industry view can be shared with a business unit).

 

Gartner Report, MDM is Critical to CRM Optimization, Bill O'Kane & Kimberly Collins, February 7 2014.

Gartner Report, MDM is Critical to CRM Optimization, Bill O’Kane & Kimberly Collins, February 7 2014.

According to Gartner analysts Bill O’Kane and Kimberly Collins, “Through 2017, CRM leaders who avoid MDM will derive erroneous results that annoy customers, resulting in a 25% reduction in potential revenue gains,” according to this Gartner report, MDM is Critical to CRM Optimization, February 2014.

Are you ready to reassess your assumptions about mastering customer data in CRM?

Get the Gartner report now: MDM is Critical to CRM Optimization.

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Posted in CMO, Customer Acquisition & Retention, Customers, Data Governance, Master Data Management, Mergers and Acquisitions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World Cup of Data: The Early Bird Closes the Sale

Did you know the 2014 Brasil World Cup is actually the World Cup of Data? In addition to the visible matches played on the pitch, eShops will be in a simultaneous struggle to win real-time online merchandise customers.

Let me explain. Jogi Löw, the manager of the German team, is known for his stylish attire. At every major event, each European Cup and World Cup, he wears newly designed shirts and suits. As a result, when television audiences see each new article of clothing, there is a corresponding increase in related online retail activity. When Löw began this tradition, people didn’t know that his outfits were made by Strenesse. As a result, people searched using the keywords “Jogi Löw Shirt.” This drove traffic to the eShop with the best search engine optimization, giving them more conversions and more revenue.

If a manager’s attire drives online retail sales, imagine how much demand there is for the jerseys worn by the most visible World Cup athletes? Many of the these players have huge social media followings. Consider the size of the social media followings of Ronaldo, Kakà, Neymar, Ronaldinho and Wayne Rooney:

football social top5

(Source: http://fanpagelist.com/category/athletes/soccer/view/list/sort/followers/page1)

There is huge demand for these player’s jerseys. This demand will only increase as the games progress. Once the winner is decided, Google searches will rise for phrases like “World Cup Winner Jersey 2014 of xxx”. Some refer to this as the super long tail. And research does show that search queries with 3 or more words have better conversion rates than queries with only 1 or 2 words.

Longtail-image

(Source: http://www.conductor.com/resource-center/research/long-tail-search )

Who can predict the winners?

What happens if a fairly unknown player scores the last goal in over time? How will that event impact social media activity and search engine volumes? Who will be able to leverage this activity to sell the relevant merchandising products fast enough? The eShop with the best data will have the quickest response. And the eShop with the quickest response will get the traffic and the revenue.

The world cup is a battle. The early bird closes the sale. It’s time to play the World Cup of Data.

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Posted in Master Data Management, PiM, Product Information Management, Real-Time, Retail | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment