REVIEWER: Hossein Hosseini, database marketing manager for Avery Dennison.

BACKGROUND: Avery Dennison is the world leader in pressure-sensitive technology, self-adhesive base materials, self-adhesive consumer and office products, and specialized label systems. We operate in 89 countries, with more than 200 manufacturing facilities and sales offices worldwide and more than 20,000 employees. We use consumer data to increase our consumer knowledge, build product usage, drive brand loyalty, increase customer value at an acceptable ROI and build knowledge of Avery consumers.

PLATFORMS: Our consumer data is stored in Oracle using Sun Solaris.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The data quality challenges faced by Avery Dennison included: non-transaction environment (no unique ID), multiple records (duplicates), multiple touchpoints, infrequent outbound (data aging), worldwide names and addresses, lack of data capture standards and a high cost of data cleaning (without acceptable ROI). Our major customer touchpoints include: consumer call center, Web site, survey and business reply cards, joint programs with partners, and in-packing and on-packing survey cards. Through these touchpoints, we reach more than 8 million Avery Web site visitors annually, hold more than 2,000 consumer seminars for corporate administration assistants and reach more than 1 million readers quarterly through our Great Results newsletter. We also have more than 8 million consumers in our database, handle more than 630,000 consumer service center calls and maintain a strong retail and commercial channel distribution. Although we have been collecting customer information since 1996, we keep only current data and have amassed more than 8 million consumer records consisting of name, address and profile information since 2000. We use DataFlux to standardize many consumer data fields (for example, customer title ­ 50,000 different titles were reduced to 5,000 at first pass and classified in 20 categories). We also use it for address correction and verification, using consistent standards for every field. We are also using the product to develop and implement consumer segmentation strategies in order to keep data clean at the source and to develop and implement data rules for each touchpoint.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The DataFlux Data Management solution is an integral part of our CRM strategy. To Avery Dennison, CRM is a business strategy where we develop and manage relationships with our most valuable consumers. We use the DataFlux products in our overall strategy to identify consumers by individual and address, differentiate them by value and needs, and interact with them more cost efficiently and effectively. DataFlux products also ensure good consumer data.

STRENGTHS: Its primary strength is its powerful technology accessed through an easy-to-use GUI. It allows us to operate in real time or batch, link to third-party tools and perform address standardization, international addressing, matching and consolidation, and reporting. The most important feature is the ease of use on the desktop.

WEAKNESSES: Implementation on the server environment created some challenges for us. The product required more support than expected to perform the tasks we require. The level of technical support was great, and our issues were addressed in a timely fashion.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We chose DataFlux based on its technology (primarily ease of use), the fit with our current and future environment, and also price. The biggest advantage was ease of use of the GUI interface.

DELIVERABLES: The DataFlux Data Management solution allowed us to address our data quality issues. We started with a sample of the data, refined the process and then applied solutions to the total database. Like many other products, allowing time for learning was key. By getting our IT partners involved at all stages, we developed business rules and a clear implementation path. In the longer term, the DataFlux solution will help Avery Dennison collect only the data that is needed ­ as clean as possible ­ the first time, at the consumer touchpoint. As we append customer records with industry data such as SIC codes, having standard names and addresses is very helpful. The key for us around data quality was to develop processes that are current.

VENDOR SUPPORT: DataFlux sends in their professional services people to train users. Technical support and product upgrades have been great.

DOCUMENTATION: Although DataFlux has an intuitive and powerful user interface, we think they need to do a better job on the user documentation.

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