We live in a data-driven world where customers are key and companies are struggling to manage more data than ever before. At the same time, customers – rightly so – are making increasingly higher demands. For product and content managers, digital transformation, omni-channel shopping and stricter regulations have made data essential for effective product management. You’ll find out in this article how you can easily tackle these challenges with an MDM solution.
Five best practices to optimize product data management with an mdm solution
We see that companies who look at data as a strategic asset, continue to succeed in this era of digital transformation. At the same time, we also notice that most organizations, large and small, struggle with data management issues such as quality, speed and availability.
Master data is the source of all information that is essential for your organization. This can be product data, but also customer and supplier information. Master Data Management (MDM) is the management of this Master Data. MDM offers one reliable version of the truth (or ‘single point of truth’) and helps to solve problems with the help of data and to distinguish yourself from your competitors.
MDM software helps you with creating, managing and publishing data. MDM enables you to launch products at the right time, the right place and at the right cost.
It’s a scalable solution that eliminates inefficient processes, replaces old legacy systems and ensures that data can be found in one central system instead of being spread across multiple silos. MDM makes expensive and time-consuming manual data entry a thing of the past. It helps you to launch products faster, but also to comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Below you’ll find five MDM best practices that can point you in the right direction when establishing an MDM strategy.
Use a central MDM platform for product data that allows you to expand in the future to other data domains, such as suppliers, customers, or locations. Don’t just use MDM to improve your product data, but use it as a central hub that connects other systems. Including ERP, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, order management and warehouse management. The integration ensures that all systems work with the same version of the truth for product data. This will reduce data issues and improve the whole decision-making process. With a centrally positioned MDM solution, you will eliminate operational inefficiency due to separate departments and systems.
At its core, MDM provides transparency between different users, departments and data flows within the organization. Product, marketing, sales, partner, customer service and other departments work with (and on) the same “version of the truth,” increasing productivity and improving time-to-value.
MDM enables companies to develop and launch products efficiently while collaborating in a good way, internally as well as externally. For example, through advanced tools and workflows with automated task assignment. The result is a cross-functional collaboration between departments that makes it possible to carry out different activities in parallel. At the same time, the quality of product data is made insightful in real-time.
Developing one central version of the truth – a “golden record” – requires discipline. It is therefore important to establish data standards and rules in a structured way; we call this data governance. An MDM platform lets you onboard, classify, manage and publish information using advanced data modelling, roles, workflows and business rules.
In addition to regular attributes, classifications and references, there are numerous additional modeling features, including rule-based product classification and packaging hierarchies aimed at supply chain management.
Customers are constantly setting higher standards when it comes to the quality of product data. An important aspect of data quality is timing. In addition to managing product data, it is important to provide information quickly and efficiently to purchasing systems and parties. These can be customers, but also data pools, online marketplaces or internal systems such as ERP, e-commerce platforms and CRM. Product Data Syndication makes it possible to be present more rapidly on external channels. It is possible to shorten the time-to-market of a product and at the same time meet the (ever-changing) requirements for the quality of product data. You can of course choose which data fields you make available for specific purchasing systems and stakeholders.
The digital transformation makes boundaries blurry. The customer uses many different channels and decides for himself which channel best suits his or her question. This online, omni-channel world offers great opportunities to expand into new markets and reach new customers. For (local) companies it is sometimes a huge challenge to manage multilingual product information, packaging and country-specific promotions. They need a solution in which consistent product information can be made accessible in an efficient manner in the various channels, in various languages. An MDM platform offers the possibility to easily optimize content per region. For example, through integrated translation functionalities and links with external translation agencies. Product information in multiple languages helps increase sales from new markets while strengthening and expanding brand equity.