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Moen Incorporated, a subsidiary of Fortune Brands, is a leading North American faucet brand with thousands of residential and commercial products sold on Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Wayfair, Ferguson, Houzz, and dozens of other retailers and distributors.
Andrea Brenneman, Moen’s Digital Commerce Content Manager, leads the online marketing team responsible for syndicating content to these sellers. Several key trading partners, like Lowe’s, Amazon, and Kent Building Supply, require GDSN data before listing products on their site.
Brenneman’s team had to submit requests through SAP, Moen’s ERP, every time an item needed to be registered or synchronized on GDSN or when a retailer had a new request. This put an extra burden on the IT team. While online marketing managed the direct relationship with the trading partner, IT was held accountable for taking action with the data.
Gary Freeh, Lead Application Analyst, has handled the data transfers for GDSN at Moen for the last 14 years. Using a custom flat-file integration between SAP and IBM Sterling, data was validated and then delivered to GDSN through 1WorldSync. Freeh often ran into issues bulk publishing – facing slowdowns because of all the back-and-forth or pre-emptive data validations required.
“If there was an issue on any item in the flat-file batch, the entire batch would be rejected,” Freeh said. “I might have a list of anywhere from 5 items to 500 items for sales. If one item has one wrong field, you'd have to basically either resubmit that list without that one part or get that part fixed and resubmit it all with the change.”
“IT is supposed to implement and maintain enabling software and hardware solutions, not be managing the day-to-day business processes and data maintenance. This implementation allows the IT team to be hands-off unless there is a problem. This is a win-win for us, putting the business processes back into the hands of the business and getting IT out of the loop, so that we don’t become a bottleneck in the process.” - Jennifer Amon, Lead Business Process Consultant, Fortune Brands Global Plumbing Group
Moen needed to overcome this burden on IT and give more control to the business. Moen first became a Salsify customer in 2017 and was already using the platform to manage its product content for ecommerce, wholesale and retail channels. They began using Salsify for GDSN in Q2 of 2020.
With Salsify, Moen has GDSN data populated nightly through a feed from its central product content hub in Salsify. Loads, item registrations and hierarchy linking are all automated on a daily schedule. Freeh was involved in implementation, but the online marketing team is now empowered to address any validation or retailer errors directly.
Brenneman is able to synchronize new items and troubleshoot feedback. Aline Boghossian, Moen’s Sales Support Specialist in Canada, can work directly in Salsify to send data to the trading partners in her region independently as well.
“Salsify has given us a lot of agility. Everyone across the team knows what actions to take next and isn’t waiting on IT. Some retailers would hold back inventory if all the data requirements aren’t met. Now if there’s a rush to get something up and running I can work with the right teams, get missing data into Salsify first, and then get it updated in SAP after the retailer is satisfied.” - Andrea Brenneman, Moen’s Digital Commerce Content Manager
Consolidating GDSN into Salsify has been a win for IT, sales, and marketing, according to the team at Moen. The business teams have insight into GDSN publishing status and control over synchronization, rather than working everything through IT.
“Salsify gives my team more visibility, we are the ones getting the questions [from trading partners], and in the past, we would just forward it to the IT team,” Brenneman said.
There is an automated flow of information, so the data is never stale and the streamlined process requires less manual intervention.
“In the past, if the material or an item got changed, we would never submit that through unless the business asked to resubmit it,” Freeh said. “But now if something changes in SAP, it's automatically loaded in Salsify. And a change there goes into the GDSN data pool. That's a huge difference. Now we'll have better, more up-to-date data in the system all the time.”
Learn more about how the Salsify GDSN data pool works for the digital shelf.
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