The interaction between business departments and IT has often been a source of tension within company ranks. Lack of transparency, a different view of the customer and a general cultural conflict are just a few symptoms of the clash between these organisational silos. That is why, here at OnModus, addressing this tension has become our priority as we guide our customers along the path of digital transformation.
In a recent project with one of our clients in the clothing & fashion industry, discovering the pain points between the business department and IT was critical to aligning the organisation and making it a digital enterprise. Alexandru Sabau, Digital Project Manager at OnModus, joins us in the conversation.
‘In the fashion industry, product information and product data are still very inconsistent among clothing suppliers. Formats and level of detail can vary greatly. Suppliers send product data files not only in different formats, such as EDI or Excel, but also with a lot of missing information like group codes, season codes and colour codes. The business department spends valuable resources to streamline this various data from hundreds of suppliers and prepare it for their internal or external product information systems. To ensure brand consistency and relevant product data communication for customers and end users, it's important to have the right product data coming in. Thus, the focus on this process already makes resources scarce’.
And when the majority of resources are being spent on aligning supplier data, the product data enrichment process is slowed even more when marketing and IT are highly interdependent, since communication between the two departments is often slow and difficult. ‘Whenever a supplier updates their product data taxonomy, the business department communicates the changes to IT, which in turn has to optimise the product information systems for a perfect import. This ultimately leads to a longer time to market, lower product availability and frustration on both sides’, Alexandru adds.
Since data analytics and business intelligence are two of our core competencies, OnModus offered to enable our customer's business department through technology. The goal was to prototype a solution that empowers marketers to gain full control of their processes. 'We aimed to create a solution that eliminates time lost communicating product data changes between departments. Through Alteryx, a workflow-based, self-service analytics tool, we showcased a prototype for the business department that automatically processed product data into the right format for import into the product information system, eliminating the need to coordinate changes with IT', explains Alexandru. The prototype solution can result in reduced time to market for products, increased product availability, increased brand consistency and, ultimately, improved customer experience.
Transferring such a capability in-house can have a crucial empowering effect within individual departments. ‘We realised that we are offering an opportunity for our clients to focus on activities that add value for the end customer, and to learn new and relevant skills. Both business and IT departments have the chance to reduce countless hours of manual data input and inefficient communication due to out-dated processes'. Furthermore, enabling our clients through a software solution might have additional hidden benefits. ‘The solution turned out to be a breath of fresh air for employees. They can now minimise their relationship with spreadsheets and start focusing on team efforts that drive positive customer experience. Software can play a part in forming a customer-centric culture', Alexandru concludes.
As an Alteryx partner, OnModus offers the opportunity for clients to become self-empowered in their analytical and data processes. Want to find out more how OnModus can help your organisation's departments to become data independent?Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.