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Crisis in CRM : A Quick win using SAP MDM

Customer Relationship Management and Master Data Management

In every Business process of an organization, customer is always the center of interest and plays a vital role. So every organization needs more accurate, streamlined reliable and secure information about its customers. Specially in the highly regulated industries such as health and life science, which are subjected to a host of state and federal regulations, the current and accurate knowledge about its customer, their demographics and preferences are highly important.

For e.g. in the year 1999, a pharmaceutical company has earned more than its share for a particular drug by price gouging it in the face of AIDS epidemic and anti-obesity drug. But, later in 2002, the drug was recalled, as it had some adverse side affects like an increased risk of heart attack or strokes. As a result of this the manufacturer was undergoing public relation crisis and continued collecting more regulatory threats by the day, there by maligning the Company’s image in the market. The Company could not take timely action as its data was distributed across the heterogeneous system landscape and moreover due to the functional separation between the manufacturing, marketing, sales and services unit, it was difficult for even a CRM system to get a unified picture of its customers to whom these drugs were sold. What added to the crisis was that, even the key clients were put off, as the system sometimes did not provide the real status due to inaccurate or incomplete data, for example the name or address was not properly entered. In short, it ends up with a holistic view of customers.

Problem discussed above not only pertains to Pharmaceutical sector but in every industry sector as customer is Key entity in any organization .There are many other factors which aggravates the inefficiency within CRM.

  • Large Volume of data.
  • Improper communication between customer relationship chains which leads to incomplete picture of customer Data.
  • Due to merger and acquisition, the ERP systems continue to run in parallel thereby creating duplicate records in the customer master.
  • Many customers in sales and distribution area enter with multiple names in order to gain opportunities for free trial subscription which affects financial liability for the company
  • All the inefficiencies in master data finally affect reporting which has a great impact on CRM analytics.


Given these uncertain environment, companies are making huge investments on privacy management, marketing option in solution for customers and spend management reporting by implementing master data management which gives a more flexible, unified, centralized and reliable customer data so cost can be readily justified with proven return on investment (ROI).


Above mentioned challenges can be easily addressed by implementing Master Data Management (MDM) as it provides a global view of the customer, that is provides a “Single version of truth” .Best practices to implement MDM in integration with CRM and its Architecture is explained through the following Landscape.




Best Practices:

  • Data Life cycle audit should be done in order to find data related problem and improve data reliability by reviewing the data and identifying a set of measures to tackle the same.
  • Extract global data from source system and send it to MDM server ftp folder through process integrator.
  • Import the source data into MDM either through single Load process or through multiple loads.
  • Consolidate the data into MDM according to specific criteria i.e. records should be compared and in certain circumstances should be merged.(If scenario demands then connect MDM to 3rd party enrichment tools like Acxiom ,Trillium etc ).
  • Consolidated data should be distributed (harmonization) to respective source system via process integrator or to analytical system as per the requirement.


Other references:

SAP Net weaver Master Data Management : Galileo Press

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