Overcome Four Common Challenges of a Product Data Consolidation Project

  • by Davin Wilfrid, Former Contributing Editor, SAP Experts
  • July 15, 2008
Moving product data into a central repository reduces redundant labor and increases the speed at which your company can respond to price requests from customers. This case study follows an automotive parts supplier as it builds a foundation for flexible price quoting with a product data management system.

To run efficiently, cars rely on an array of pistons, pumps, belts, joints, and levers acting in concert to convert raw energy into forward motion. As it happens, running a $4.4 billion automotive parts manufacturer with 80 customers in 24 countries on six continents is not too different.

With globally dispersed clients including Ford, General Motors, and Toyota, Illinois-based parts supplier Tenneco puts a premium on responding quickly and efficiently to parts requests from customers worldwide. However, in 2005, Tenneco executives recognized that the company’s decentralized data storage systems were making it difficult to offer fast, consistent price quotes to its customers.

“We did not have an easy way of knowing what the company was doing in North America versus what the company was doing in China or any other part of the world. Our inability to coordinate and act as one global company to our customers, who expect global quotes on new business, was a major obstacle,” says Scott Ready, executive director, Tenneco, Inc., Lake Forest, IL.

On some occasions, Ready says, Tenneco found that various units within the company were competing for the same new business. “We’d wonder why we were building the parts in South America and shipping them to Europe, and then we’d find out we’d bid against ourselves,” says Ready.

Davin Wilfrid

Davin Wilfrid was a writer and editor for SAPinsider and SAP Experts. He contributed case studies and research projects aimed at helping the SAP ecosystem get the most out of their existing technology investments.

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