Master data collection and updates is a challenging and expensive affair for customers. Be it collecting the master data at the start of the project to enter it into an ERP / CRM system or keeping the master data clean once the system is in use is a massive task. Dealing with master data for over 10 years has given us key insights in collecting/updating master data along with keeping the costs low.
1. Trust the user in the field
The most important aspect of master data is to understand who is in the best position to deal with master data. Users in the field have the best view of the master data – field service technicians, inspectors, salespeople, etc. It is often a misconception that the field service has to be centrally managed and leaving to the users on the field can leave the master data battered.
The central office has the farthest seat in the stadium. The action is on the field. So let the people in the field collect the master data. Most successful projects with the highest percentage of master data cleanliness have field users empowered to collect and update master data.
If the supervisors, managers and the central master data team wants to retain control then retain it over verification and not over collection. Make master data collection a 2-step approach where the field users collect/update the master data. The submitted master becomes operational only once there is an approval from the verification authority.
2. Initial data collection and subsequent updates to master data should have the same process
It is a common practice to follow different approaches for initial data collection for entry into the master data system (ERP, CRM, etc.) and subsequent updates of master data. This is not the best way to deal with master data. There has to be a common approach to treat master data consistently
3. Mobility is the solution: Eliminate paper and admin assistants
Eliminate paper-based processes and admin assistants to manage master data. Use a mobile application to manage master data. Make master data collection and updates a process in the mobile application. Field users can use the mobile application (on smartphones or tables) to collect/update master data – both during the initial stage where master data is collected for the first time and later to update the master data.
Either the mobile application will field processes (required by users) along with master data management can be built in one go or split into two parts – build the mobile application with master data enablement processes first and later extend the application with other field processes (ex: Work orders, inspections, opportunities, leads, sales orders, etc.)
1. Empower the field people to collect master data using a mobile application eliminating paper-based processes and admin assistants. Eliminate unnecessary expenses and minimize master data errors.
2. Retain approval process for collected master data to ensure correctness of data.
3. Weave the master data and other business processes into the same mobile applications so that the master data updates can be done easily as a part of the normal business flow. Ex: While creating a sales order, processing a plant maintenance work order, etc.
Unvired’s customers use master data processes along with other processes in their mobile applications based on Unvired Mobile Platform. Unvired master data management mobile solution has helped customers save a lot of money and keep their master data clean.