In times of global, business and economic uncertainty – when data points are changing on an hourly basis and supply chain responsiveness and flexibility are more critical than ever – being able to trust your company’s data is paramount.
You need to know how this uncertainty is affecting your supply chain, locations, employees and customers, so you have the information you need to adjust your forecasting, inventory allocation, sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, staffing, and sales and marketing strategies accordingly. To do this well, your company needs a trustworthy data foundation.
But how do you determine the strength of your data foundation? Consider these five questions.
1) Can you provide personalized and consistent customer experiences across all channels?
2) Can you target the right audience in your marketing campaigns?
3) Do you have a responsive supply chain that can access and share trusted data across its various nodes?
4) Are your online product specs accurate and up to date, leading to high customer satisfaction and low return rates?
5) Can you share data in a transparent way to both your stakeholders and your customers?
Answer any of these with a no, and that’s a sign your data foundation has some trust issues. Ensuring you have a solid data foundation is essential because at the core of any good business decision and response is data you can trust.
With trustworthy data, companies can derive relevant insights that make it possible to more accurately evaluate various business scenarios and optimize decision making. And of course, more informed decision making leads to better outcomes like reduced costs, increased revenue and greater market share.
While this sounds easy in theory, its real-world application is much more complex. How do you determine whether the data your company is using is trustworthy?
Uncovering data challenges
Consider the challenge companies with multiple supply chain management (SCM) systems and applications face. It’s not uncommon for larger businesses or those that have grown through mergers and acquisitions to maintain various versions of SCM systems and applications from different vendors. To add further complexity, those various instances rarely use the same definitions, language, categorizations and hierarchies.
Now take this data challenge and magnify it across all your business units, regions and multiple versions of hundreds (if not more) IT systems and applications. It’s easy to see how data quality is compromised and data challenges can quickly emerge.
What companies need is a trusted foundation of master data that can resolve this chaotic situation. Master data management (MDM) pulls data from a variety of disparate systems and sources, matching and linking information, and removing inaccuracies to create a single record for shared, governed use.
Working with a single, centralized, up-to-date version of the truth, companies gain greater data transparency that can lead to better decision making and information sharing with their customers, employees, vendors, suppliers and business partners. A clear and accurate view of location data, for instance, is necessary to support dynamic supply chain planning.
With greater data mastery, companies can:
- Drive digital transformation, innovation and competitive differentiation
- Deliver personalized experiences to keep customers happy, engaged and coming back
- Launch and onboard products faster and drive collaborative agility across the entire value chain
- Accelerate time to value for system and application investments
- Ensure governance and compliance and reduce risk by eliminating error-prone processes
Mastering your data challenges
Creating a trusted master data foundation that supports your unique business strategy and digital transformation efforts is possible with a digital business hub. With MDM at its core, a digital business hub lets you collect data from various domains once and create a consolidated version of the truth for use everywhere.
MDM provides an accurate, current, complete and relevant source of master data to support business processes and transactions. It ensures your business is operating on a consistent foundation of master data that you — and your partners and customers — can trust.
If you’re not sure what steps to take to bolster your master data foundation to improve your supply chain performance, our latest ebook, Transforming Business with Master Data Management For Dummies, can help get you started.
The book covers topics such as:
- Common data challenges and the value of master data
- The growing need for data transparency and how to enable it
- How MDM manages, centralizes, organizes, localizes and enriches master data
- The value of mastering multiple data domains
- Good data practices to follow
Download your free copy of the book today.