Although some companies may promote it as such, materials data is most definitely not a one size fits all kind of thing. Depending on the industry, business process and ERP/EAM/CMMS application being used, each client has their own unique set of data requirements that should be respected and accommodated.
Before any data cleansing project can begin, a number of questions must be addressed to establish a common set of client-specific standards. First, a kick-off meeting is held to determine which ERP/EAM/CMMS application the cleansed item master will be uploaded to. Various applications have different field names, types and character limitations, which determine how the data must be formatted. Next, the client must review the Standard Operating Procedure as a baseline and request any required changes such as naming convention and abbreviations. In many cases, companies will have used a certain naming convention or set of abbreviations in their legacy system that they would like to carry forward. Rather than changing the standards that have been used for many years, these will simply be incorporated into the data cleansing process upon the client’s request. Other customizations may include the assignment of categories and sub-categories, ordering additional attributes, and using client-specific codification systems.
At the end of the day, no client should ever feel obligated or forced to adopt a foreign set of data standards that do not align with their business requirements. Since materials data is the foundation for critical business decisions, it needs to be available in whatever format is most useful to its end user, the client.
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