The Often-overlooked MDM Scenario
Most presentations of Master Data Management (MDM) solutions revolve around the scenario of having multiple data stores holding customer master data and the needed capabilities of federation and deduplication in the quest for getting a 360 degree of customers.
Another common scenario is the Product Information Management (PIM) theme, where the quest is to get a 360 degree of the products that is sold to the customers.
However, in for example the manufacturing sector there is a frequent and complex scenario around governing product master data before the products become sellable to customers.
In that scenario we usually use the term material as an alternative to product and we use the term parts for the products bought from suppliers as either components of a finished product, as materials used in Maintenance, Repair and Operation (MRO) and as other supplies.
MDM Capabilities for Material and Parts Data
Some of the key MDM capabilities needed in the material and parts data scenario are:
- Auto-generated material descriptions which helps with identification and distinction between materials which leads to better utilization of the inventory. This capability can by the way also be used by merchants in reselling PIM scenarios as pondered in the post What’s in a Product Name?.
- Advanced mass maintenance of material attributes which leads to improved accuracy and consistency and thereby better operational efficiency. Again, this capability is also useful in other MDM scenarios.
- User friendly maintenance of complex material relationship structures as for example Bill of Material (BOM). This leads to less scrap and rework and improved compliance reporting. This capability can successfully be extended to other internally defined relationship structures in PIM and MDM.
Workflow Management and Data Governance
Handling material and parts master data is collaboration intensive with many business units involved as for example:
- Supply Chain / Logistics
- Research & Development
This means that operational efficiency can only be obtained through cross business unit workflows tailored to the data requirements and compliance obligations held by each business unit.
With the degree of enterprise data sharing needed this must be encompassed by data governance framework elements as:
- Roles and responsibilities for data
- Data policies and data standards according to business rules
- Data quality measurement
- A commonly shared business glossary
Solution Example: Master Data Online (MDO)
In my experience MDM of material and parts data is often done utilizing the ERP application with the shortcomings around data overview, workflow management and data governance that entail.
Therefore, it is good to see when an MDM solution that has the material and parts master data management covered as well as touched in the post Welcome Master Data Online (MDO) from Prospecta on The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List.
The Master Data Online (MDO) solution was born around material and parts master data which is an refreshing exception from the many MDM solutions that were born either from the Customer Data Integration (CDI) solution branch or the Product Information Management (PIM) branch.
You can learn more about material and parts MDM at Prospecta and MDO here.