Stratature +EDM

REVIEWER: Frans Cronje, applications manager for Tiger Brands.

BACKGROUND: Based in South Africa, food and healthcare giant Tiger Brands manufactures and distributes products to retail centers through a consortium of companies. Food products include market-leading brands that range from breakfast cereals, confectionary and dairy products, to canned and ready-to-eat foods, salty snacks and baked goods. Tiger Brands healthcare division manufactures over-the-counter and prescription medicines as well as hospital products.

PLATFORMS: Stratature +EDM's multitier environment is comprised of a database server, Web server and reporting server. The database server runs on Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000; our Web server on Windows Server 2003, IIS 6.0 and Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1; and our reporting server on Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Reporting Services. +EDM users run in a zero-footprint environment on PCs with Windows 2000/XP and Internet Explorer 6.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Tiger Brands needed to improve customer data consistency between business units to gain a better understanding of customer buying patterns. Each of the 23 business units used a different customer tracking system. There was no consistency regarding customer identification and reporting. The fact that Tiger Brands had 23 different systems, each with its own way of numbering our customers, not only created an unmanageable 130,000-member data hierarchy, but also made it impossible to get a clear picture of our customers' cross-product buying profiles. We really needed "one point of truth" about our customers. To manage this project, we engaged Knowledge Integration Dynamics (KID), a leader in delivering high-performance business intelligence solutions to the South African corporate market. KID solved our problem by bringing in +EDM from Stratature.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: +EDM provides a user-friendly, centralized repository for dimension and hierarchy management. Tiger uses +EDM to pull customer data from the various Oracle instances, sort it, renumber it and push it back into a new, single Oracle instance. +EDM also pushes accurate and consistent hierarchy structures back to other applications. +EDM gives us a way to visualize our data. The master data management approach enabled by +EDM allows us to create a much-needed hierarchy driven by customers. The customer-driven hierarchy made possible by +EDM allows us to evaluate data across these hierarchies by criteria such as "in this region, report on customers, by trade marketing code." As a result of the +EDM implementation, we have reduced our 130,000-member hierarchy by nearly two-thirds to 45,000 members.

STRENGTHS: We were impressed by +EDM's rapid implementation. In less than a month, +EDM had consolidated our 23 different business units' customer data to +EDM. The real strength is in the ease with which +EDM manages dimensions and reporting hierarchies and the assurance that subscribing systems - across the enterprise - are reporting on accurate and consistent structures.

WEAKNESSES: +EDM has the capability to drive hierarchy relationships from attribute assignments, but lacks the ability to visualize these relationships within the application. Graphical derived hierarchies are an enhancement request that we will see in +EDM version 3.0 this fall.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We were looking for a flexible, out-of-the-box, user-friendly hierarchy manager from a customer satisfaction-oriented vendor. We wanted to access the business intelligence within our customer data, but not at the expense of a lengthy consultative engagement. KID knew that +EDM would meet our hierarchy management challenges, and that Stratature was the kind of vendor with which we wanted to do business.

DELIVERABLES: Before +EDM, when a large customer made a change, it took seven hours for each of the 23 systems to be updated. Now, the same changes are made in one hour. We predict a three-year ROI of USD $270K.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We are pleased with Stratature's support and attention to enhancement requests. The Customer-Central Web site contains software, updates, electronic manuals and a knowledgebase.

DOCUMENTATION: Two hardcover product guides clearly led us through the installation and administration.

Stratature +EDM
Stratature, Inc.
100 Mansell Court East
Roswell, GA 30076

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