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How to Reimagine Your Address Book Processes

QFDE JDE week

During Quest Forum Digital Event: JD Edwards Week, Karen Brown, Senior Principal Product Manager for Oracle JD Edwards, was joined by Angela Berkheimer McLean, Vice President of Business Services at The Anschutz Corporation, and Kimberly Jacot, Senior ERP Technical Specialist at The Anschutz Corporation, to discuss how to reimagine your Address Book processes with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne functionality and frameworks.

The business problem for multiple JD Edwards Address Book users may include any or all of the following:

  • Duplicate entries
  • Multiple languages
  • Incomplete and/or inaccurate data
  • Data validation and formatting
  • Data retrieval from outside sources
  • Application extension usability

Recent Address Book Improvements

Based on customer issues with Address Book, JD Edwards has made several Address Book improvements to enable better global business. First, there is enhanced prevention of duplicate entities with additional checks by postal code and address line. You have the ability to set up the alert with a warning or an error in your processing options. Another enhancement is a configurable list of required fields by Search Type. From a duplicate check perspective, there is the ability to configure a list of characters and words to exclude. For example, Street or St can be excluded from a search. Once all of this is active, a list of potential duplicates will appear before a record is added in order to further avoid duplication.

Additionally, JD Edwards has provided alternate language support for the Address Book. You can translate the alpha name, mailing name, and mailing address. Reporting can be modified, as well, to match the customer’s address to their preferred language translation. Reports pulled internally by a user will display the address in the user’s preferred language.

About The Anschutz Corporation

The Anschutz Corporation was founded in 1965. They are a private company with several holdings including Anschutz Entertainment Group, Anschutz Exploration Corporation, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, Clarity Media Group, Anschutz Film Group, and assorted philanthropies. Anschutz owns businesses located in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Anschutz’s JD Edwards environment includes over 450 defined legal entities with over 30 different accounting departments and around 500 financial module users. The system is deployed to seven time zones, supporting nine different fiscal periods. Currently, Anschutz is running Apps 9.2 and Tools 9.2.4.1.

Anschutz Corporation’s Address Book Reimagination

At the time Anschutz began their Address Book project, they owned 17 years of incomplete and inaccurate data. The scope of their data included:

  • 232,914 total Address Book records
  • 12,000+ identified duplicates
  • 133,266 inactive records
  • 148,318 standardized records

The goal was to standardize address entry. Even though there were rules in place regarding address entry standardization, it was difficult to achieve uniformity due to multiple people in multiple countries attempting to comply with company guidelines.

For the Address Validation Project, Anschutz added a new inquiry functionality allowing QBE lines in the address to be opened up for searching by state or zip code. They claim this was the absolute best thing they did for address validation. They also began using CafeOne to look up locations to verify it was a business location. Standardization of addresses through a product called Melissa Data would standardize addresses to the Anschutz way.

For nine months, the company searched through records to identify duplicates and incomplete records. They also automated validations and created a centralized Address Book access, moving a multi-person, multi-country task to a team of three people in the U.S. These three are in charge of Address Book changes for everyone in the worldwide Anschutz system.

New Inquiry Functionality

The new inquiry functionality allowed incredible ease of use for the average user as compared to the previous approach. This functionality opened up the QBE line on the following fields:

  • Mailing Name
  • Address Line 1 through 4
  • City
  • State
  • Postal Code
  • Country

CafeOne

CafeOne maps to Google Maps to verify the address to a business area. This helps prevent fraud. Anschutz also used Duck, Duck, Go to look up addresses or names. Certain names have been identifiable fraud for years, and this tool allowed Anschutz to run new address entries through these checks.

Standardization of Addresses

For the U.S. only, Anschutz is standardized to the U.S. Postal Service. Finding a standard for global addresses is extremely difficult. No global source of data is deemed 100 percent accurate. Therefore, they are doing the best they can with foreign addresses.

Standardization helped reduce duplicates. In the past, an address had to be entered exactly alike in order to be considered a duplicate. This has changed within JD Edwards now, but at the time of the project, Anschutz had to respond to this problem in their project.

