From distributed data to Golden Customer Record

Today, Stadtwerke Schwerte, founded 1868 as a gasworks, is a modern supplier that is responsible and passionate about shaping modern city life in Schwerte. The social, economic and ecological needs of the region are their top priority so that the citizens feel comfortable in their city. Internet, telephony and cable TV have also been offered via the Elementmedia subsidiary since 2011. In addition, the Schwerte public baths and city drainage service also belong to the group of companies.

    The Stadtwerke Schwerte (SWS) Group of Companies grows further

    Stadtwerke Schwerte pursues the goal of offering its customers not only the supply of electricity, gas and heat, but also a modern and sustainable all-round supply of energy, telecommunications, leisure and drainage. High on their priority list is to provide their customers with a better overview of existing contracts, give individual and better offers from Stadtwerke Schwerte (SWS) as well as inform about current events such as disruptions or planned maintenance work in the supply area. Together with con|energy ag, consultant for the energy industry, the digital strategy of the group of companies was realigned.

    Those responsible in marketing and sales have recognized that they can only achieve their goals if they upgrade their IT landscape for targeted marketing campaigns and more automation. The Essen-based digital agency communicode AG, recently a cooperation partner of con|energy, was able to convince the municipal utilities with its full-service portfolio and its iterative, agile way of working for conception and implementation. Alongside the digital strategy, a pilot project was set up that has the greatest business value with a reasonable budget for the group of companies and could be implemented in an adequate time.

    Starting Point: Data in Abundance

    The group of companies already offers a variety of services in B2B and B2C. Many citizens of Schwerte are customers of diverse companies of SWS. Every company manages its own, historically evolved IT landscape for its business activity with information about customers and contracts, as well as data about infrastructure and technology. Besides the data itself, there is also the knowledge of data and its structures that is spread. What data is actually there and how can they reasonably be linked? Which gas customer also has an electricity contract? Which household has a fiber optic cable, which is not used yet? These and many other questions have been difficult to deal with. In this initial situation, it was actually not possible to make marketing target-oriented and automated. In order to be able to reach our customers with relevant information and attractive offers, a holistic picture of them is a first necessity. Michaela Zorn-Koritzius | Head of Marketing, Stadtwerke Schwerte (SWS)

    In this initial situation, it was factually impossible to design marketing in a targeted and automated way. In order to reach our customers with relevant information and attractive offers, we first need a holistic picture of them.Michaela Zorn-Koritzius | Head of Marketing Stadtwerke Schwerte (SWS)

    Proof of Concept: consolidated data from all business areas

    Based on these findings, the communicode consultants, together with the Schwerter people, set the goals for the first project:

    • Development of a customer data management platform as middleware for the data sources
    • Link relevant data from distributed systems sensibly and sustainably
    • Compliance with the legal framework for unbundling business and the GDPR

    True to the principle to realize the greatest business value for the company as quickly as possible, 4 out of a large number of application scenarios from the B2C area were defined for a PoC.

    1. 360 degree customer profile (Golden Customer Record)
    2. Easy to Use PowerSearch in Google style with a consolidated search index
    3. Data selection & mining
    4. Incident history: current and past incidents across all systems

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    3 Steps to the Golden Customer Record:

    First, the project team analyzed the essential core systems in order to consolidate the relevant information in a data model. With the infuniq framework, communicode provided the suitable platform for importing, normalizing and matching the data. The recipe for success: agile working method and a focus on the bare essentials. With agile methods and the expertise for data modeling from communicode, a quick start in the implementation was possible. For the prototype, functions with high business value were first described and accordingly prioritized during implementation.

    Golden Customer Record

    The project was successfully implemented within 4 phases of 2 weeks each. The experts from the departments of Stadtwerke Schwerte (SWS) were part of the project team right from the start. The team planned interruptions in advance so as not to impair the daily business of the municipal utilities. Thanks to the close cooperation within the team and transparency throughout the project, the new functions and processes were quickly learned and checked for quality. The system is ready for use and the first data selections via PowerSearch were carried out together.

    The first goal on the way to marketing automation at Stadtwerke was to deal with the data on a global level. Since no one at SWS had an overall view of the various systems, this was necessary. Now it is possible to analyse the actual state quasi playfully and measures can be taken to improve the data quality.

    Michael Ochtrop | Principal Consultant, communicode AG

    Available data with high enterprise value

    An important milestone for marketing and sales has been reached. The new infuniq CDM platform opens up both business opportunities and savings potential for municipal utilities. The task now is to consolidate data selections and continue data mining. The real business value lies in the consolidation of this data and is realized when a marketing automation tool is implemented.

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