The Five Facets of Product Data (MDM Summer Series Part 1)

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: MDM for Material Data, MDM for Lean Managed Services, MDM for Regulated Products, Product Information Management and MDM for “Anything”.

In their market definition of Master Data Management, Gartner chose to segment the market into two main subdomains: while MDM for Customer Data deals with “party” data, such as customers, members, citizens, patients, employees, or vendors, MDM for Product Data focuses on the “management of the domain relating to products and other things”, then further defined as “finished products, parts, material, assets, services and financial instruments”.

MDM for Product Data is a well-established market, which should stand somewhere between $500M and $1B depending on analysts estimates, with a five year annual compound growth rate of 9% (according to Gartner). MDM for Product Data is often incorrectly considered as a synonym of Product Information Management (PIM). Indeed, PIM, which we is further defined below,  is one obvious use case of MDM for Product Data, but they are many others: based on our market knowledge, but also on the feedback from our Talend MDM customer base, we identified five use cases:

  • MDM for Material Data aims to manage centrally information about spare parts, raw materials and final products, in order to share this trusted and unified across organizations, processes and information systems.
  • MDM for Lean Managed Services is 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.
  • MDM for Regulated Products happens when products must comply with government or industry regulations.  This mandates to adhere to standard codifications and also to exchange information beyond the enterprise walls to provide control and traceability on how products are sourced, tested, manufactured, packaged, documented, transported or promoted.
  • Product Information Management or PIM refers to “processes and technologies focused on centrally managing information about products, with a focus on the data required to market and sell the products through one or more distribution channels. A central set of product data can be used to feed consistent, accurate and up-to-date information to multiple output media such as web sites, print catalogs, ERP systems, and electronic data feeds to trading partners” (Wikipedia).
  • MDM for Anything focuses on any specific products or things that an organization has to share across his lines of business and has specific data structures and related processes: Professional Services companies have their work breakdown structures, Environmental Services their waste types, Life Sciences companies have their compounds, etc..  If those products are widely shared across activities and the enterprise is struggling with multiple data entry or reporting systems, resulting in process inefficiencies, then there is a place for MDM for Product Data.

In the first parts of the series we will highlight each of the use cases, and investigate their business benefits, starting with part 2 related to MDM for material data. Then, in the second set of parts, we will look at the key capabilities needed from an MDM solution to tackle each of these five use cases.



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