Creating a real overvalue for their members – with the electronic Data-Center (eDC), EDE, made this vision become reality.
The E/D/E (Einkaufsbüro Deutscher Eisenhändler GmbH) is Europe’s largest purchasing and marketing association in industrial B2B, with almost 1320 medium-sized trading companies.
This challenge is familiar to all the retailers. The information from the suppliers do rarely meet the own quality requirements. Important information are missing, the product images are not sufficiently qualitative and the categorization information does not match the own web shop. The preparation of the data requires much additional effort: Requesting feedback and additional information from the supplier, the creation of expressive marketing texts, photo shootings and manual enriching of the data with the required product information.
It is the same effort in several commercial enterprises. The basic idea for the eDC, the electronic Data Center of E/D/E was to centralize the effort and to arrange the entire compound more efficient. A platform, which makes media and channel neutral product data for the entire assortment of E/D/E available.
In future the E/D/E preprocesses the complete manufacturer product data in a new comprehensive classification standard – in highest quality over all manufacturer data – and provides it centrally to the commerce/trade through the eDC.
E/D/E leverages data quality to a new level
Though it sounds simple and a logical step, the process means a mammoth project. About 400.000 articles had to be checked and reprocessed to be ready for the “publication” into the different sales channels.
The product information management system (PIM) of Informatica was decided to be the technical base. Here articles are applied, then classified, refined, checked and preprocessed for the publication. Data fragments coming from the ERP system SAP are enriched automatized.
A manual for data suppliers defines precise requirements on the provided data material. Data is prequalified in the first step through the Informatica Data quality module (IDQ). As many suppliers are not capable to refine the required data by themselves, a manual editing by product experts from E/D/E was added to the process of the data maintenance and refinement.
Product images are the first impression for customers. Within seconds, they drive the decision of a customer to read into the product description. If the product picture is missing, it causes a purchase loss. It is a matter of course that E/D/E wants to provide the photo material as elementary component of the product data for the merchandising.
The publication of the media assets in the sales channels is effected by means of the automated media manager of the Informatica PIM.
For the implementation of the project, E/D/E got parsionate, an experienced partner, on board. The already existing know how in-house has been completed optimal by the external expertise. Besides internal resources bottlenecks at peaks in the project progression can be balanced optimal.
parsionate supported E/D/E primarily in the section of the aim- and process definition as well as in the project management. But also the technical specialists of the parsionate team were called into action for the implementation and configuration of the utilized software products. The proven procedure model for PIM projects as well as the excellent level of project experience of the Consultants gained a clear time saving in the project progression and also ensured the safety of success.
The entire project has been divided organizational into nine sub-projects. This procedure increases the flexibility in the project and enables regularly project successes.
„The Brain-On-Modus“ was an important factor for the success of the project“, reflected Sebastian Hardung, project manager of E/D/E. “To have an open mind for new ways of thinking, and not to hold on to legacy structures and to check everything at least twice.”
An intensive project communication and the aimed involvement of users, contributed E/D/E-internal to the acceptance of the new system and the motivation of all participants – also an important base for the project success.
A fundamental premise on the architecture of the IT system landscape was to stay preferably close to the standard of the used software systems. The subsequent installation of bug-fixes and updates can ensue fast and uncomplicated and the entire system is held sustainable and up-to-date.
„The huge trust based on the transparency between the project partners parsionate and E/D/E has delighted me. The fair cooperation as well as a clean and professional procedure are distinctive for the entire project and were essential for the success” explained Michael Mezger, project manager from parsionate.
After the successful go live of the eDC, E/D/E continues working together with parsionate on further process optimizations. By this, a comprehensive business process management within the eDC environment and other in the process incorporated systems will be established. Also deeper integration into the TMS system as well as the translation process and an upgrade to Informatica Product 360 (a.k.a. PIM 8) are planned.