Customer Data Management in Practice

Dating back as far as 1987, the annual reports of several progressive Canadian organizations heralded in a new era of customer centricity and market focus – rather than volume-driven product sales. As is the case with many major paradigm shifts, corporations proceeded without the benefit of a proven framework or methodology to support the transition. Considerable emphasis was placed on organizational alignment, metrics and compensation�yet the consolidation of legacy information into a single customer data repository remained elusive. Several factors hampered any such efforts: industry consolidation via mergers, shortcomings in available software, mismanagement of existing files, poor source data capture methodologies�and, perhaps most disturbing, the difficulty in developing a convincing cost-benefit analysis for the Board.

It may be surprising to many business and IT professionals that even today, after 17 years of effort, the benefits from developing a consolidated view of the customer is still difficult to quantify beyond reduced mailing costs. Nevertheless, most organizations have embarked upon the challenge as, at least philosophically, it is viewed as a business imperative. The approach to seek funding approval often rests more with the negative impacts of “doing nothing” rather than the revenue or profit potential associated with customer information integration.

Whether your organization is only now conceiving of beginning this journey or you are seeking improvements to an existing implementation, this presentation should be compelling. We will first focus on the business perils of ignoring sound customer data management (CDM) methodologies. We will highlight the software available today to support customer data cleansing and matching. Lastly, we will review in some detail our CDM best practices with evidence from recent implementations in financial services, retail and telecommunications.


Jeff Mehlenbacher, Principal at Customer Data Management Solutions Inc., has over 17 years experience in CRM strategy development and execution with particular emphasis on customer-centric database construction, customer data quality, household/customer identification methodologies and direct response marketing. Mr. Mehlenbacher previously held the following positions: Managing Director, Customer Data Management (CDM) Practice at Adastra Corporation; Vice President & General Manager Canada/Asia Pacific at Harte-Hanks, Inc. and Vice President Tactical Marketing Services with National Trust Company.

Given his previous CDM practice, recent focus on data cleansing and customer matching software, along with extensive experience with marketing datamart applications, Mr. Mehlenbacher brings a uniquely integrated view of the technical and business challenges associated with CRM implementations.

Dan Bulsara is a Principal with Customer Data Management Solutions Inc. He has over 20 years of Finance and Systems experience. In the past 6 years, he has specialized in the CRM arena. He is an expert in Customer and Household Identification and Key Management and has played a key role in assisting major Canadian corporations in the design, development and implementation of Customer Information Files and Marketing Databases.

Mr. Bulsara will share his real life experience in best practices and the right ingredients to a successful implementation that recognizes the partnership between the business and IT.


Jeff Mehlenbacher & Dan Bulsara, Building Success with Customer Data Management


May 27 2004


5:45 pm - 7:30 pm


Beeton Room West (main floor north end of building) Toronto Reference Library

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