Kawasaki Motors Europe N.V. is a subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan, and established its European headquarters in the Netherlands in 2000. Their business activities are the sales and distribution of motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, quads, jetski, power products and industrial engines in Europe. Kawasaki are working with IBM and Experian Data Quality to effectively distribute products via their dealer network.
Business need - streamline customer data
When Kawasaki dealers take an order from a customer for a new product or replacement part, or have a warranty claim, they need to relay the customer data, including the warranty registration details, to Kawasaki.
This customer data is used for a variety of purposes, initially to send out a welcome pack to new customers. It is then used to up-sell to customers via direct mail. Most importantly, the customer data is retained on a database in case of product recalls. It is therefore essential that Kawasaki holds accurate and up to date customer name and address details on file.
Up until 2002, each Kawasaki subsidiary in each European country had its own system for collecting customer data from Kawasaki dealers, either online, via the phone or fax. Kawasaki also had no address validation solution that covered the European countries in which it operates. As a result, the customer experience was inconsistent from one country to the next, and the customer database contained many inaccurate and incomplete addresses.
When the new European headquarters in the Netherlands were established in 2000, Kawasaki decided to create one B2B extranet for the whole of Europe to look after order placement, warranty registration, back-end production, order processing, invoicing and accounting. It turned to IBM for hardware and software support, and to Experian Data Quality for help in validating customer name and address data at point of entry.
The solution with IBM & Experian Data Quality
For their hardware solution, Kawasaki use IBM iSeries complemented by Websphere software to deliver an IT infrastructure that would integrate a variety of applications within a web environment. One of these applications is real-time address capture from Experian Data Quality which validates customer address details instantly as they are given to the dealer. By entering only the customer's house number and postcode (or European equivalent), the remaining address fields in the Kawasaki customer database are automatically populated.
How does Experian Data Quality help?
The B2B website that enables Kawasaki dealers to deliver customer data to Kawasaki over the internet went live across Europe on 1 January 2005. It is currently used by around 1,800 Kawasaki dealers. With the website in place, 85% of orders, 90% of product registrations, and almost 90% of warranty claims are relayed to Kawasaki by its dealers over the internet.
The deployment of the IBM/Experian Data Quality solution has also enabled Kawasaki to run its order, parts and warranty departments more efficiently, and staff are able to concentrate on the management of the system rather than having to deal with the data errors.
The amount of direct mail packs sent to customers no longer resident at the address registered has also been reduced, thanks to real-time address capture. In its first two years of operation, the Experian Data Quality software has run on the IBM platform with no issues. Feedback from Kawasaki dealers who hold multiple franchises confirms that the reseller experience when dealing with Kawasaki is ahead of the competition.