A large and growing manufacturing company with a global footprint had experienced consistent organic growth coupled with numerous acquisitions. The company’s processes and systems used to create and manage master data had become inconsistent and disparate, leading to a growing challenge in managing data quality.
- The company’s needs around product master data were critical to maintain compliance with import/export regulatory requirements; to meet customer specifications for e-commerce data; and to optimize internal transaction processing, warehouse management and distributions.
- A best-of-breed technology approach coupled with the integration of acquisitions resulted in numerous data conventions and a need to manually replicate data across multiple databases, which contributed to the degradation of data quality.
Our consulting team led a four-phase approach to assess the company’s master data management processes and systems. We developed and implemented a plan to address its challenges and to build a scalable solution to effectively manage and use product master data going forward.
- Discover – Our team worked with client leadership to identify and interview subject matter experts across the business to understand the processes in which data was defined, maintained and used by each major business function. Current state processes were mapped and documented, along with the current application architecture and the flow of data across enterprise systems. Business impacts resulting from data quality issues were identified in each function, and data quality analysis was conducted to assess error rates and determine the greatest areas of impact and deficiencies in the data.
- Vision – Considering the company’s unique environment and its current challenges, we identified 16 value-creating opportunities to enhance data quality, streamline processes, and ensure compliance with regulatory and customer requirements. After considering the value and investment required to deliver on these opportunities, we worked with the company to prioritize these items and develop a future state vision for a master data management solution centered on an integrated data hub and automated workflow processes.
- Roadmap – With the future state vison defined, our team identified three distinct initiatives resulting from the prioritized value-creating opportunities and developed project charters for each to outline the scope and objectives. We defined an implementation roadmap around these initiatives to set clear milestones and guide the delivery of each solution component.
- Execution – Leveraging a process-automation platform recently procured by the company, our team worked closely with their staff to design and implement a workflow solution to standardize the process in which master data is defined, created and maintained. A centralized data hub was established and integrated with the workflow solution. This served as the single point of entry and source of truth for product master data, from which appropriate data could be syndicated via automated integrations to required enterprise systems.
Documenting the client’s enterprise architecture and data flows allowed the business to clearly see the process and data ownership across the organization, resulting in a common language for master data improvements. The resulting implementation of a new workflow solution, data hub and supporting integrations to enterprise systems generated tangible benefits to the business:
- Significant reduction in manual data entry efforts
- Single source of entry for product master data and synchronized data across systems
- Increased security and control over master data creation and maintenance across enterprise systems
- Process automation/workflow delivered to streamline and provide visibility into the master data authoring/maintenance processes
- Accelerated timeframe to configure new products and ensure readiness to sell/distribute
- Reduced fines resulting from data errors that previously violated import/export regulations and large customer agreements
- Enhanced trust in data and management reporting