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Panasonic Creates a Single Version of Truth from Its Data

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Introduction

Panasonic Creates a Single Version of Truth from Its Data Case Study Panasonic is one of the world's leading electronics manufacturers and it operates under the umbrella of the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd, a conglomeration of over 600 firms that based in Kadoma. Because of the enormous size the firm found that hat its product and consumer data were often incomplete, duplicated or inconsistent. In addition different segments were using different pools of data that were isolated form other parts of the company. This type of data handling were costly and created operational inefficiency. In order to solve this issue Panasonic decided to replace the current "pull" model of data dissemination with a "push" model. This objective was by the master-data-management (MDM) software from IBM's WebSphere line. The implementation of this software saved Panasonic millions euros however there were some challenges while implementing it.. Question 1. Evaluate Panasonic's business strategy using the competitive forces and value chain models. In order to evaluate Panasonic's business strategy first of all the the Porter's Five Forces model was applied. This model provides a general view of the firm, its competitors, and the firm's environment. In this model, five competitive forces shape the fate of the firm. * Traditional Competitors: With fierce competition and short product life cycles due to changing technologies, success greatly depends on how quickly new products can be marketed. ...read more.

Middle

It identifies specific, critical-leverage points where a firm can use information technology more effectively to keep its competitive position. The case reveals several critical business areas within Panasonic's activities both primary and support. Question 2. How did Panasonic's information management problems affect its business performance and ability to execute its strategy? What management, organizational, and technology factors were responsible for this problem? Panasonic's information problems affected its business performance and ability to execute its strategy. Panasonic was enjoying the number of successes factors however these positives were overshadowed by the administrative costs incurred by such an immense organization. In 2006 company's operating margin was only 5% and the goal for 2010 was 10%, in the industry where consumers expect the price of new technology to decrease over time. It was impossible to expect to increase profit margin by increasing prices, instead there was a need to reduce costs and increasing sales. The "pull" model of data sharing could not help to accomplish this company goal. Panasonic's operations cover the globe with so many sources of data, the company found itself with inconsistent, duplicate, or incomplete data both product and customer. Different segments used their own pools of data that was completely isolated from the rest of the company. ...read more.

Conclusion

Implementing MDM is a multi-step process that includes business process analysis, data assessment, data cleansing, data consolidation and reconciliation, data migration, and development of a master data service layer. This steps produce a system of records that stores the master file for all of the company's data. During this steps it is critical for the organization to institute strict policies against computing activities that could compromise the authenticity of the data; the implementation should enforce standards for the formating and storage of data. The main challenge in all regions of Panasonic operations faced the issue of reorganizing workflow and consolidating product information. The other challenge that the company was facing in Europe lied along the issue of multiple countries with multiple languages and currencies complicating product launches. Each of the company's multiple facilities made its own contribution to MDM. Different Panasonic entities might be unwilling to give up control over information due to the perceived loss of power. The company required clear master data management rules to prevent many manipulating the data so that the master file would remain pristine. Bob Schwartz expected that convincing the enterprise of this would be an uphill battle. There were manufacturing partners located in Asia and were content with their manual processes for managing product data. Without them the system could not fulfill its complete potential. The biggest hurdle that was faced: to convince the corporate office in Japan that their data management strategy deserved global adaptation. ...read more.

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