At QuadraDot, our consulting division often gets approached with the following project proposal: go through the master data of a company and standardize all names and descriptions so that our master data will finally be clean. While we have the knowledge and ability to complete this task, the reality is that this is at best a temporary solution and at worst, a complete waste of time and money.
When a company has existing material descriptions, they very often do not exist in a vacuum. The purchasing department as well as engineers, mechanics and warehouse staff are usually, in some form or another, relying on these descriptions for their day-to-day work. As needs change, parts get ordered and parts are no longer used, the data cleansing process becomes more complex. The road to clean master data is being paved as we go down it and creates delays or changes the scope of the project.
Even if new descriptions aren’t put into a production environment until all of them are finalized, without a proper taxonomy or rules about new material masters, it often takes almost no time for material descriptions to once again become inconsistent. If a new product goes into production that requires creating new material masters, each time a master is created, there is the potential for inconsistency. All it takes is for an employee to misspell the word MATERIAL as MARETAL or to abbreviate it as MTRL instead of MAT and suddenly your data is no longer consistent.
As each new master is created slightly different from the last the momentarily clean master data begins a slow descent into incomprehensibility and your employees begin a slow descent into madness.
Maybe your situation isn’t quite the Lovecraftian nightmare described above, but the fact remains that all the effort and money spent to create consistent descriptions will have to be spent again down the road as inconsistent descriptions multiply. Soon your company may find itself in the exact same place it was before the data cleansing project started.
If it was easy to keep all your master data descriptions clean and consistent, there wouldn’t be a need for data cleansing consultants in the first place. Master Data maintenance should be an ongoing process and the same rigorous standards put in place during a cleansing process should remain just as rigorous for any new material masters created. Changes should also be simple to do and should ripple through a company quickly and accurately.
This is where our approach is different.
Our master data cleansing process is in fact the beginning of a master data maintenance process and with the help of our own Granite Software, changes are fast and automatic, new data can be easily incorporated and mastered, and organizational rules can be enforced.
Our software employs dictionaries for each level of material taxonomy including nouns, adjectives (or modifiers), attributes and attribute values. In the attribute values dictionary, the single entry for GALLON will have only one possible abbreviation, GAL. If a new manager decides that GALLON should be abbreviated as GLN, our software pushes the new abbreviation to all material masters that use that attribute value GALLON and automatically generates a report of all the material masters that have been updated.
When a new set of master data arrives via a new acquisition, simply import it into our software and begin the remastering process based on the same rules that your organization has already established.
Granite Software allows the division of user access to material descriptions. While a level 1 user can change the spelling or abbreviations of dictionaries, Level 3 users cannot, and must use the exact descriptions provided when creating new material masters.
While a simple data cleanse may only last a few months, QuadraDot’s Granite software creates solid data that will remain that way for years. Granite Software is hosted with AWS and maintained by QuadraDot staff meaning no installation headaches for your IT Department and is web based so that you can access it on any operating system, anywhere that you can get the internet.
Contact us today for a demo or speak to one of our master data experts to see how QuadraDot can meet the needs of your business.