Case Study: A Failure of Data Management at Sears

by Angela Guess

Thomas Kase of Spend Matters recently shared we he sees as a failure of Master Data Management at Sears. Kase writes, “Procurement can get isolated. It can report to various internal clients and be measured against arbitrary KPIs. Even price reduction achievements are arbitrary if you don’t implement them or if the quality, delivery, etc. is subpar. Yet data integration can help overcome business isolation and a failure to align metrics effectively. But there’s some good news (one hopes). With procurement, finance, legal, and the sell-side gradually converging in their datasets, sharing data points, and ideally working off an MDM (master data management) playbook, integration is no longer avoidable – one can embrace it! Here’s a practical frontline example from Sears.”

Kase continues, “As background, I have shopped at the local Sears store for many years. My shopping carts have consisted of specialty tool purchases, larger goods such as fridges, freezers, cooktops (they even carry upscale brands like Bosch, and their warranties and local support are good) and similar infrequent purchase items that I’d rather not buy off the web. In the process I’ve acquired a Sears card, so they “know” me by now. Or so I thought. This past weekend, I went to Sears’ auto section (located right next to the general Sears store in its own building with a tire center) looking for a battery for my brother-in-law’s car. Again, their warranty is attractive. Battery found, and about to purchase, alas, I left my Sears card is at home… Not to fear, I don’t need to show it in the store, they just pull up my record and I key in the PIN and, voila. Well, not quite. That won’t work in the auto department. ‘Our systems don’t talk to each other,’ said the lady behind the register.”

Read more here.

photo credit: Sears

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