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Data Quality Helps Drive Saab Cars USA's CRM Initiatives

Published
  • July 01 2003, 1:00am EDT
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REVIEWER: Robert Henry, manager of e-commerce and CRM solutions for Saab Cars USA.

BACKGROUND: Saab Cars USA, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Saab Automobile AB, is the importer and distributor of Saab 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles and is headquartered in Norcross, Georgia. Saab Cars USA sold nearly 38,000 cars in 2002 and hopes to exceed 45,000 cars in 2003. We are looking to grow that number to 50,000 and higher, and our CRM initiatives will play a big role in helping us achieve that goal.

PLATFORMS: Saab Cars USA's OLTP environment consists of nine multiprocessor Compaq Windows NT servers running Oracle8i and Siebel Automotive 6.3. We currently have 300,000 customer records in our database, with another 500,000 prospect names contained in the system. An Oracle8i-based data warehouse, which exchanges and shares data with the Siebel CRM system, directly supports our direct marketing group. Saab Cars USA has a sophisticated data integration model for incorporating legacy system data, primarily from IBM AS/400 systems that store vehicle and warranty information. In addition, we have a number of outside data sources that send us data, such as lead information from the Web site and lists we purchase for specific marketing campaigns.

PROBLEM SOLVED: In support of our customers, as well as our more than 200 U.S.- based dealers, Saab Cars USA rolled out TouchPoint, an enterprise-wide CRM solution and strategy. TouchPoint manages all leads generated by Saab Cars USA via our Web site, advertisements, auto shows and special marketing events. Saab customer sales representatives use TouchPoint ­ a Siebel-based CRM system ­ to answer questions or forward prospect information to individual dealers. In phase one of TouchPoint, deployed in early 2002, we rolled-out our Customer Interaction Center, consisting of a customer assistance center and a lead management center. In phase two, deployed late in 2002, Saab Cars USA integrated Siebel Automotive Marketing into the mix. In both rollouts, Saab Cars USA incorporated Firstlogic's Information Quality Suite.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Saab Cars USA uses Firstlogic's Information Quality Suite to cleanse and standardize customer and prospect data, as well as match and consolidate it into a single customer view. Data cleansing and matching is a very powerful capability because it masks a "down and dirty" function. Data cleansing and matching is difficult to do programmatically, and Firstlogic's Information Quality Suite performs this difficult function quite elegantly. It is very powerful to be able to consolidate all of these customer records into a single view.

STRENGTHS: The strengths of Firstlogic's Information Quality Suite include ease of use, householding capabilities, customization capabilities and standardization capabilities.

WEAKNESSES: The documentation could be expanded to further illustrate product features and functionality.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Saab Cars USA conducted an extensive due diligence of the leading data quality solutions and selected Firstlogic because of its ease of use ­ which it rated number one ­ as well as its strong standardization, customization and householding capabilities. We initially selected Firstlogic because of its integration with Siebel. Firstlogic's Data Quality Link for Siebel is seamlessly integrated to enable real-time data cleansing. We have garnered tremendous value from the product outside of Siebel in both batch and in real-time applications. Because we are increasing our number of lead sources and data integration points, we try to eliminate duplicates at the point of entry. Firstlogic will play a key role in that effort.

DELIVERABLES: All leads that are generated by Saab Cars USA are funneled through Firstlogic, either electronically via our data integration model, or keyed into the front end by our lead management team. Consumers, prospects and customers who call in to our Customer Interaction Center are interactively validated and standardized against the addresses in real time so we know if we are being given a valid address. We have been able to easily customize the Firstlogic software to configure matching criteria using weighted values in specified fields. The result is that we were able to reduce our database size by 50,000 records. Before integrating Firstlogic's Information Quality Suite into our enterprise CRM environment, we outsourced our data cleansing and preparation to a third party that also ran our marketing campaigns. Firstlogic has enabled us to bring those capabilities in house as well as given us the ability to run our own campaigns. We have saved significant dollars in terms of overhead associated with the outside agency, as well as associated reporting costs. The Firstlogic solution has more than paid for itself.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Our experiences with Firstlogic have been extremely positive.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is good.

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