How to Leverage Data Management to Manage the Modern Supply Chain

By Mike Gaffney

How to Leverage Data Management to Manage the Modern Supply Chain

Posted on October 6, 2020
  • October 6, 2020

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Maximizing supply chain efficiency has never been a more pressing need than in 2020. At the heart of efficiency is data — it is only possible to use and improve with the right information. Without good data management, supply chain partners are left in the dark about what’s happening and what to expect next.   

The problem isn’t just collecting data, though. A recent Gartner report revealed that more than 40% of supply chain leaders feel their data is difficult to correlate because it’s spread across multiple reporting tools and systems. What’s more, there’s a level of distrust about the data’s integrity that prevents it from being properly used. 

One solution is to empower Master Data Management (MDM) strategies and systems to overcome modern supply chain system challenges. Here’s a closer look at MDM’s increasingly important role in how today’s supply chain management should look and function.

Providing Clarity and Consistency to Data Collection

Modern technology has enabled companies to collect data from multiple sources, turning a data stream into a raging river. When too much of something exists, it can be more difficult to reign in and unite the various components.

Master Data Management provides a single point of reference, helping to calm the data waters through a methodical approach to organization. Although master data is traditionally static and untouched, it’s highly valuable to consistently update and validate a master dataset so decisions aren’t made using stale data. With MDM, companies can unite data from proliferated systems by cross-referencing entries, clean up bad data, and validate existing attributes to ensure their reliability. 

In doing so, a MDM system creates a single source of truth that can be accessed by all so there’s no risk of using information that isn’t up-to-date or hasn’t been verified.

Creating a Connected Workplace

The very concept of a supply chain is one of connectedness. But today’s supply chain is no longer connected in a linear fashion

A traditional structure moved from the manufacturer to distributor to retailer to consumer. But the ongoing journey to efficiency, investments in the Internet of Things, and real-time data are turning the traditional supply chain line into a web-like network of systems. 

Shipments are being outfitted with sensors to help companies track products along the journey. Machines are also being tagged with devices to monitor performance and plan for availability. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers alike benefit from being informed on what’s happening upstream or downstream so they can better plan their orders, production, and other logistics. 

These benefits can be more quickly achieved with a systematized, reliable master data management system.

Putting Master Data Management into Practice

The supply chain is seeing a rapid transformation as it shifts into a digital format. As companies undergo the process of re-architecting their supply chain ecosystems, processes will become more fluid, new revenue opportunities will emerge, and new, non-linear paths will take root to ensure efficiency across the board.

Master Data Management could help to seal its success when done correctly, or its failure when data is left to spiral out of control. 

Successful data management requires breaking down information silos that prevent data from being easily shared, accessed, and correlated. Download our ebook to discover how we bring clarity to Master Data Management systems throughout the supply chain.