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“This is How Ketchup Should Taste in Norway” – Meeting Consumer Needs with Data

Ben Rund

By Ben Rund

On May 23, 2018

Data rules the world. Over the past two months, several data focused summits descended upon London – the Gartner Data & Analytics summit and the IRM Master Data Management and Data Governance event. In my recap blog, I decided not to spend too much time on the trends many people have already written about.  Instead, I will focus on a real customer use case from Orkla, a food manufacturer with many brands across different countries.

It was great to meet with some of our key partners in London these past months, such as  Parsionate, Comma Group, Entity Group and Tata Consulting Services – excited to have these strong partnerships in place to help execute successful Riversand MDM projects across the globe.

Major trends we are seeing

While the world is moving from BI to AI, there are four forces to consider (all covered by Gartner’s Ted Friedman during the Data & Analytics summit): Complexity, Diversity, Trust and Literacy. I personally think dealing with complexity of data and building trust in data are the most critical ones.

When Ted will run the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Trail (37 km), his IoT fitness device will track all kinds of data. Turning this volume of data into insights that can better determine R&D or Cross-Selling efforts as well as delivering better customer service will require new ways to manage customer, product and location data at scale and putting it in the right hands for making smarter decisions. The old school way of master data management is no longer good enough.

Orkla:  keeping up with fast changing consumer expectations

The opposite of old school was a presentation session by Johan Ekegren, SVP of IT at Orkla. Johan not only had a super cool beard, but presented how his company, as a manufacturer of food, ingredient, snacks and care products reacts to fast changing consumer demand with an efficient supply chain.

Orkla has to connect supply side and demand side in a sophisticated way, offering different relevant brands per each country while at the same time adhering to the guidelines of global brands and retailer’s brands.

Johan impressed the audience by truly understanding customer needs and talking about what he wants his clients to experience.  For example, he shared the comment “This is how ketchup should taste in my country”. Essentially, Orkla can bring a local taste and a local brand to different people in different locations who have different expectations. I learned that people in Norway, Sweden or Finland each expect ketchup to taste differently and that they even place it on their sausage in a different way – talk about complexities!

Here are three direct quotes from Johan that really stood out to me:

  • “With PIM we are efficient in the supply chain and transparent about our ingredients to the consumers”
  • “Many people talk about fancy stuff like AI and drones, but in order to drive great consumer experience you need to get your data basics right”
  • “The usability of Riversand was a key factor for all our business people in marketing, sales, R&D, supply chain and product management”

Click here to catch a movie with some great quotes from Johan’s presentation:

It has been an informative and busy few months – and I look forward to what the rest of 2018 holds, especially the advancement and use of master data management for driving critical business initiatives.  It’s an exciting time!