Quality is job one.
Ford Motor Company’s famous ad campaign symbolized the great quality wars of the 70’s and 80’s, where every maker of goods battled for market share armed with quality tests and advertising. Across shores Honda battled Ford, Sony battled Zenith, and high quality was the prime measure from consumers and business buyers alike.
“Quality is our way of life.” This famous slogan by Whirlpool goes back as far as 1979. With print and TV ads the message was critical clear. Whirlpool told its customers that quality was an “everyday commitment.” Even then, in a time where there was runaway inflation, Whirlpool advertising boldly told their customers, we “live with inflation” too, but we resist the “temptation” of “compromising quality.”
Other famous slogans and trademarks include Reynolds Wrap’s “Our quality shines through,” and Apples’ Steve Jobs, “Be a yardstick of quality” Quality and patience have always been synonymous since the building of the pyramids to today.
Today Expectations Have Changed
What’s changing today is no one likes to wait, but quality couldn’t be more important to compete in the market. Not only at a digital customer level, but behind-the-scenes, operational level, data which runs our lives and our businesses must have a high degree of quality to ensure safe products, accurate deliveries, and competitive advantage.
Manual data entry has been the defacto way to keep up with this data quality operation. Only until tools have become available in recent years for complex systems have companies realized just how slow the bottlenecks are due to these manual processes. Data readiness is an incremental, often queued time in process. Also, data profiling tools have shown organizations manual data operations can help ensure improved quality metrics but that any manual operation is subject to errors in addition to long lead times.
Data is also often inconsistent. One department might identify a customer with a Customer ID, and another might do the same identification using Last name and email address.
This led to the growth of master data management -a super set of data that an organization can adhere to help create true 360 Views of the business, the customers etc.
Data Ready for Business
The predictions of Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT’s Media Lab, a popular columnist for Wired and author of the prophetic book – Being Digital – have arrived. Real-time data is a necessity, and Innowera believes the era of being Data Ready is here. He’s long predicted digital will be and “is everywhere, and [when] digital is everywhere, doing digital stuff means coming back to pre-digital stuff. It’s about customer relationship, process automation, customer or employee engagement. Employer or product branding. Well-being. Learning. Supply chain management. Process engineering. Leadership and management improvement.” Everything relies on data, ready data.
Innowera has ready solutions to speed up data
With the new era of Big Data, if your data is aged or incomplete then what is the Big Deal. In the SAP world, this problem is even more pronounced when enormous amounts of data are running critical business processes or feeding the customer, you need to be Data Ready. No need for data to be a bottleneck in performance.
If a price list is delayed, sales promotions can also be delayed which leads to lost revenue opportunities. Could a situation like that have been avoided by giving the data owner a tool to update the prices in mass with an automated solution made for a business user?
At Innowera we have over 9 years of providing leading tools for managing data quality to SAP customers in a wide variety of industries both large and small. Some of our customers include Hershey’s, Sony, Verizon, Shell, ABB and Heineken.
Innowera’s flagship product Process Runner, for example, reduces the total cost of ownership of SAP systems by enabling users with mass update capabilities and workflow solutions to SAP systems using Microsoft Excel, Microsoft SharePoint, and mobile devices.
Best Place to Start to Get Data Ready
Where are Innowera customers seeing high cost savings through automating data management? There are so many areas I can only summarize a few that are most common. We’ve found companies are driving automation and innovation in data management in these areas and more:
- Financial Reconciliations and Journaling
- Sales and Order Management
- Material Master changes and errors
- Supply Chain processes automation (like BOMS)
- Plant Maintenance
- Manually posting documents
- Purchase Order data processing
- Vendor Record
- Master Customer Records
- Synchronizing master data in multiple systems
Start where you can show the business effects are greatest, and relative value will be highest with a modest investment in data quality. That is where you should start. It makes it much easier to get sponsorship for your ideas and initiatives once you’ve shown dramatic business change with automation.
Ask yourself the question, can I improve this business process with data improvement or automation, and if so, what are the effects?
Business initiatives such as:
- Automation of plant maintenance processes and data almost invariably will save on downtime of equipment, and uptime on the floor.
- Improve your customer data address accuracy, and you will predictably decrease missed shipments and reshipment costs.
- Automating order entry increases Manufacturing Cycle Time and significantly increase annual sales by year end.
I work with Innowera, and in my biased opinion, provides some of the best agile tools to manage SAP data for new business users to the most experienced power users. We surpass anything out there in the market today for empowerment of the business users so that they can manage their SAP data easily and efficiently extending SAP to Excel, SharePoint, databases, web browsers and mobile devices to name a few.
Hope you find ways to improve your data quality and business operations and save time and money in the process.
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