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How Master Data Management improves retail operations

Organisations today are continuously striving to improve their operations: You may have heard of methodologies such as (or based on) Lean, Six-Sigma, Agile or Kaizen. In this article we look at how these methodologies tie in with Master Data Management (MDM), and how together they are key to delivering overall operational excellence.

If MDM is an unfamiliar concept to you, please review our previous introductory articles on the subject.

To begin, let’s look at what these methodologies are trying to achieve and why they are important. The first thing to note is the misconception that these are solely reserved for manufacturing related businesses. They are not. Today, businesses across almost every sector are using these methods to improve their performance. Their application is not done on a tactical basis, rather it is a way of thinking, or better still a culture for the entire organisation.

6 sigma diagram

Although different, all the methodologies are trying to achieve the same outcome; to drive a company’s goal of achieving maximum value, with minimum waste. There are several ways this can be achieved:

  • delivering process efficiency and accuracy across the business
  • focusing on high value areas (e.g. fundamental to operating, or customer-impacting)
  • ensuring standardisation across the business

These deliverables are mirrored exactly via the implementation of MDM and adoption of a data culture. In fact, MDM dovetails perfectly with the objectives of operational efficiency models. Regardless of the sector or industry, MDM is of paramount importance to delivering operational success.

Where data is the core of a business, MDM lays the foundations to achieve greater efficiency and performance. The solution itself matches, merges and relates key data sets, providing a single source of truth accessed by everyone across the business. It manages the data in a consistent format with related controls and rules. Critical to its success is embracing a data culture that wraps around the solution, without which the right levels of governance and commitment cannot be achieved.

Through implementing robust MDM, a business can clean up its data workflows and automate business processes. This leads to reduced manual data practices, and a reduction in errors and related failure demand. The subsequent outcomes are greater efficiency, reduced labour, and reduced costs. This means that a business can focus financial and time investment on areas delivering value. All thanks to a finely tuned operating model, powered by robust and trusted data at its core.

This article is part of a series aimed at demystifying the sometimes-complex world of Master Data Management. At rascal we work hard to avoid jargon and make our approach as clear as possible. To discuss how we do this, or to suggest a topic you think needs clearing-up, please click here to get in touch.

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