Identification of Duplicates

To discover the thousands of duplicates in their 17 years of bad data, Anschutz hired an additional employee specifically assigned to finding duplicates. They sorted enormous excel worksheets by address, name, and Tax ID number. Through these sorts, they found different sets of duplicates. Those duplicates were inactivated. The people using the duplicates were instructed to use the correct version. The Anschutz team would have preferred to combine the duplicate addresses, but that functionality does not exist in E1. They attempted to customize this functionality but were unsuccessful.

Inactivated Old Records

Incomplete records— missing address, city, or state— were inactivated. If the record was necessary for business, info had to be updated in order to re-activate. All records that had not been used in the previous three years were inactivated. The criteria were that the record had not been used in AP or AR. From this approach, the team inactivated an additional 19,000 records. They automated the continued inactivation of old records by use of a batch application.

Automated Validations

As part of the Address Book validation project, Anschutz implemented automated validations. While address data can be tricky and bad data costs a lot of money, Melissa Data provides a series of APIs used to validate addresses and other geographical information, as well as phone and email addresses. The company uses TIN Check to validate Tax IDs.

While there are several options for interfacing JDE with third parties, Anschutz chose to call these services utilizing a third-party call via Aellius Integration Services. Aellius utilizes a series of XML conversions to evaluate, transform and return data.

Automated validations require certain key fields to be present. These include:

  • Tax ID
  • Legal Name (Custom Field)
  • Address
  • City
  • State (US, Canada, Australia, etc.)
  • Postal Code
  • Country
  • County (U.S. only)

When the user clicks the Validate button, the data validation fields are sent to Melissa Data and/or TIN Check. These services return information pertinent to the review and ultimate approval or rejection of the Address Book revision. Some of the messages returned by Melissa Data are displayed below for a fully validated address.

Using Melissa Data calls, Anschutz was able to standardize the Address Book. The validations are corrected automatically in order to avoid ignored error messages and typos.

Centralized Address Book Access

Centralizing the Address Book access was simple to complete and made a very significant impact. While Anschutz holds companies worldwide, they centralized Address Book access to three members—two in Denver and one in New York. The entire Address Book team reports to business services. When the team was larger and dispersed across continents, team members often reported to accounts payable, which was a conflict of duties.

Now that all team members report to one individual at business services, SOD is maintained, and the team members receive consistent instructions and answers to questions.  Anschutz has standardized request forms for setting up new addresses for employees, customers, and vendors. Standardized ACH forms must be approved. The forms are standardized across all countries, based on legal requirements.

Additionally, Anschutz enabled Oracle Duplicate Checking functionality once it became available.

What’s Next for Anschutz?

Bank account validations with Orchestrator are coming to Anschutz. The team searched until they found a Wells Fargo product called LogicBox that utilizes the Early Warning system. They will go live with Bank Account Validation as soon as they adopt the required release of Tools 9.2.4.1.

Using UDOs to Optimize Your Address Book

Oracle’s Karen Brown built upon the innovation of Anschutz’s Angela Berkheimer McLean and Kimberly Jacot by suggesting two use cases for optimization of your Address Book. First, use Orchestrator to apply address validation services outside the world of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. Second, adjust the world inside of JDE E1 to better fit your needs. Add a field for tracking information. Move a field to a more efficient location within a form. All of this is possible with JD Edwards Personalization Frameworks.

Key Takeaways

If your business has faced any of the issues familiar to Address Book customers, you can benefit from optimizing your processes. Eliminate duplicate entries with the Anschutz Address Book method. Validate addresses from outside of JDE through the use of third-party applications and Orchestrator. Reimagine forms that will simplify the user experience without involving customizations.

Noteworthily, the two changes that took a small amount of time and made the biggest impact for Anschutz were to open up the QBE line to additional fields and to move Address Book access to a centralized location. Leverage the ingenuity of Anschutz with the use of UDOs to re-imagine your Address Book Management and experience better Address Book data.

Additional Resources

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