Distributor implements data management for more sales

Share this content:
Distributor implements data management for more sales
Distributor implements data management for more sales

Client: BlueLinx Corp. 

Agency:
In-house 

Objective:
Implement data management and product information management systems to ensure clean data and spur sales efforts. 


The tough housing market has been a challenge for 
companies such as BlueLinx Corp., a distributor of building products with more than 11,500 customers nationwide. It means merchandising products and services 
efficiently is critical. BlueLinx was operating on legacy systems after a 2004 spin-off from parent Georgia-Pacific that had evolved from merging regional databases, resulting in some duplicate and obsolete product information. 


The size of its product database — more than 300,000 items in stock — posed an enormous systems challenge, says Meg Hulme, director of IT application development and e-commerce at BlueLink. "I did not realize how complicated wood can be," she jokes.


A platform was required that could handle both transactions and catalog production, says Hulme. Because of regional differences in building trade, BlueLinx doesn't publish a national catalog, but it had not published regional catalogs for some years before the data management overhaul. 


STRATEGY: First, the company undertook an internal review to clean up and standardize its product descriptions. It also improved its data governance by limiting the number of people who could modify product data, leading to cleaner, more useable information. BlueLinx then implemented STEP, a master data management platform from software company Stibo Systems, as well as a print publishing tool. 


The cleaned-up database is a single source of product information for sales transactions, as well as the information and assets for catalogs. Templates help standardize product descriptions so every product in a family and it automatically groups products of the same family together for sales.


RESULTS: With the database implementation, BlueLinx was also able to reduce its inventory from 300,000 units to 100,000. By consolidating and standardizing product descriptions, sales people can now do a better job of selling to customers, Hulme says. "Our industry is really hurting, so being able to reduce our inventory was significantly important for us," she added. 


The company was also able to publish 16 regional catalogs and lay the groundwork to enter the e-commerce arena later this year.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above