When maintaining party master data one of the challenges is to have the data about the physical address, and sometimes the physical addresses, of a registered party up to date.
You may learn about that your customer, supplier, employee or whatever party you are keeping on record has moved in many ways. Most common are:
- The person or organization in question is so kind to tell you so. For some purposes for example in the utility sector this event is a future event that triggers a whole workflow of actions.
- You get the message via a subscription to external reference data for example using available National Change of Address (NCOA) services and services related to business directories and citizen registries.
- Your mail to a person or organization is returned from postal services often with no information about the new address, so this means investigation work ahead.
Capability to handle this important issue in party master data management (MDM) embracing all the above mentioned scenarios is essential for many enterprises and doing it on an international scale with the different sources and services available in different countries is indeed a daunting task.
Handling the relocation event is a core functionality in the master data service (iDQ™ MDM Edition) I’m currently working with. There’s lot to do in this quest, so I better move on.
Don’t worry, in South Africa undelivered mail is never returned.
hell, you’re lucky if it get’s delivered 🙂
(actually it’s not that bad)
One of the key steps an organization can take is to ensure it reaches its customer at the right address. And, it’s often the one which is given less importance than it deserves.
Hey companies, getting my address right is your only chance to make a positive impression on me. And if I ever loose stuff because you got my address wrong, I will never do business with you again!!
(Done with my rant)
Your post also shows the importance of versioning master data: In case that party master data need to be merged from different sources that may not all be up-to-date it can be very helpful to consult the location history to identify party duplicates (and decide upon their more likely correct (= more recent) address).
Excellent post Henrik,
In France, the Postal Office handles correctly address changes (most of the time). We also have a joke about that saying that wherever you move to, the Tax Guys will always have the right address for you. I wish they could make a public service of it !
And I agree with Axel, being able to match and merge correctly is important here. One of the applications is likely to have the good address.
Thanks Gary, Prash, Axel and FX for joining the movement, and oh yes, the taxman is data quality’s best friend.
I’d be curious to know how you handle relocations for members of a family. I mean, when you happen to learn that someone has a new address and you know for sure this person lived with spouse and children. What happen to them ? Do you relocate them ?
Thanks for commenting Philppe. Our approach in the iDQ™ MDM Edition is to have a data steward functionality that allow you to set rules for automation or interactive handling of this based on available data. In the interactive session business users are able to see a mash-up of internal data and external reference data from several sources in order to react accordingly.