Solid Strategies for Surviving a Slowdown (Part 2)

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Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series written by Jim Walker from Initiate Systems. You can find Part 1 here.

Here are the rest of the six proven business strategies fueled by real-time, accurate and complete customer data in a master data management (MDM) system:

Use customer service to retain customers and cut costs: Acquiring customers is expensive, and losing them is even more costly. Better customer service will improve customer satisfaction and retention and reduce your costs. Empowering your touch points with a complete and accurate view of each of your customers and their relationships provides a clear picture to both your customer and your representatives. Automated collection and presentation of complete customer information to service professionals reduces search times and has a positive effect on call waiting times, increasing productivity and reducing costs. It allows you to never ask a customer to repeat themselves. Accurate composite customer data enables web self-service applications with a single view of multiple accounts to empower your visitors to help themselves. 

Be bold, change the playing field; buy a competitor: A downturn will have an indelible effect on many industries as valuations decrease and otherwise impossible consolidations becomes plausible. Historically, the most successful mergers are made in downturns. According to Harvard Business Review, “downturn mergers generate about 15% more value, as measured by total shareholder return, than boom-time mergers.” However, capital is sparse and careful due diligence of a potential target is imperative, as their problems will become yours if the merger is completed. Merger analysis should include careful consideration of customers and any potential risks. This knowledge will help you make sense of a bold move during a tenuous time. 

Regulations never go away: An economic downturn does not delay compliance with government regulations. In fact as a slide continues, governments look to increase regulation to prevent future issues. Compliance in a recession is imperative so that you avoid costly fines that may have a devastating effect on your financial picture.

Obtaining and delivering accurate, comprehensive customer data is at the foundation of all six of these strategies. Your level of success will depend on the quality of the data that feeds each of these business improvements. An accurate data foundation allows you to deliver on fixing short-term pains, while setting up long-term gains. A new breed of data management technology has evolved to meet these challenges.

Master data management enables delivery of these valuable strategies and objectives. It provides complete, accurate customer views and valuable hierarchy management to your customer data. Reliability and effectiveness of this data is determined by its accuracy and ability to reflect real world conditions in any situation where that data is used.

Jim Walker is a Senior Manager, Field Marketing for Initiate Systems, a leading provider of master data management (MDM) solutions. Jim specializes in researching and writing on the effects of MDM on the enterprise. He has held numerous marketing positions at enterprise software companies, focusing on data management and security. He has also designed and implemented large scale enterprise systems as a technology consultant. Jim holds a MBA in e-commerce from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in Computer Engineering form the University of Illinois at Chicago. He can be reached at

Click here for Part 1 of this series.

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  1. Solid Strategies for Surviving a Slowdown (Part 1) « Hub Designs Blog - 03/17/2009

    […] Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series written by Jim Walker from Initiate Systems. You can find Part 2 here. […]

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