When blueprinting a Master Data Management (MDM) solution one aspect is if – or in what degree – you should unify customer MDM and supplier MDM.
In theory, you should unify the concept for these two master domains in some degree. The reasons are:
- There is always an overlap of the real-world entities that has both a customer and a supplier role to your organization. The overlap is often bigger than you think not at least if you include the overlap of company family trees that have members in one of these roles.
- The basic master data for these master data domains are the same: Identification numbers, names, addresses, means of communication and more.
- The third-party enrichment opportunities are the same. The most predominant possibilities are integration with business directories (as Dun & Bradstreet and national registries) and address validation (as Loqate and national postal services).
In practice, the problem is that the business case for customer MDM and supplier MDM may not be realized at the same time. So, one domain will typically be implemented before the other depending on your organization’s business model.
Most MDM solutions must coexist with an – or several – ERP solutions. Many popular enterprise grade ERP solutions have adapted the business partner view with a common data model for basic customer and supplier data. This is the case with SAP S/4HANA and for example the address book in Microsoft Dynamics AX and Oracle JD Edwards.
MDM solutions themselves does also provide for a common structure. If you model one domain before the other, it is imperative that you consider all business partner roles in that model.
Data Governance Considerations
A data governance framework may typically be rolled out one master data domain at the time or in parallel. It is here essential that the data policies, data standards and business glossary for basic customer master data and basic supplier master data is coordinated.
Business Case Considerations
The business case for customer MDM will be stronger if the joint advantages with supplier MDM is incorporated – and vice versa.
This includes improvement in customer/supplier engagement and the derived supply/value chain effectiveness, cost sharing of third-party data enrichment service expenses and shared gains in risk assessment.
Check the list of innovative solutions in the MDM space here.