Master Data; Achilles Heel or Backbone?


The backbone and Achilles heel (tendon; medical term) are words used within a proverbial. Both of them are an expression at the other end of the spectrum. One is often used to express strength and the other a weakness. The backbone is the base of the human body. It gives you stability and a firm position to stand in. The Achilles heel is one of the weak spots of the human body attaching the ankle to the leg.

Master data as a backbone

Master data is seen as valuable data within the organization. It is one of the pillars on which an organization is founded on. Sessions with the department of IT Advisory from KPMG conclude that the quality of this data is crucial for an organization to succeed in exercising their strategy. Therefore called the backbone!

When master data like product master data contains errors, faults or incorrect data from any kind it immediately affects the day-to-day business. Time is lost and costs are calculated. Let’s give an example of the basics of master data.

The example:

A truck gets loaded by a supplier on location A. This is done with all the factors of concern in mind. Think about the maximum weight and sizes of the truck. The system of record should provide this data to do so. When the truck is loaded it gets on his way to the destination. At the border the border patrol will do the check. After weighting the truck the measurements explains that this truck has an overload. It is too heavy to proceed his course to the destination. This truck returns to supplier and gets reloaded the right way.

Cause: Faulty product master data concerning the materials loaded in his truck. Result: Lost of time and money

Backbone or Achilles heel?

Many organizations are aware of the fact that master data and in this case product master data is important for their business and experiences in the field tell me that not every organization is in control over this data. Situations such as with the truck are not normal. Do not accept this as a company, this is the Achilles heel! Master data should the backbone of your and any other organization. Do not let it become your Achilles heel.