By: Derek Corrick, General Manager, Data Management at Pivotree
Most businesses have an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to manage key parts of their operations, including accounting and resource management. These systems are a big investment and, as a result, many business leaders rely on them extensively to manage all aspects of their data landscape. While that may have been an adequate approach to enterprise data management for many years, it isn’t so in today’s digital economy. Now with many key parts of an organization needing clean and accurate product, customer and location data in order to serve their end customers, they need to realize that an ERP is not equipped to do the job.
This is especially relevant to retailers, brand manufactures, and distributors where data fuels the entire information supply chain and where a business’ growth and success depends on seamlessly connecting disparate platforms to help customers find the product they need, securely purchase it, and have it quickly shipped and delivered – a true frictionless experience.
Silos aren’t good…for people or data
The data you have has exponentially increased in scope and complexity with every merger, acquisition and reorganization. Even without these events, your data has likely been caught up and duplicated in a myriad of systems and processes; some legacy, some new. It’s in spreadsheets and emails; it’s in ERPs as well as CRMs, warehouse systems, order management systems, and the list goes on.
Because of this it can be disorganized, messy and accessible only to certain people, systems and departments. Not only does this render the data inconsistent, invisible and unusable, it also sinks significant time and labour into tracking down and ‘cleaning up’ this data.
It’s common knowledge that siloed structures within an organization are bad for business because they cause inefficiency and friction. It’s the same when data is siloed.
As the number of channels and customer touchpoints increase in today’s digital economy, this problem is only going to get worse. To meet today’s customers expectations your ecosystem needs complete interoperability and integration.
Data management is the lifeblood of your business
Think of data as the lifeblood of your business. It needs to flow freely throughout your entire system; accessible to whoever and whatever needs it.
And with the ability to integrate disparate systems that draw from one free flowing data source, you won’t need to get rid of your expensive ERP and CRM systems. In other words, you now have options by adopting a composable, microservices architecture that is interconnected through an enterprise integration platform.
Make your data work for you, not the other way around
Data management should be an ongoing process of maintenance and governance, curation and cleansing to stay future ready and prepared for digital transformation.The Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) model takes this philosophy one step further through a turnkey, managed, one-stop-shop service that is entirely composable. This model ensures organizations can achieve speed-to-market, scalability and access to business insights for truly frictionless commerce.
DaaS can mean many things to many practitioners. At Pivotree, our DaaS offering is built on a flexible data fabric with integrated API microservices that make it easy to put your data to work without needing to invest in another new system or platform. With DaaS your data becomes easily accessible and liberates your business from adding more technology that deepens your technical debt and may worsen the siloed data problem.
From product acquisition to quickly classifying, enriching and optimizing product descriptions, and ensuring sales channel readiness, this data-as-a-service model allows your data to work for you– how you want it and when you want it. Think of it as data at your service.
The value of DaaS is in the details
So what does a turnkey managed data service look like? We recently worked with a Fortune 500 industrial supply company with over 3 million customers worldwide and nearly 600 branches, online channels and 33 distribution channels.
Before DaaS, onboarding their product SKUs and enriching the content was labour-intensive, time consuming and prone to human error. With DaaS, Pivotree automated those tasks, freeing up people and resources. Through the power of machine learning we were able to speed up workflows and processes to onboard and enrich a staggering 350,000 SKUs over a period of 6 weeks rather than 16 – reducing time to market by 75%.
By leveraging technology, people and analytics we were able to help this client scale up production while reducing errors, ensure products were in market before the competition, and enrich their data integrity and quality through every stage of the product life cycle.
The best aspect of DaaS is the lack of software implementation or interruptions to existing business operations. DaaS simply creates a data infrastructure so that your data is cohesive, consistent, and most importantly, always accessible, so that it can be leveraged for multiple purposes. The other great thing, with complete composability clients get to choose which aspects of DaaS offers the quickest impact for their greatest pain points. Is it new product onboarding with a goal to endless aisle, better content enrichment and more efficient workflow, or do you need to optimize channel syndication?
The future is now
Customers in 2023 expect more than ever. Gone are the days of taking on more and more technical debt for short-term solutions. In today’s fast-paced market and the expectation of exceptional service you can no longer afford to lose time or resources implementing yet another system that won’t entirely address your data pain points.. You need to take action now, reap immediate business outcomes for the least cost possible.
You may think the problem is your data. I can assure you it’s not. It’s the silos and the systems that are preventing your company from achieving a state of ‘frictionless’. The good news is there are solutions. Take the time to future-proof your business, liberate your data from the systems that constrain and silo it. Put your data to work. It’s there to serve you.
Pivotree designs, builds, and manages frictionless commerce experiences for brands and their customers around the world. When customers trust they can find, buy, and get the products they want, when and how they want — we call that experience frictionless commerce. And Pivotree is leading the charge. As a global collective of talented people passionate about shaping the future of frictionless commerce, Pivotree provides end-to-end solutions and services in Commerce, Data Management, and Supply Chain for hundreds of brands around the world.
For more information, visit www.pivotree.com.