21 March 2023
Every business generates data, consciously or unconsciously. About customers, products, materials but also employees. Data can provide valuable insights and a big financial benefit if applied effectively. Master data management is essential for anyone who wants to set up their processes efficiently.
A great deal of organisations we know and talk to are not exploiting any Master Data Management yet. Often because it involves a large investment, or because they do not see an immediately apparent cause to do so. A bit of a pity, as Master Data Management can be of great added value to an organisation. Think, for instance, of data that is stored twice in different systems, or file types that cannot communicate with each other; by centralising this kind of data, you prevent mistakes from being made, unnecessary tasks and orders from being carried out or turnover from being lost. Those problems might not be visible, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
Floris makes a difference
Although Master Data Management provides a lot of insight, it should not be underestimated. Making choices is inevitable. Our consultant Floris Douven knows all too well that such a process does not happen overnight. Five years ago, he started via Perfact Group as a Project Officer at one of our clients in the petrochemical sector. He combined his Business Studies studies with a project in which he was responsible for the master data. The roots of this project result from a previously executed Perfact Group project, in which the organisation in question migrated to a new SAP system.
It was up to Floris and colleagues to analyse and check whether all item numbers (56,000, he counted) were in line with the guidelines. Besides this inventory, some data also had to be adjusted so that schedulers could work with it. Floris took care of creating new item numbers in SAP, stock control and saw to it that all costs incurred for these materials would henceforth be posted to the correct expenses.
This important first step in the process took him a total of two years and has paid off handsomely for our client. This complete database allows employees to see all details about (purchasing) materials within the company at a glance. This avoids materials being untraceable and having to be re-ordered unnecessarily, or unused capital occupying valuable floor space. A valuable improvement.
With the knowledge Floris gained, he progressed to the position of data analyst, and now fully supports the engineers in carrying out their tasks. In this position, Floris is responsible for ordering processes, reject processes, writing reports and preparing analyses, among other things. He has become the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for colleagues who have questions about the data management software and the materials managed within.
“I have noticed that with the help of this database, colleagues can do their work better. That is the most important thing for me,” says Floris. By combining different pieces of data, he himself can filter out and identify certain bottlenecks within the many processes. Furthermore, colleagues can always ask him for help in several areas. “The other day, maintenance of one of the plants was partly transferred to another company. With my knowledge and expertise, I prepared an analysis on the quantity of materials and the current stock linked to it. Whereas it took me just a few hours, it saved my colleagues days or even weeks of unnecessary work.”
Master in data
Master Data Management is not something you just do on the side. It is often part of a bigger picture and is also part of a digital transformation. That is why it is good to appoint a ‘data master’ in the form of a specialist or consultant who, like Floris at our client, can focus all his focus and time on such a transformation.
At Perfact, we always look at Knowledge, People and Technology. In the context of Knowledge and Technology, knowledge of specific software and systems are of course self-evident, as well as the process and project skills needed to make the digital transformation a success. But the ‘People’ bit should certainly not be forgotten. With our clients, it is not just about getting from A to B, we also look at their needs and how we can respond to them. Higher efficiency and turnover may be the main goal – but creating a pleasant and workable situation that makes everyone happy is of course also a big win.
Make the difference
As mentioned above, Master Data Management is not high on everyone’s agenda. Perhaps due to lack of need, time or capacity. Are you curious to know what your organisation can gain from data and what is needed to achieve this? We are happy to schedule a meeting to see how we can be of assistance. Together we can make a difference!