In this “summer series” of posts dedicated to Master Data Management for Product Data, we go across what we identified as the five most frequent use cases of MDM for product data.
This post focuses on MDM for Lean Managed Services, a use case that we are seeing in companies that operate an infrastructure composed of a large number of equipment. For example, this can be a facility manager that operates a set of devices to deliver IT or network capabilities to its customers; or a utility provider that manages a networked grid; or a provider of Maintenance, Repair and Operations related services. Sometimes also referred as MDM for asset data, this use case is also sometimes refered as MDM for asset dataalso applies for enterprises that are providing support and services for their product line.
Those businesses, no matter if they are insourced as a shared services inside a company or provided as an outsourced business process to a customer of the enterprise, are under pressure to reduce costs and add value to the core business of their client organization whenever possible. They need to have a single view of the equipment that they manage, which often happen to be disparate legacy equipment. Master Data Management helps to get as shared and accurate view of the equipment, to standardize their characteristics and behavior, and in some case even to make them actional by orchestrating their remote operations. In that case, the business case of Master Data Management is pretty straightforward, because it can be directly linked to the reduction of the cost of service.
Take the example of the Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) processes in the manufacturing industry: once companies have re-engineered their supply chain processes, they find that Maintenance, Repair and Operations represent a significant portion of their remaining product costs. Surveys show that, in many organizations, MRO inventory may accounts for a significant slice—typically from 15 to 40 percent—of the annual procurement budget, generally not with the level of rigor seen in the core manufacturing supply chain. Business benefits typically express themselves in terms of minimized parts procurement costs together with reduced inventory costs. This is also an area where enterprises can differentiate from their competition by selling their product as a service, and provide innovating “after sales” services to their customers. And this all starts by improving the inventory control, even when the products in under the hands of customers, an area where MDM for Product Data indeed is of great help.
Now that we are entering in the era of the Internet of things, where products can report on their behavior and be actionable remotely, my point of view is that this use case will grow dramatically and drive the market of MDM for Product Data into innovation and next practices. General Electric is a reknowned pioneer in this area, with his initiative around the Industrial Internet. It is about operating “ecosystems of connected machines to increase efficiency, minimize waste, and make the people operating them make smarter decisions”. This is a data driven initiative at the crossroads of MDM and Big Data.