How Mouser Electronics Grows Digital Commerce with Product 360

Mouser_Blog_PictureElectronics are everywhere and in everything. That means the sale of the small parts that compose electronics devices is a booming B2B trade. To source the electronic components they need, design engineers turn to Mouser Electronics where detailed information is at their fingertips.

You see, Mouser Electronics, a worldwide, leading authorized distributor of electronics components and semiconductors based near Dallas, TX, differentiates on data.

Supplying a dynamic, high-demand, growing global industry means Mouser’s biggest challenges are scale and meticulous data curation. During a recent webinar I hosted, Hayne Shumate, SVP of Internet Business, shared how important it is for Mouser to manage its massive volume of product data better than anyone else—and how Informatica MDM – Product 360 has made it possible.

Managing millions of SKUs

Mouser’s website is its primary sales outlet, explained Shumate. While customers can call for special orders, there are no outbound sales. As a result, the quality of the data on the website is critical for customers to find exactly what they are looking for, whether they are using a search engine or browsing the site.

There’s a basic understanding in our company that if we don’t have high-quality product data we don’t have a business at all,” said Shumate. Yet, in order to provide great customer service in a fast-changing market, “we have to track an awful lot of data about products we can’t even sell.” Out of 22 million products maintained on the Mouser website, about 6-7 million are currently in inventory and the rest are obsolete parts that must remain searchable in order for customers to find a suitable replacement.

To maintain the high quality of data that’s needed for its enormous catalog, Mouser employs a full-time team to update product data daily so search engines can index it. Many of these people are employed around the globe, providing support for language-specific site mirrors across Europe and Asia. On a typical day, 100,000 product pages are updated, but in an extreme circumstance, such as a regulation change, 4 to 5 million changes can be deployed in a single day.

PIM: Legacy of disappointment

For more than ten years, and throughout a period of rapid growth, Mouser relied on a PIM product that was never designed for Mouser’s massive scale. To work around the limitations of their existing PIM solution, Mouser turned to manual internal processes that slowed down and delayed product updates and introductions, added costs, and impacted customer service. Four years ago, a rushed project to replace the legacy PIM failed. With a clear business mandate to manage product information with extraordinary quality and efficiency on a massive scale, Mouser turned to Informatica MDM – Product 360 to finally deliver on its needs.

Informatica’s long history in ETL, said Shumate, gave him confidence that its products would hold up against the unusual scale of Mouser’s data volumes and scalability requirements. And with the electronics industry competing more on information than on price or selection, the ability to improve the completeness, accuracy and timeliness of its data was paramount. Thus, Informatica’s leadership in data quality and strategic data management also influenced their choice.

Working with Infoverity, an experienced Informatica partner, Mouser followed a phased implementation with the philosophy to “start small and move quickly.” Learning from past mistakes, the company elevated the importance of internal ownership, making sure that data team members became experts in the solution.

Sustaining growth and finding new advantage

Today, MDMProduct 360 is in production at Mouser sites around the globe and is helping the company build customer loyalty and enable better search, conversion and sales. The reporting capability is helping Mouser audit the completeness of its product data across all categories and track how fast data quality is improving. MDM – Product 360’s ease of use has made it easy to deploy across an international user community, and finally gives them a platform for business process automation and cross-region collaboration.

I’m pleased to announce that Hayne Shumate will join us February 22, 2017, at the MDM 360 Summit, Informatica’s annual event in New York City, where he will share:

  • How Product 360 helps Mouser sustain 20 percent annual growth in web sales
  • How product information management is elemental to Mouser’s success in providing a great customer experience
  • The lessons learned from this experience, and the next steps in Mouser’s MDM journey

Alongside him will be a full lineup of speakers, from the financial services industry and elsewhere, who are using Informatica MDM to create powerful digital transformations that fuel great customer experiences and improve data governance.

Register today to join us in person. Reach out to me at @mdmgeek if you have any questions and to continue the conversation.