January 11, 2017

Visions's Monika Pürsing: Our MDM solution

Thinklinkers are proud to introduce our MDM event partners, zetVisions, whom we have asked to address a few key MDM challenges that will shape the agenda of our imminent MDM event. We had a brief chat with zetVision's Monika Pürsing, CEO, to glean what zetVisions does to promote a more healthy MDM culture. Since March 2006 Monika led by example as Head of Product Management of zetVisions AG and therefore already co-determined the strategic direction of the company. Before joining zetVisions she successfully led numerous international projects in the area of master data management solutions and advised customers regarding process design

1. Monika, what are the main challenges MDM departments face today?

Master data of any type exist in all companies and in general, various systems work with them. Often, there are historically evolved data silos that mostly only serve individual departments although this data is also relevant for other departments. Coping with the daily tasks becomes an act of strength, be it due to manual data entry or data reconciliation or missing reliability concerning data quality. This gets problematic when the data base is inconsistent and the involved departments receive different or even wrong information. That is why correct master data are essential for a smooth running of all business processes. Most of the times there is no single “truth” of data.

2. What are your recommendations for improving Data Quality and Data Consistency?

With a master data management solution, you create a “single point of truth” for different master data domains across the whole business process. A side effect is improved and sustained data consistency and quality. Above all, the process efficiency and performance are improved through cross-departmental collaboration. Data quality on the other hand says something about correctness, consistency, reliability, completeness, precision and timeliness of data – not only of master data. Data quality therefore is an aspect of master data management. It is never too late to pay attention to data quality. If poor data quality results in losing deals or money, it is about time to concern oneself with the topic. Not in distant future, but immediately. Whether data are the new oil is something people have been philosophizing about for around ten years now, when the question first emerged. In the end it is not decisive what makes oil and data different but what they have in common. Decisive is to realize that data are valuable lubricant for companies and economy in digital economics. Data are a central resource of the digital revolution. Just knowing this should alone be enough to make data quality a priority.

3. How could MDM professionals achieve a 360 degrees overview of all master data?

Master data management brings together all information and data in a company to a single entity, the “golden record” for e.g. customers, products, suppliers. Only then interactions between these domains can be seen and one receives a 360 degree overview on master data across all domains. Multi-domain master data solutions cover various master data domains, for example customer, supplier, product or financial master data. Companies face the task of producing an integrated, company-wide data retention for all master data domains as well as reference data. A multi-domain solution centralizes the entire master data management. All relevant data from purchase to sales meet in one central system. This opens up new perspectives for the business process. Company-wide connections and interactions become visible – and with that often an enormous saving potential in terms of time and costs.

4. Which single domain vs. multi-domain key considerations are important when choosing the right path?

The goal should be a multi-domain consideration and also management of the master data. Also, if you first only start with a single domain, for example customer master data. It is important to start either with the domain that causes the most pain or that produces the quickest win. When different solutions are used in each domain new data silos are created and you have not really won anything. The consideration of the entire business process and the needed master data is indispensable and should determine the action.

5. What degree of customization and flexibility can be expected from your solution?

With zetVisions SPoT we offer an SAP-based solution. It is an SAP add-on that runs and is operated on an existing SAP infrastructure of the customer. In essence, zetVisions SPoT is characterized by a high flexibility – without becoming complex in the application. zetVisions SPoT is a single product for all domains including support of data governance aspects and the associated processes, e.g. the definition of user roles and approval rules. The user interface, the data model, the processes and the requests can be customized – without programming. The data transfer as an interface component can produce/supply highly structured formats via mapping and this also without programming. The data can be distributed to different source and target systems, either SAP or non-SAP systems. With a mouse click zetVisions SPoT also exports the data as a formatted MS Excel file or sends it directly via email.

6. Could you give examples of tangible benefits and improvements achieved with your solution?

Exemplary use case: A company, which has implemented zetVisions SPoT, is one of the leading science and technology companies in the areas healthcare, life science, and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to develop technologies that enrich life – from biopharmaceutical therapies, cancer or multiple sclerosis treatment and groundbreaking systems for scientific research and production to liquid crystals for smartphones or LCD TVs. In 2015, the company generated a turnover of 12.85 billion euros in 66 countries. Due to the launch of zetVisions SPoT the company still benefits today from a highly configurable and flexible solution that adjusts itself even when the demands grow.

  • Different “leading systems” replaced by a “Single Point of Truth.”
  • Complex, laborious processes, time-consuming, manual effort and Excel lists prone to errors replaced by a central master data management system.
  • Clear authorization concept guarantees that all users can only maintain the part they are responsible for.
  • Clearly defined processes and data governance rules ensure transparency.
  • Minimized errors due to the four-eye principle at data entry and release.
  • Time-dependent data entry and maintenance guarantee a key-date documentation of changes with an extensive modification history and also ensure transparency.
  • Plausibility checks at data entry increase data quality.
  • Logical derivation of data is realized on the basis of defined algorithms leading to optimized data entry and reduced error rate.
  • Slim work flows with not many processing steps minimize manual processing errors.
  • Shorter processing and lead times in modification processes lead to substantial time saving.