The Anschutz Corporation, a privately held holding company headquartered in Denver, Colorado, underwent a major Address Book project within their JD Edwards system. The company was facing 17 years of incomplete and inaccurate data that led to inactive and duplicate records that were overflowing the system. To combat the problem, the Anschutz Corporation decided to clean up and standardize the data, inactive old or duplicate records, and automate their validation process.
About The Anschutz Corporation
The Anschutz Corporation was founded in 1965. The company was originally an oil and gas company but continued to grow organically and through various acquisitions. Today, their holdings include Anschutz Entertainment Group, Anschutz Exploration Corporation, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, Clarity Media Group, Anschutz Film Group, and various philanthropy organizations that they run or fund. They have businesses located in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
They currently run off one instance of JD Edwards across the board. The company had over 450 legal entities defined in their JDE system, which is deployed to seven time zones. They are also supporting nine different fiscal periods and over 30 different Accounting departments with nearly 400 financial module users. At the time of the Address Book project, Anschutz was running JD Edwards 9.0. Anschutz recently upgraded to 9.2 in June 2018.
Scope of the Project
After 17 years, Anschutz accumulated 232,914 total Address Book records in their system. The problem occurred because access to Address Book was not locked down enough. Several locations had access to enter new Address Book records, which led to duplicate, non-standardized records. Anschutz decided to correct the problem with their bad data.
There were over 12,000 duplicate records identified in Address Book, and another 133,000+ were old records that needed to be inactivated. The roughly 148,000 records had to be standardized, completed records to help keep Address Book better organized moving forward.
Solutions to Improve Address Book
To improve the way their Address Book functions in the future, Anschutz took several steps during the project, including:
- Adding new inquiry functionality
- Adding CafeOne pages to some inquiries
- Standardizing existing addresses
- Inactivating old and duplicate records
- Automating the validations process
- Centralizing Address Book access
New Inquiry Functionality
To create new inquiry functionality, the Anschutz team decided to open up the QBE Line for the following fields: mailing name, address line 1-4, city, state, postal code, and country. This made it possible to search for someone in Address Book based these items. For example, you could do a search and find everyone in Address Book that is named Angela and lives in Colorado. This drastically improved search capabilities within Anschutz’s JDE system and prevented people from creating duplicate records when they were unable to locate someone’s record.
Anschutz implemented several CafeOne pages into their Address Book. One example of a CafeOne page that they built leveraged Google Maps to help locate and validate addresses. This helped prevent empty fields because Google Maps displayed addresses in the complete, standard Postal Service format. With this function, you can confirm zip codes, locations, cities, etc. Another CafeOne page that Anschutz built leveraged a site called DuckDuckGo. This search engine site shows the search results for an Address Book record. Anschutz runs this page on records that have issues or that can’t be validated. It can help validate the record or potentially detect fraudulent records.
When standardizing the existing addresses, Anschutz could only work with the U.S. addresses. They were standardized to meet U.S. Postal standards. This has helped validate address records. Anschutz has had trouble finding good data sources for international addresses, and that is why they have only standardized the U.S. addresses at this time. Standardizing addresses in Address Book has helped reduce the number of duplicates using JD Edwards base functionality.
Inactivating Duplicate/Old/Incomplete Records
To help identify duplicates in their JD Edwards system, Anschutz tried to implement “Fuzzy Logic,” but it was unsuccessful for them. It used standard algorithms, the results were not well refined, and the solution ultimately did not make its way into production. Instead, Anschutz decided to manually identify the duplicates in Address Book. They used an address sort, name sort, and tax ID number sort to identify the duplicates. This process took them months, and they decided to hire a temp staff member to deal solely with identifying duplicates. Once the duplicates were identified, they were inactivated. Any incomplete records or records that hadn’t been used within the last three years were also inactivated. This results in the inactivation of an additional 19,000 records.
Automated Validation Process
In Anschutz’s new, automated validations process, a user starts by inputting the Address Book information into a custom application that Anschutz built. The application has a “Validate” button, and when the button is clicked, the application is reviewed by criteria that have been set up. The fields that are validated include the tax ID number, legal name, address, city, state, postal code, country, and county (U.S. only).
Once it is reviewed, the application is either approved or rejected. There may be warnings included when the results are returned. If something is wrong or missing on your application, the review will notify you about what field is creating the problem. This automated process has prevented users from entering incomplete or invalid Address Book records.
Centralized Address Book Access
The number of people on the Address Book team was kept to a limited number on purpose. There were only three people dedicated solely to Address Book. The Address Book team reports to Business Services at Anschutz. Anschutz’ decision to centralize the Address Book access has helped prevent any pressure from people at individual locations to input addresses with incomplete information so something could get paid or invoices could be sent out to customers. Centralizing the access ensured that it would get done right, not just fast.
Anschutz also standardized the processes and procedures surrounding Address Book. Required forms were also standardized, which makes it simpler when users are requesting new Address Book records.
What’s Next for Anschutz
Anschutz is currently working on implementing additional CafeOne layouts within the organization. They are also working on bank account validation and combining duplicate entries. They are also testing email functionality to help reduce fraud around bank account changes. If change requests are made to a bank account, the email address on file will be notified about the change. The hope is to be able to better protect against fraudulent activity.
For more information about the Address Project at the Anschutz Corporation, the technical side of the automated validations process, or their additional project experience with EnterpriseOne Composed Pages, check out the additional Quest resources attached below.
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