Suppliers, wholesale distributors and retailers alike are facing constant competitive demands in today's dynamic business environment to improve supply chain efficiency. Product managers and category managers are under increasing pressure to get their products to the right place, at the right time, and in the correct quantities.
To this end, electronic trading is becoming an essential part of distribution logistics. However, both internal and external uses of master data need to be managed properly to achieve the full benefits of electronic trading. Without accurate and consistent product data, electronic trading can only achieve ‘acceleration of errors at the speed of light’.
Data synchronisation therefore, has become a prerequisite of successful e-business.
Most organisations today experience a variety of impediments to efficient Master Data Management (MDM). Challenges include manual re-keying of data into internal business systems from paper based forms; data that is not synchronised across transaction processing systems or business processes; data that is not synchronised with trading partners, or not in a format that they can readily use; disparate and incomplete product databases maintained in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets; reliance on costly outsourcing of catalogue publication processes; and employees managing many different versions of the same product data across the enterprise, leading to the lack of a ‘single source of truth’.
Consequently, even simple management tasks of sales analysis, reporting, pricing, advertising, promotions and product ranging can become major challenges that consume enormous amounts of staff resources and time. This complexity is often caused by product data that is inaccurate, incomplete, or inaccessible. Even if the product data is made accurate and accessible, the challenge lies in making it 'relevant' for business transactions.
Innovit Australia can be contacted for more information about the challenges of master data management, problem-solving and the key to a successful master data management strategy.