The sixth tip in our Optimize SAP blog series focuses on the importance of setting up processes and systems to automatically analyze your master data. When implementing and running SAP software, a substantial amount of time and emphasis needs to be spent on understanding the implications of setting up clean and correct master data.
Master Data: Everybody Wants It, Nobody Knows What to Do With It
Master data includes the key business objects which are agreed on and shared across the enterprise. Data such as Customer, Vendor, and Product are most common and all in need of standardization so duplicate entries do not exist for the same object. For example, Customer1, Customer 1 Inc., and Customer 1 Co. entries all for the same customer can confuse those using the system to enter orders or confirm shipments to the customer.
For each business object in SAP, there are many switches to set so the system performs accurately. Understanding the settings and the downstream implications of those settings is essential. Without that understanding, we see broken processes, custom code unnecessarily in place, and costly mistakes.
SAP’s Material Master is particularly complex and in need of focused training. If a setting such as Unit of Measure for the material is set wrong, there is not an easy fix.
Once you have a clear understanding of your master data, it is essential to put in place governance for each business object. A key business process owner is needed to be sure the data stays clean and free of duplication.
Without proper governance, we have found situations where credit management did not work because of numerous customer names for the same customer. We have also found companies unable to establish vendor scorecards because they could not capture the data needed due to an inaccurate vendor master.
Check out my next Optimize SAP blog, “If You Only Have a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail,” to learn about implementing process orders inside your SAP system and eliminating the need for external databases. Stay tuned for more valuable tips!
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