Umicore - D&B helps Umicore with data cleansing and data enrichment

The requirements

"When two large independent platforms had to be integrated with each other as part of a SAP project at Umicore, we needed to carry out a Master Data Management project. The two platforms that were to be integrated were very different from each other and each had a large database of customers and suppliers.

Because by merely consolidating the data without performing data cleansing the SAP project would not be profitable enough, we also wanted to clean up the existing data and structure it better. This proved to be a complex task, not only because not all information was equally up to date, but also because there was a large number of international companies in the database. You can identify and compare Belgian companies on the basis of their VAT number, something which is not nearly as easy with foreign companies. However it emerged that identification and comparison is possible using the DUNS number which Dun & Bradstreet gives to domestic and foreign businesses. The DUNS number can serve as a unique key for domestic and international companies."


Data cleansing


"Initially we removed all the data from the database at Umicore which we had not used for the past 2 years. Then we bought the ’Out-of-Business Indicator' from Dun & Bradstreet so that we could check which companies were still active or not. Finally we sent the rest of the database to the specialists at D&B who in turn enriched the whole database with their DUNS number and with the correct names, addresses and registration numbers of the various customers and suppliers. This meant all duplicate and unused data could be removed from the database and missing or inaccurate data could be added or corrected.
In addition, Dun & Bradstreet also added the group structure of the companies, using the DUNS number of the 'parent company' and the 'ultimate parent company’. This means we can clearly see who we are directly and indirectly in contact with and we get a more complete picture of the groups we work with."


The results


"Almost 75% of the entire database was deleted, due to duplication, cessation of activity, lack of use, or because it was entered incorrectly. Of the remaining 25% a good 75% could be automatically validated and enriched, which was perfectly in line with what Dun & Bradstreet had predicted. Subsequently, the internal teams at Umicore increased the percentage to 99% with manual searches and matching in Dun & Bradstreet's GRS database.

Based on D&B's results internal rules were established at Umicore which make it possible to match the new customer or supplier data with the correct DUNS number. A link was also embedded in the SAP environment with D&B's 'Data Integration Toolkit' in order to be able to add the DUNS number.

The results are very obvious in the employees’ everyday activities at Umicore. Thanks to the data cleansing and associated integration a lot of time can be saved each day, so the operational efficiency can really be felt in practice. Duplication can be avoided and monitoring and handling the data is much easier. This means, for example, we can prevent duplicate payments and fraud."


Working with D&B


“The partnership with Dun & Bradstreet went very smoothly. D&B is an international company with a long service record, which is important for the continuity of data cleansing at Umicore. So it was decided that the process should be repeated every two years since it was noticed that there is about 25% 'movement' in the database over that period. Dun & Bradstreet presented its products and services very clearly and was very accurate about the results that could be expected”, said Elsje Verdoodt, Group Credit Manager at Umicore. “We are very pleased with Dun & Bradstreet and the service they provided.”


About Umicore


Umicore is a global materials technology group. Umicore focuses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a difference. Its activities are mainly centred on four business sectors: Catalysis, Energy Materials, Performance Materials and Recycling. Each business sector is divided into various market-focused business units, which are at the cutting edge of new technological developments and are necessary in everyday applications.
The majority of Umicore's revenue comes from, and most of its R&D effort is spent on, projects in the field of clean technologies, such as emissions control catalysts, materials for rechargeable batteries and solar cells, fuel cells and recycling. Umicore's overriding goal - sustainable value creation - is based on the ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a manner consistent with its mission: materials for a better life.
The Umicore Group has industrial operations on all the continents and serves a global customer base. The Group booked a turnover of € 9.7 billion (revenues of € 2.0 billion excluding metal) in 2010 and currently employs approximately 14,400 people.

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