A Clear View

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2003-12-01 Print this article Print

Once only direct marketers worried about getting names and addresses right. Now more companies recognize the need to clean up their data.

A Clear View

Patrick Wise
Landstar System, Inc.
Vice President, Advanced Technology
Jacksonville, Fla.

Manager's Profile: Wise is responsible for technology infrastructure and applications at the $1.5-billion transportation-services company. Critical to Wise is creating systems that help Landstar communicate with its 1,000 independent sales agents and the 7,000 affiliates who operate trucks and other transportation gear.

Landstar's Legacy: The company's three major groups operate autonomously, with different systems and different ways of representing customer information such as address and account history. Until recently, Landstar had no way of collecting and viewing customer information in a consistent way. "We decided we needed to eliminate redundancy and get a single, accurate picture of the business," Wise says.

Wise's Technology Challenge: His team built a central data warehouse fed by the three groups' core systems. The company used Ascential's Enterprise Integration Suite, including QualityStage data-quality tools, to integrate and cleanse data before they are funneled into the data warehouse. "We had historical files going back 15 years, all written with different syntax," he says.

The Benefit: Executives now can get consistent, consolidated reports on company financials and operations. Affiliates have access to accurate data in online applications that show, for example, where truckers can pick up loads that are ready for transport and whether payment has been made on the last load that was shipped.

What's Next: Wise's team has begun to test Ascential's Real Time Integration Services feature to correct data as they're entered online by partners.


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