NOV 30, 2011 1:39pm ET

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Lowe's: From Customer Data to Customer Loyalty


Home improvement retailer Lowe's is in the midst of an ambitious set of data and information management projects aimed at customer loyalty, store efficiency and mobility. Together, the retailer hopes the efforts will mark a new generation of competitive customer service.

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Comments (3)
MDM (via CUSTOMER operational master initially, ITEM, LOCATION and VENDOR as well) has enabled Lowe's to shift its focus from being a "product-based seller" to becoming a "project-based seller."

The underpinnings of Teradata Active Data Warehouse and IBM MDM Server further enables both the business processes associated with the suppliers (e.g., collaborative business process executions) and business processes associated with shops (e.g., supporting professional design and custom order services). In these hybrid situations, the strategy for MDM is very important.

Lowe's also seems to shifting from being a "product-based" seller to be a "project-based" seller.

All brought together by judicious application of enterprise data governance to treat data as actual asset - with both BPM and ECM to be treated as "assets" as well.

Nice! Very nice!

Aaron Zornes Chief Research Officer The MDM Institute

Posted by Aaron Z | Thursday, December 01 2011 at 6:33PM ET
More and more organizations are disenfranchising their most important asset, "customers" behind ever more elaborate technologies whilst their customers wonder what happened to customer service. This is evident to those of us to shop at "big box" stores like Lowes and Home Depot.

When they first came on the scene these stores were all about personalized customer service. They took their cues from Wal-Mart with greeters at the entrance. Over the past few years I have witnessed a deterioration of personalized customer service to the point that in some instances the staff run away from customers or have employee gatherings in the aisles while customers are waiting for help.

In lieu of addressing this customer service deterioration we see companies investing in technologies which they claim will bring them "closer" to the customer or provide a 360 degree view of the customer, or understand the customer better. Online services, IVR's, self-service customer profiling all intended to build customer loyalty have a tendency to build barriers.

I suggest that before companies embark on esoteric technologies; make sure the basics of customer service are sustainable. Perhaps paying staff a fraction of the monies spent on technology might motivate them to encourage one-on-one customer service. Many of these technologies actually result in disenfranchising customers.

Also, I suggest that both of these big box stores should review their supply chain processes as well. I have experienced firsthand out of stock items which remain so for weeks on end. Make sure the fundamentals of the business are working efficiency and effectively before building IT towers that lift you above the customer fray.

Posted by Richard O | Friday, December 02 2011 at 7:15AM ET
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