Project of an international marketing information system
In the beginning 80's Henkel developed the idea of real international Marketing (Brands, Concepts), and Sales Managers started to define international concepts for Account Management. To support this strategy, Henkel launched in 1987 the project of an International Marketing Information System. The project scope was to define an integrated information system for decision support that would cover all user needs in terms of data, analysis and tools. Data would have various origins: internal (invoicing, planning) and external (retailer/outlet data collected) including market research data (trade panel, consumer panel, etc.). In terms of analysis functionality, the system would be as simple as possible to give access to the largest number of users, but would also support specific ad-hoc analysis, as well as simulations and forecasts. The first step was to give data access through a very open system of data analysis, Mainly ad-hoc oriented. This step developed skills in terms of data manipulation to support decision-making, from the user side as well as technical EDP support. The second steps, which started in 1991 was to stabilise this "open system", by harmonisation of data, analysis and tools on an European basis. This, of course, was a much more difficult step, that moved the system to a higher level, taking advantage of the exchange of many local experiences. This project was considered as a "must-do" project from a business point of view, for Maintaining a strong competitive position vs. Euro-Accounts and international competitors. This paper will summarise our project concept and implementation scenario, especially/organizational conditions if technical aspects / critical success factors applicable to such projects.
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