“MDM solutions by themselves provide little value.” Until they’re linked to real-world front ends that serve your business users, they aren’t going to help your business.
A master data management platform without applications running on top of it is like an engine without an automobile around it. The MDM solution may be powerful, it may be complete, it may be state of the art. But until they’re linked to real-world front ends that serve your business users, they aren’t going to help your business. Or, as MDM consultant John Busalacchi put it:
MDM solutions by themselves provide little value…However, by using the MDM framework as the foundation of the information used within functional business processes (sales, marketing, finance, distribution, support, etc.), direct benefits to employees, customers, partners or other relevant stakeholders within an organization can be realized.
That may sound obvious, but other than a few notable exceptions, that hasn’t always been the focus of the “MDM analyst-industrial complex.” Analysts and consultants have opined about the potential of MDM for transforming business, and vendors and integrators have provided technologies that aggregate data from multiple sources and enforce data quality and governance.
But there hasn’t been as much emphasis on the practical uses of MDM – the applications, fueled by data and powered by workflow — that streamline business processes, deliver the latest customer intelligence to sales and marketing personnel, and publish up-to-date product content to Web pages and catalogs.
Here are just a few examples of “bringing MDM to life” through real-world applications:
Supplier data acquisition – Getting product data from your suppliers is a well known Royal Pain for distributors and retailers. Data governance and business rules help ensure data consistency, but you still need to ensure that product managers and merchandising managers are tied into the process. A solution such as the Enable Supplier Content Portal not only assures complete and compliant product data but also leverages enterprise workflow to automate timely review, editing, attributing, and approval of new products and modified information about existing ones.
Multichannel catalog publishing – Solutions such as Enable Multi-channel Publishing link your MDM repository with front-end publishing systems. This dynamic database publishing technique ensures catalog content is always up-to-date. And the workflow component ensures that product managers, copywriters, designers, and others involved in catalog production are integrated with the process with automated alerts, workitems and collaboration tools that speed and simplify tasks such as product selection design reviews, and sign-off on final art.
Compliance in product communication – Manufacturers and distributors of regulated products must comply with government regulations and industry standards for product communication. An error in how products are presented and marketed to customers can lead to severe penalties for the companies involved. Enable ensures the product information used in packaging, catalogs, Web sites, partner feeds and other channels is accurate and up-to-date while assuring that legal and compliance personnel are in the loop for review and approval of product content.
Dealer content syndication – Dealers need to ensure they have access to the latest product information from their distributors for their own catalogs, brochures, Web sites, and other media and channels. An Enable solution using master data and content syndication ensures dealers and retailers have access to content on demand for their own marketing communication requirements.
Make sure you actually derive tangible, tactical benefits from your master data or product information management initiative. We invite you to contact Enterworks for information about applications that leverage MDM, multi-channel publishing, workflow, and other capabilities for tangible benefits and return on investment.