Master Data Management in Trade - Innovative Technologies...

12.2. Master Data Management in Commerce

It is believed that on average only 15% of corporate data are critical and are the basis for making management decisions. The master data includes information about the products manufactured by the enterprise, customers, suppliers, sales, goods and their barcodes, the location of objects, materials, employees, etc.

Because of the importance of this information for business, they are called master data, or master data (MD).

Master Data Management (MDM - master data management) is one of the priority functions of enterprise information management. It is based on the use of data obtained from various applications and from various sources, including from spatially-distributed ones. To manage the master data in the enterprise, it is necessary to create a single information management environment integrating the MDs obtained from various applications and data sources. The systems providing this are called MDM-systems. Their technology is based on the consolidation, purification, harmonization of information from disparate systems, data abstraction, synchronization and distribution by target systems, protection against changes in applications and business processes.

The problem of master data management in retail trade is especially relevant in the following cases: the growth of the network, its expansion due to the absorption, distribution of retail business, multiformat retailers, when the trading network includes trading enterprises of various formats, as well as using at the enterprise of various information systems that process the same type of data.

Therefore, the range of the network can be hundreds of thousands of items, including master data sets with identical positions. The maintenance of a single classifier or nomenclature reference book does not solve such a problem, since it is necessary to maintain the system in real time in the actual state. It becomes especially acute in trade networks, including enterprises of various formats (multi-format).

The result of the introduction of MDM-system in a multi-format trading network can be the solution of the issue of multi-format logistics with the aim of increasing efficiency. In addition, it becomes possible to easily build reports not only in terms of product groups, but also nomenclature positions. This allows both assuring the management of the assortment and determining the mutual influence of the demand for various goods.

The main customers of MDM-systems are purchasing departments, IT department, accounting department, marketing department and quality department. Employees of the purchasing department use the MDM-system to introduce new positions into the assortment matrix and remove the irrelevant items from it, the accounting department places their attributes there (for example, the VAT rate), the specialists of the quality department attach relevant certificates to the data, the marketing department investigates the tendencies of the product's promotion to the market .

When working with financial accounts, the MDM system performs a consolidation procedure for a unified chart of accounts displayed in several financial systems for integrated reporting and performance management.

The relevance of MDM systems for managing enterprise master data is also due to the active use of new trends in the system architecture, primarily service-oriented architectures (SOA). If the services receive data from different sources, they do not affect each other. And when they access common data sets, there is a need to organize distributed access to data and manage data. MDM systems also include content management systems designed to rationalize unstructured information by displaying documents, as well as unformatted and formatted texts stored in databases or in knowledge bases.

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