Master Data Ownership – The Material Master Perspective
Last week we covered one of our favorite subjects —the centrality and criticality of master data and who owns it within the enterprise. It’s a complex topic that deserves more attention. We’ll now dig deeper into the types of master data and focus on one specific kind — the material master.
Keep in mind, the term “master data” is all-encompassing and covers various types of data, including:
- Customer Master
- Vendor Master
- Material Master
Each one in this group of masters has unique characteristics and is created, owned, and managed by different functions in an organization.
Material master data stands out as the repository of knowledge on all materials that a company has in its possession.
Material masters are more complex due to three differentiating (and defining) characteristics:
- Fluidity of specifications: Even though people in the company are responsible for managing the data, the actual specifications contained in the description for any common material purchased is created by manufacturers. Since these specifications can be altered, the need to keep the data up to date (and the challenge of doing so) is much more important for material master. For Engineered to Order or Manufactured to Order, the fluidity of specifications is a moving target, and one that is shared between the company and its supplier.
- Complexity: The characteristics also change depending on the material’s category, and this necessitates a more complex data management and governance setup.
- Overlapping: Service masters are invariably intertwined with the material masters of most organizations. This means more complications for IT and logistics, which will need to rely on subject-matter experts to simplify matters.
All of these complexities and potential complications make one thing clear. Material masters need to be owned by the business, i.e. the people who are intimately knowledgeable about it. They know how to best manage the data within the confines of the enterprise and they are incentivized to keep it current and credible.
We’ll continue the discussion next week with a look at material master data stewards and how to pick the right one.
Latest posts by Arthur Raguette (see all)
- The need for effective Material Master Data Management – Part 2 - January 16, 2018
- The need for effective Material Master Data Management - January 4, 2018
- Material Master Data Governance Teams - December 26, 2017