3 Commerce Heroes – Digitalization, Supply Chain & MDM

By Kerry Young on Jun 3, 2020

In recent times, we’ve seen new heroes rise in the ranks, from healthcare workers to grocery employees and delivery drivers. When you look at the commerce world, there are also heroes that stand out for helping enterprises move through these challenging times: Digitalization, Supply Chain, and Master Data Management (MDM).

Let’s explore these areas and look at how all three can work together to give enterprises agility moving forward.


Digital Commerce Has Handled the Heavy Lifting

When social distancing mandates dropped, digital reliance surged. Consumers have set records for their e-commerce spending, with stats showing 146% growth in all online retail orders. Digital reliance has also become a means of survival for businesses across many different industries, not just retail. Through digitalization, enterprises have been able to capture continued revenue, serve their communities, and help those in need.

This heavy reliance on digital interaction has pushed a dramatic shift in business models that’s likely here to stay. According to Forbes, “Stay-at-home orders will eventually be lifted state by state, but in the interim, there are millions of consumers creating and reinforcing new online buying behaviors and habits.”

Coming out of this crisis, businesses will need to rethink their strategies and prepare for increased reliance on all things digital. The ability to respond with agility will be key, requiring a foundation of high-quality data powered by efficient and automated processes.


A ‘Herculean Effort’ from Supply Chains

Retailers, as well as B2B manufacturers and distributors, have faced an unprecedented challenge when it comes to supply and demand. First came mass shortages fueled by desperate shoppers for items like toilet paper, disinfectants, and masks. Then came a surge in online shopping for daily staples and even bizarre purchases to remedy ‘stay at home’ boredom. (hello bread machines, which hit a 652% sales increase in March!)

Some companies were suddenly supporting temporary lines of business (like restaurants selling groceries), while others began to go direct to the consumer for perhaps the first time. Suddenly, the supply chain was front and center in the public eye.

According to IMD, “With a few exceptions, consumer staple supply chains have answered the call. Store shelves have been restocked and this has provided a measure of reassurance to people in a distressing time.” The supply chain has come to our rescue, “showcasing singular resourcefulness and adaptability.”

This fast response required a ‘herculean effort’ by supply chain professionals working tirelessly behind the scenes. Yet there is work to be done.  Especially in times of uncertainty, inventory management and total transparency are key. Any fumble in the flow of information can lead to a butterfly effect of consequences.  As we emerge into a new normal, the outcome for supply chains – and the ability to survive further shocks – will depend heavily on a holistic view of data, resilience, automation, and investment.


MDM is Lifting and Leading Businesses

Companies across industries, including healthcare, retail, government, and industrial/manufacturing, are using COVID-19 as an opportunity to refocus their business models. Part of that process must be ensuring a strong data foundation with MDM. Why? Because we know that data acts as the undercurrent of agility for businesses – and agility is crucial for navigating the challenges ahead.

For example, in e-commerce, Product MDM is essential for syndicating consistent and compelling product information rapidly and accurately across channels. A platform that allows you to easily transition how and what you sell will be crucial moving forward.

For supply chains, Supplier MDM shifts organizations away from manual, spreadsheet-based processes and toward clean, consistent, and accurate data along with timely collaboration between suppliers and partners.

Multi-Domain MDM provides the golden record of data across Product, Customer, Supplier, and Location that enables organizations to fuel e-commerce and digital initiatives, feed analytics, make informed business decisions, empower employees, connect with customers, and so much more. MDM has lifted businesses through recent challenges and will continue to lead them ahead.

To learn more about how MDM is a hero for today’s enterprises, sign up for our virtual conference series, “Everything MDM & PIM,” featuring insights and speakers from Forrester, GS1, Orgill, Rich Products, Fender, and more.

About the author

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.

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