Neopost is a market-leading global provider of mailing solutions, digital communications and shipping services. Founded in 1924, its fast-growing business serves more than 800,000 customers in 31 countries with logistics, customer information management and document output solutions for enterprises and mailing centers.
As Neopost focused on modernizing its offerings and delivery for the digital age, strong data management has played a key role. “Besides developing the actual software we sell our customers, we’ve got to build an infrastructure where data quality is paramount,“ says Steve Rakoczy, Neopost’s North America CIO. “You can make a mess really quickly in the electronic age if you don’t have your data right.”
Neopost's objective was to eliminate complex integrations and disparate data sources to establish a single, trusted view of its customers and prospects. This would drive all of their applications. CRM Director Greg McLaughlin teamed with Gautam Anne, an IT director at Neopost, on a cross-functional effort to simplify their approach and maximize data quality. “Over the past 10 years we have had numerous initiatives to clean and de-dupe our data,” says Greg McLaughlin, the CRM director for Neopost North America. “We tried to do it ourselves. We had varying success, but we never really hit the mark.” Neopost needed to bring in the expertise of D&B to help them master their data.
Having worked with Dun & Bradstreet for their credit management the Neopost team turned to D&B again for this important initiative. Neopost delivered 4.5 million customer and prospect records over to D&B and received back a fully mastered data list that was cleansed, enriched and linked ready for business use. “D&B has given us a sense of where we have duplicate accounts and which ones should be the survivors,” McLaughlin says. "New records are added on a weekly basis, and quarterly scans with the D&B referential data ensure that our database quality is consistently established."
How It Works
Neopost employed a five-step process to master its data with Dun & Bradstreet:
- D&B’s Optimizer solution is a data improvement process used to Cleanse, enrich and link all existing 6.4 Million records, (3.4 Million US Records and 3 Million European Records), from CRM/ERP systems: Salesforce.com, Siebel CRM, Oracle, OLM and E-Automate.
- D&B’s Data Integration Batch (DIB) – a daily, automated Batch Cleanse, Match and Append Process for new account records from Source Systems.
- Quarterly Refresh of all D&B Data Appended to our accounts using data integration; we send our D-U-N-S® Numbers to be updated every quarter and D&B returns current, refreshed information.
- Access to Global Reference Service is used by the Data Governance team for lookups on low match/no match accounts.
- Purchase of future marketing lists through D&B as single source – list requests are compared to a referential database to avoid purchasing duplicate data.
Results & ROI
“When we brought in Dun & Bradstreet, they educated us, they brought us up to speed on exactly how to leverage their solutions,” McLaughlin says. “And as a result, we successfully manage our Salesforce environment, which is the first time we have been able to do that in over a decade.”
On top of that, the integration of data from D&B’s commercial database (the world’s largest) has enabled focused service of customers and prospects. “A lot of that information we get from D&B allows us to cater to that particular customer,” says Cathy Pettinella, a sales and marketing executive at Neopost. “It depends on who they are and what industry they’re in. You’re going to want to give them different products and service them differently based on who they are and what they do for their customers. By having that data within our systems we can easily do that.”
And the partnership with D&B has also given Neopost the insight to be more agile. “We want to be more in a predictive mode, where we know based upon the data what actions we should be taking,” Anne says. “D&B helps us achieve that goal.”
Neopost’s successful enterprise-wide data integration has created customer and prospect clarity – and the knowledge the company needs to spot new opportunities on the horizon. McLaughlin and Anne represent a unique cross-functional partnership that has made it possible. But they haven’t been doing it on their own.