Applied MDM: Business process management.

 

BPM is essential in governing master data and managing its use throughout the enterprise.

(Part of a series on how companies can leverage their master product data for more efficient operations and competitive advantage.)

There is a growing consensus – building for several years — that master data management and business process management are as interdependent as your heart and your brain. New research from Gartner reported this week confirms the link between managing master data and business processes.

The relationship between MDM and BPM received a lot of press last fall, when Software AG acquired Data Foundations.  Commentary at the time re-emphasized the symbiotic nature of MDM and BPM: business process management improves the way work is done in order to more effectively and efficiently achieve business goals.  Since reliable information is required to get most work done in an enterprise, properly governed data is essential for properly managed processes. 

As Forrester’s Rob Karel puts it, “It’s only when this trusted data can be delivered and consumed within the most critical business processes and decisions that run your business that [positive] business outcomes can become reality.”

Enterworks’ heritage is in both master data management and in process automation. We originally released our process integration platform in 1998. This same enterprise-class application is today part of Enterworks Enable, allowing organizations to model, integrate, and manage processes that generate, consume, or otherwise touch their master data. 

These capabilities help:

  • Enforce business rules and data standards to ensure data quality and to empower ongoing data governance
  • Ensure that additions, changes, and deletions of product data and related content are properly reviewed and approved
  • Include the human touch in process automation with powerful exception handling, escalation, and error processing
  • Coordinate the involvement of various enterprise applications at each step of a process through intelligent agents called Business Integration Components
  • Automate routing of process tasks, assigned by user, role, department, and business lines, with notification by e-mail or mobile device and live links to work items

These capabilities also automate and streamline tasks in processes that consume or rely on product data for sound performance, in areas such as:

Compliance — Regulated industries such as healthcare and pharma need to comply with regulations on product communications or face heavy penalties.  Process-powered product MDM ensures both that product content is accurate to begin with and that the right personnel in legal and regulatory affairs review and sign off on product-related materials. 

New product introductions – Master product data governance expedites new product introductions thanks to fewer data errors and better quality. But automating the related business processes goes even further, ensuring that all the steps needed to onboard and roll out new products, such as acquiring product data, adding and editing attributes, and marketing and merchandizing processes, are handled correctly and in the right sequence. 

Merchandising — A common concern among distributors and dealers is having to manually manage price changes for online specials, limited time offers, and other promotions.  Time effectivity capabilities allow merchandisers and product managers to “set and forget” the timing of discounts, promotions, rebates, other merchandising requirements involving product content.

Catalog production — Publishing a catalog with hundreds of pages and thousands of products involves data, applications, and personnel in various parts of the enterprise, involving multiple reviews, corrections and revisions.  Process management helps to coordinate the routing of drafts throughout the production process and lets team members collaborate in real time to review, comment, share, approve, and publish print (and online) catalogs. 

We welcome you to learn more about Enterworks Enable’s process integration and workflow automation capabilities at our Web site. 


Others in this series:

1. “Applied MDM”: leveraging master data for efficient operations and competitive advantage.

2. Applied MDM: Layout Manager for dynamic catalog publishing.

3. How distributor marketing can benefit from applied master data management.

4. Bringing master data management to life.

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