Why Master Data Management Lies at the Heart of the Supply Chain

With data quality and consistency becoming critical in supply chain performance, supply chain leaders must pay more attention to MDM. Sales volumes are increasing, distribution networks are developing, and supply chain professionals are trying their best to cope with evolving business imperatives.

A sound MDM solution can help supply-chain managers to achieve data completeness, consistency, coherence and compatibility. Supply chain organizations need to be responsible for master data about customers, products, locations, vendors, and suppliers. Effective Master Data Management platform around data accountability and ownership must be clearly defined and leveraged by supply chain leadership.

But why is the focus on supply chain data management? Because today’s supply chains are highly data dependent. When turned into information, this data delivers insights that can either surge or slide down in success charts. Companies that fail to properly track and manage supply chain data lack the ability to make informed decisions, let alone optimize overall performance.

Master Data Management is the Future of SCM

Traditionally, supply chain specialists implemented multiple systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERPs), Customer Relationship Management (CRMs), financial and warehousing software to take advantage of every opportunity to collect data. This sounds good in theory: but left disconnected, these systems lead to “unclean” data that could severely harm the efficiency of a Supply Chain.

As a result, organizations today lack quality data and interoperability of data sets across different trading partners. Most supply chain leaders agree that available data is difficult to correlate because it is siloed in a number of ways, due to disparate tools and standards, or simply because it is bad data. Fragmented and inconsistent data delays time-to-market, increases forecast errors, produces wrong production and inventory planning, affects cross-sell/upsell opportunities, and creates inefficiencies.

Timely access to clean, consistent, and accurate data is therefore pivotal, not only for better communication between suppliers, partners, brokers and shippers, but also for product commercialization and innovation. So how can you extract the right data that will benefit your business? The answer is Master Data Management (MDM).