Tag Archives: trusted product data foundation

Bringing the “Local Experience” Online: Today’s Farm Store is Data Driven

Today’s Farm Store is Data Driven

Today’s Farm Store is Data Driven

Have you ever found yourself walking into a store to buy one thing, only to leave 2 hours later with enough items to fill 2 mini vans? I certainly have. Now, imagine the same scenario, however this time, you walk in a store to buy ranch supplies, like fencing materials or work boots, but end up leaving with an outdoor fire pit, fancy spurs, a pair of Toms shoes, a ski rack and a jar of pickled egg. If you had no idea these products could be purchased at the same place, you clearly haven’t been to North 40 Outfitters.

Established in Northwestern United States, North 40 Outfitters, a family owned and operated business, has been outfitting the hardworking and hard playing populace of the region. Understanding the diverse needs of its customers, hardworking people, North 40 Outfitters carries everything from fencing for cattle and livestock to tools and trailers. They have gear for camping and hunting—even fly fishing.

Named after the Homestead Act of 1862, an event with strong significance in the region, North 40 Outfitters heritage is built on its community involvement and support of local small businesses. The company’s 700 employees could be regarded as family. At this year’s Thanksgiving, every employee was given a locally raised free range turkey to bring home. Furthermore, true to Black Friday’s shopping experience, North 40 Outfitters opened its door. Eschewing the regular practice of open as early as 3 AM, North 40 Outfitters opened at the reasonable 7 o’clock hour. They offered patrons donuts as well as coffee obtained from a local roaster.

North 40 Outfitters aims to be different. They achieve differentiation by being data driven. While the products they sell cannot be sourced exclusively from local sources, their experience aims to do exactly that.

The Problem

Prior to operating under the name North 40 Outfitters, the company ran under the banner of “Big R”, which was shared with several other members of the same buying group. The decision to change the name to North 40 Outfitters was the result of a move into the digital realm— they needed a name to distinguish themselves. Now as North 40 Outfitters, they can focus on what matters rather than having to deal with the confusion of a shared name. They would now provide the “local store” experience, while investing in their digital strategy as a means to do business online and bring the unique North 40 Outfitters experience and value nationwide.

With those organizational changes taking place, lay an even greater challenge. With over 150,000 SKUs and no digital database for their product information, North 40 Outfitters had to find a solution and build everything from the ground up. Moreover, with customers demanding a means to buy products online, especially customers living in rural areas, it became clear that North 40 Outfitters would have to address its data concerns.

Along with the fresh rebrand and restructure, North 40 Outfitters needed to tame their product information situation, a critical step conducive to building their digital product database and launching their ecommerce store.

The Solution

North 40 Outfitters was clear about the outcome of the recent rebranding and they knew that investments needed to be taken if they were to add value to their existing business. Building the capabilities to take their business to new channels, ecommerce in this case, meant finding the best solution to start on the right foot. Consequently, wishing to become master of their own data, for both online and in-store uses, North 40 Outfitters determined that they needed a PIM application that would act as a unique data information repository.

It’s important to note that North 40 Outfitters environment is not typical to that of traditional retailers. The difference can be found in the large variation of product type they sell. Some of their suppliers have local, boutique style production scales, while some are large multi-national distributors. Furthermore, a large portion of North 40 Outfitters customers live in rural regions, in some cases their stores are a day’s drive away. With the ability to leverage both a PIM and an ecommerce solution North 40 Outfitters is now a step closer to outfitting everyone in the Northwestern region.

Results

It is still very early to talk about results, since North 40 Outfitters has only recently entered the implementation phase. What can be said is that they are very excited. Having reclaimed their territory, and equipped with a PIM solution and an ecommerce solution they have all the right tools to till and plow the playing field.

The meaning of North 40 Outfitters

To the uninitiated the name North 40 Outfitters might not mean much. However, there is a lot of local heritage and history standing behind this newly rebranded name. North 40 is derived from the Homestead Act of 1862. The Act refers to the “North forty”, to the Northern most block of the homesteader’s property. To this day, this still holds significance to the local community. The second half of the brand: “Outfitters” is about the company’s focus on the company ability to outfit its customers both for work and play. On the one hand, you can visit North 40 Outfitters to purchase goods aimed at running your ranch, such as fencing material, horse related goods or quality tools. At the same time, you can buy camping and backpacking goods—they even sell ice fishing huts.

North 40 Outfitters ensures their customers have what they need to work the land, get back from it and ultimately go out and play just as hard if not harder.

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Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Quality, Enterprise Data Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Logitech’s Story: Using Informatica to Overcome Three Salesforce Data Challenges

In recent blogs I’ve shared our customers’ stories from Dreamforce. In particular, how they are building a trusted customer information foundation for salesforce.com to achieve their business objectives.

Logitech uses Informatica PowerCenter, Cloud, Data Quality and MDM to Overcome Three Salesforce Data Challenges

In this blog, I’ll cover the presentation delivered by Logitech’s Senior Manager, Data Engineering, Doctor of Business Administration, Steven Perelli-Minetti.

Logitech is a $2.32B global company providing consumer electronics to consumers and businesses in 100 countries. Their diverse but focused portfolio of products is sold via direct and indirect sales channels.

Steve explained that Logitech is an Oracle shop. They use Oracle e-Business Suite and Oracle BI. They were using Oracle OWB for data integration until they tried Informatica PowerCenter and realized it was a better fit for their data warehouse support and management.

1. Salesforce Challenge: Integrating Trade Promotion Data into an EDW
Logitech needed to support the business’ need for trade promotion analytics and reporting as well as IT’s need to keep the data safe and secure. They chose Informatica Cloud to replicate data from a custom trade promotion management (TPM) application on Force.com (PaaS), bring it into the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW), and combine it with the Soft Dollar Accruals data from Oracle e-Business Suite and POS data.

Steven said the results have been pretty good. They went live in one month. There is little maintenance. It’s subscription-based, which makes it cost effective. Unlike other offerings, they can scale the solution across any other systems.

2.  Salesforce Challenge: Integrating Sales Data into an EDW
It’s critical for Logitech to understand what’s going on in their China business, which is an important emerging market. They use Informatica Cloud to integrate China’s Salesforce data with the EDW so management can gain insight into market share at the store level for example.

3.  Salesforce Challenge: Managing Trusted Product and Customer Data
Logitech needed to manage a single trusted version of product and customer data across on-premise systems, cloud applications and third party data providers. Now they use Informatica Data Quality and Informatica MDM to consolidate and manage business-critical data on an ongoing basis, which is used by on-premise systems and cloud applications such as Salesforce.

Join us for a live webinar on December 5: Logitech MDM Case Study: Seven Lessons for Mastering Product and Customer Data. Severin Stoll, Senior Business Engagement Manager of Global IT Solutions at Logitech will share seven lessons learned from their global master data management (MDM) implementation.

  • Product data:  Logitech uses Informatica MDM to consolidate product data (images, descriptions, features, dimensions) from various sources. With this trusted product data foundation, Logitech can ensure consistency of product information across websites managed by third party vendors in various languages across the globe, resulting in efficiencies for the marketing team.
  •  Customer data:  Logitech uses Informatica MDM to consolidate customer data from POS systems via thousands of data providers in many variations, languages and character sets. With this trusted customer data foundation, Logitech has a clearer picture of how products flow through channel partners to end-consumers.

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Posted in Cloud Computing, Customers, Data Integration, Data Quality, Manufacturing, Master Data Management, Retail | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment