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Master Data Management: A Window into Your MRO World

Everyone knows that knowledge is power. That axiom is especially true for manufacturing and fabrication companies that use thousands of components, materials, and miscellaneous parts to keep their production lines running smoothly, efficiently, and safely. A comprehensive and accurate view of parts inventory and consumption reduces maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) costs and ultimately can determine a company’s profitability.

Most manufacturing companies collect, tabulate, and attempt to analyze MRO inventory information, but much of this data is inaccurate and/or scattered, making it difficult to create a true picture of the current state of supply, let alone plan for future use. Managing this master data is key to avoiding stockouts, guaranteeing mission-critical replacement parts are on-hand, and keeping carrying costs at a minimum.

The Problem

Unfortunately, most companies face several obstacles to gaining a full, accurate snapshot of their current MRO inventory, such as:

  • Their parts lists contain parts they no longer use
  • The same part is listed under multiple SKU numbers, taxonomies, and descriptions
  • They order the same part from multiple suppliers
  • Multiple people – including some who are unauthorized and under-qualified – enter, change and otherwise “manage” the data
  • Workers pigeonhole personal stockpiles of important parts to ensure they are available even when official inventories are exhausted.

Duplicate, missing, or outdated master MRO data makes it difficult to gauge consumption because there is no precise starting point. Cleansing the master data, therefore, is the first step toward developing processes that will optimize the entire MRO supply chain.

The Solution

While technology and enterprise resource planning capabilities can automate cleansing, consistency, taxonomy, uniformity and other master data management tasks, to be fully integrated it must consider the divergent needs of both the procurement team and the maintenance staff. These two ultimate “owners” of the process have different, but equally important needs. They must reach accord, using relevant tools and domain expertise, to supply and minimize risk. Cleansing data and keeping it clean creates intra-departmental value in both areas and also drives inter-departmental efficiencies, cost savings, manufacturing uptime, and productivity.

SDI’s Answer

SDI has committed itself to leading the industry in master data management for MRO by meeting the needs of both maintenance teams and procurement professionals. Working with a data cleansing and delivery partner, SDI has developed a data collection, analysis, and workflow process driven by our powerful SDiExchange platform that will deliver powerful supply chain results for our clients, including:

  • Fixing, completing, reformatting, and purging product and user data and categorizing it into an accessible Product Information Management system. The data then interfaces directly with the SDiExchange gateway to automate client workflows, systematically validate SKUs, and deliver feedback and real-time electronic updates to the operations team in the field.
  • Making process management tools available electronically as callable web services, automating many tasks – product description updates, new product adds and catalog synchronizations, for instance – to create a seamless flow from collection through publication into each client’s customized SDiExchange catalog, and improving the interoperability of product data, product content and search functionality.
  • Instituting product search by category, attributes, keyword, and enhanced filters.

An SDI master data assessment will determine the accuracy and robustness of your company’s MRO data. Our experts will find opportunities to create a comprehensive plan for cleaning and maintaining your data. Click here to schedule an assessment and begin optimizing your procurement and maintenance functions.

Success Story

Our former solution provider was not independent; they were a supplier of parts. It's not the best thing to have a supplier be your MRO outsourcing provider. With SDI, we have a truly independent sourcing agent looking after our best interests.

SDI at Work

In the third post in this series on MRO As-a-Service by Spend Matters, Pierre Mitchell and Michael Lamoureux talk about how managing MRO as a process delivers benefits from efficiency to effectiveness and beyond to an evolutionary phase. The next generation of value, MRO-as-a-Service, helps organizations build intelligent, agile, scalable and integrated supply chains (direct and indirect).

The project team has worked its way through Define, Measure, Analyze, and Improve. It’s time to begin the Control phase. The key stakeholders gather to evaluate the solution as implemented and create a plan to sustain the improvements. The goal is to standardize the improved processes, establish an audit schedule and schedule periodic follow-up to identify additional opportunities for improvement.