360-Degree Customer View with an MDM Solution
A leading manufacturer of custom machines and components was planning a digital transformation program to streamline their business and utilize their data better.
degree customer view
critical data elements in the MDM hub
customer identification time
Background and Challenge Story
A leading manufacturer of custom machines and components was planning a digital transformation program to streamline their business and utilize their data better. One of their primary problem areas pertained to customer and prospect service, and they were looking to provide a better experience during customer calls and service requests.
Prior to our project, the client had no consolidated view of their customers and there were multiple source systems which contained different aspects of customer details, such as customer assets, orders, relationship history, and contacts. There was lack of clarity in the data, and often, a single customer appeared to be linked to multiple business entities, or several different names were associated with previous and current orders. This made it difficult to identify customers when they called or placed service requests or orders, and the service team had to question the customer extensively to narrow down on their records in their systems. Understandably, this made customer service time-consuming and challenging, and customer experience left much room for improvement.
As part of their digital transformation initiative, the client needed to consolidate all their systems to achieve a 360-degree customer view from a centralized location. They also wanted their customer data to be accessible by other systems and departments, to increase overall productivity and improve customer experience.
The client was in the process of developing an ordering web portal (Order Desk Portal) and to ensure successful implementation, they had to implement a Master Data Management (MDM) solution to master, link, clean, enrich, and govern customer data. They also needed to enhance governance and build business processes to keep customer data clean across all business departments. The client had made several attempts at implementing a viable MDM solution internally, but the outcomes had not been satisfying. Eventually, they decided to leverage Ataccama Master Data Centre (MDC) and were looking for a suitable implementation partner to help them quickly deliver an MDM solution.
Adastra was selected by the client as the ideal partner for a multitude of reasons. We had previously worked with the client and understood their business and challenges and had a proven track record of delivering successful solutions for them. Adastra also had extensive experience with Data Quality and Master Data Management, Data Governance, and the Ataccama MDM platform and we were able to leverage the platform’s fast development cycles and build a plan that fit their demanding timelines.
In the first phase of our engagement, instead of merely providing the client with the basic design, architecture, and mockups, the Adastra team built an initial working solution in just 2 months. This accelerated demo was presented to the business users and enabled the client to uncover its benefits at a very early stage, do a cost/benefit analysis, and decide whether the solution would be able to meet all their requirements.
Adastra leveraged Ataccama MDC 12.2 to build an MDM hub in order to collect data from multiple source systems and create “golden records” of their customer data. The customer data included the Customer, Vendor, Individual, Contact, Address, Asset and Order entities, with their relationships and hierarchies. Ataccama Master Data Admin (MDA) was configured to visualize the data in the hub. Ataccama Data Quality Issue Tracker (DQIT) was used to support the exception management processes. A Party model was built to provide the data for each Customer, as well as their contacts, addresses, assets, and orders. As part of the project, we not only implemented the solution, but also provided a governance framework so that the client could effectively and efficiently use the solution.
The solution was built in two phases – the initial phase of 11 weeks, and a follow-up phase of about 18 weeks. Adastra used a combination of local on-site and offshore resources (Best Shoring delivery model) to optimize costs and fast-track delivery of the project to meet the client’s timelines.
The objective of the first phase was to lay the foundation and using a sub-set of the systems and adding basic entities to deliver a working solution to the client, upon which we could then build further.
We developed an MDM solution to master customer data from 3 key source systems (their CRM, ERP, and a custom technical design platform), 1 file extract, and reference data. We also ensured that the Order Desk Portal had access to clean and governed customer data.
During this phase, the Adastra team worked closely with the client’s technical and business teams to gather requirements and create data quality and business rules. A Party Master model was created, leveraging the Data Warehouse model. A standardized batch load interface was built along with processes allowing load at any frequency. Automated cleansing, standardization, enrichment, and matching rules were established and a standardized request/response API interface for downstream consumption was configured.
A standardized web-based search and view interface was provided for end users and data stewards using Ataccama MDA and DQIT. The data covered Customer, Location, Asset, Individual and Contact entities and the relationships between them. Over 200 critical data elements were loaded into the Master data hub. There were no major challenges during this phase, except that for some entities, there was no clear business knowledge.
The objective of the second phase was to enhance the solution by adding in more attributes and additional relationships.
We extended the model with the Vendor entity and added an additional source system. To improve the functionality of the MDM hub, we also upgraded to Ataccama MDC 12.3. A new relationship was established between Individual and Address entities, and additional source systems were introduced to enhance the Address and Asset entities.
A lot of potential duplicated, invalid records, and unexpected differences were flagged visually to provide a better user experience in the web UI. Ataccama DQIT was enabled in its full functionality, and Exceptions Management was introduced. In total, over 240 critical data elements were loaded into the Master Data Hub.
- 360-degree customer view
- 200+ critical data elements in the MDM hub
- 10x customer identification time
The MDM Hub enabled the client to have a 360-degree view of their customers and vendors, allowing them to quickly identify customers who called with service or order requests and provide faster service. They were now able to leverage their consolidated data captured from various source systems and browse through the customer/vendor attributes and get a better understanding of a particular customer’s orders, purchase history, service requests as well as glean the attributes and relationships of each data record.
The Data Analysts and Stewards were provided with a fast, flexible, modern Web User Interface (UI), allowing them to quickly browse through master data and efficiently deliver on their daily tasks, and an Exception Management Web UI for data governance and resolution of data quality issues. On an average, the client was able to identify customers 5 to 10 times faster than they could before the solution was implemented.
Better visibility into customer and prospect data and faster identification translated into faster customer service and a greatly improved customer experience. Moreover, with a data governance framework and DQ tools in place, the overall quality of the client’s customer data improved. This made it possible for this data to be used by different departments and for different aspects of business.
Master Data Management allows organizations to develop and maintain a “single version” of the truth for key data. Golden records of customers, in this case, provided full traceability and a 360-degree view of each customer, which in turn helped the client optimize their ordering and service processes, in order to deliver an enhanced customer experience. This will undoubtedly result in lower customer churn rate over time and may encourage repeat sales. The same trusted, mastered, and governed data could also be used by organizations for streamlining their marketing campaigns, making data-led business decisions, and planning for the future. Moreover, with an increase in employee efficiency and productivity, the organization will now have the resources to further scale their business and increase revenues. For any organization that relies extensively on data, Master Data Management becomes crucial to ensure that their data is complete, usable, and readily accessible for both operations and business decision-making.
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