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Introduction to Vendor Master Data Cleansing

Although we constantly find ourselves promoting, educating, and focusing on the Material Master side of data cleansing, it is important to remember that the Vendor Master also plays a critical role in the maintenance, purchasing, and procurement process.

Similar to materials data, the Vendor Master often becomes corrupt with inconsistent, inaccurate, and incomplete information. Through mergers and acquisitions, ERP implementations, and employee turnover, data is bound to become corrupt at some point without a proper catalog management strategy in place. In every database we typically see multiples of the same vendor, spelled differently, with varying address, payment, and taxation information. It is this type of inconsistency and lack of data quality that leads to many procurement inefficiencies and missed cost savings opportunities.

The same data cleansing process used for material master data can be applied to cleanse, standardize and validate vendor master records as well. Prior to project commencement, a Standard Operating Procedure will need to be developed to outline the standard cleansing policies and formatting requirements. While the Standard Operating Procedure for Vendor Master Cleansing will not contain a Noun-Modifier Dictionary, it will articulate Naming Convention, Abbreviations, Payment Terms, Taxation, and Custom Requirements. Once developed, the Standard Operating Procedure will be used to consistently structure vendor master records moving forward. Potential duplicate records will be identified and returned to the client for review and further direction.

Upon completion of the cleansing process, a catalog management strategy must be implemented to prevent future data degradation. IMA’s uManage web-based catalog management solution, which is most commonly used to maintain ongoing integrity of the material master, is also available as a Vendor Management solution. Standard request forms are customized prior to go-live in an effort to capture the required data fields for a vendor master record creation. Role-based user access is provided, enabling designated requesters to submit additions, modifications, and suspensions to the vendor master.

In summary, we must not overlook the vendor master when implementing a corporate data cleansing initiative. As we’ve said multiple times, data is the foundation for operational efficiency, this includes both material AND vendor master data.

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