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MDM: Solution to chronic supply chain issues – Part 2

As observed in the MDM: Solution to chronic supply chain issues – Part 1 of this topic, even with the best-of-breed supporting system (& business practices) in place, large organization still face Supply chain issues, in terms of – • Duplicate master record creation, for various reasons ~ a. To represent variant of same product (for attributes like color, etc.) b. To maintain different operating Unit of Measure by geography like LBS for USA, KG for Europe c. To represent different numbering schema for the material (due to limitation on ‘number range’ accepted by a specific system). d. To differentiate between different packaging units for same material (e.g. bags, drums, cans, etc) e. To differentiate between the stock by usage (Sales stock Vs. Production component stock) f. To meet the different labeling requirement, specific to a legal entity (country etc.)
• Apart from this deliberate duplication, occasionally we create duplicate records due to~ a. Inability to search the existing records, b. Lack of process to carry out necessary (search) checks and c. Certain human errors / oversight.
• Multiple representation of the same component results in lesser control of inventory (overstock, out-of stock situation). Certain (semi-finished) materials tagged for production consumption, being picked up by sales delivery to meet the order
• Data mismatch, across the system landscape, for same master data, becomes a hindrance in automating the business process. In case of separate system for invoicing as against purchasing, a manual intervention is required to avoid a long list of mismatched invoices, owning to different UoM, different numbers being followed in the two systems etc.
• Inability to consolidate material requirement planning owning to duplicate records in the same / different systems and lack of input to the planning system to determine net requirements.
• Perennial problem of directing inaccurate data issue to helpdesk meant for addressing authorization (security) and business process administration.
The diversity (as a requirement) in the master data across various business units / geography, poses a challenge in defining one global master data structure. This is where MDM comes with a great advantage of allowing ‘global’ and ‘local’ data Model to co-exist. For companies who couldn’t have one global process for logistics cycle across the organization, due to the organic growth of the company followed by evolutionary growth in IT setup, MDM5.5 under Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) helps best address the issues, which otherwise require a pool of resources working on the manipulating the data to sort of out the issues, forever. Since such ‘Data unification’ tool / solution was not available / not considered earlier, organizations has taken up the path of either developing a point-to-point interface between the systems, or relied upon the manual update from one system to another. This has left the system update and process flow at the mercy of maintenance by individuals and possibility of no human error! This also resulted in the outsourcing the data entry to third-party, eating up majority of internal / external resources. Its high time for the global organizations to carry out the analysis of ‘process’ outsourcing, to evaluate number of issues (tickets) raised by end-user, which actually are ‘master’ data issues. I am not suggesting here that just bringing in MDM will eliminate these issues but by having MDM 5.5, we can define a robust master data definition and maintenance process, which will minimize the occurrences of these chronic issues.

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