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A global chemical company hired Accenture to develop its information strategy and build a data management and architecture program.
The objectives were to determine how to move data from legacy systems to a centrally managed infrastructure and to coordinate enterprise information in support of high performance. The new system promises to streamline operations and provide executives with trustworthy data when they need it.
This chemical company’s management needed timely, accurate information to support decision making. But a benchmarking effort found that others in the industry were making greater headway at giving their executives access to the right information. And, despite major investments, the company still derived limited value from its extensive IT systems.
Among the challenges: information was not captured in a standard way or format across the enterprise. There was a lack of global data governance, common definitions and formats. This information was housed in dispersed databases and locations. This made it difficult to locate and integrate data for corporate reporting and business analysis.
It was also challenging for the systems to respond to requests by business units, and many of the processes required manual intervention. In general, data was not managed as an asset in the way it was at other leading organizations.
The company needed a trusted third party to help it build a leading-edge data management and architecture capability. It turned to Accenture, which had already had successful collaborations with the client. We were selected due to our master data management expertise and our proven capabilities in employing reusable frameworks and assets to deliver accelerated, high-quality results.
Working with the chemical company, Accenture helped create a powerful new enterprise information management framework. We helped define the vision, build the business case and develop a detailed road map for data competency that used leading business practices and maximized previous investments. We also delivered a change plan for the program that addressed all aspects of the business operations, including the impact on the organization, people, processes and technology.
The project included identifying key areas such as customers, vendors, materials and finance. We evaluated each area against the benchmarks of Accenture’s framework to measure where the company is today and where it should be in the future.
For each area, we also identified the key issues and capabilities necessary for the management team to minimize challenges and add value to the company. For each data area, Accenture checked whether the sponsorship and data stewardship existed to move forward with the task of cleansing the data.
Accenture also delivered a three- to five-year phased project implementation plan. As part of the implementation plan, Accenture recommended using proven technology, including software from Informatica and SAP’s NetWeaver Master Data Management software.
One of the biggest challenges was convincing key stakeholders about the benefits of solid data management capabilities. By developing a prototype, Accenture was able to show these stakeholders the value of managing data from 100 global locations in a central repository.
Now Accenture is in the process of implementing the new data management system.
Already, the company is seeing benefits from its master data management efforts. The work has accelerated the retirement of multiple legacy systems and has allowed rapid integration during mergers and acquisitions.
When fully implemented, the new enterprise system will centrally manage key enterprise data. This will enable true enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management. The chemical company's decision makers will be able to depend on a single source of accurate, timely and consistent data. This will let executives plan strategic initiatives with confidence.
The new system is also expected to improve operations through lower inventory levels, consolidated purchasing and faster material order processing and vendor responses. Data management tools will also help to improve the likelihood of success for mergers and acquisitions.
With streamlined data management processes, it will be easier for employees to quickly find the right data. And a new, proactive approach should reduce data quality issues. By choosing Accenture to help deliver improved data management and architecture, the global chemical company has taken major strides toward its goal of becoming a high-performance business.
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