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How to maintain your master data centrally?

Written by Richard Smits on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

Companies with multiple divisions are having a big challenge to maintain their master data consistent and up-to-date. If you are not able to handle it centrally, it will become very hard to colloborate between divisions, and  reporting on group level will become a challenge. Furthermore correcting master data is a time-consuming activity.

 Most heard master data, customers would like to manage centrally are:
• Accounts
• Resources
• Items
• G/L accounts

Exact started to investigate what challenges these type of companies are currently facing and how we can support our customers with managing their master data centrally. 

Do you:
• face this issue? 
• what is your biggest issue?
• know customers facing this? 
• how do they currently handle this?
• have any other ideas/remarks

This is the first blog post about support of multi-divisional companies and we will update you regularly via the product blog.

Your comments will be highly appreciated!

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Comments (22)

  • Exact User

    |

    Hi Richard – Interesting topic!! You may expect a few comments here. From my experience…

    • face this issue?
    Yes – The ability to manage master data centrally is key to the smooth running of the business – examples being that locally GL codes can be created for the P&L but in alot of cases it might already exist but with a slightly different variable
    • what is your biggest issue?
    Biggest issue I believe is the ability to chose which fields should or should not be replicated and how to handle local legislation issues and of course foreign currency
    • know customers facing this?
    YES
    • how do they currently handle this?
    In some cases it does require additional manual effort to control the data that is being created – duplicate data either is recoded or merged which takes time. In our situation we use Orbis TaskCentre to help manage the data although we would prefer an integrated solution within Synergy
    • have any other ideas/remarks
    It would be nice if there was the ability to mark fields for replication then the user has more control over this.

    Reply

  • Dick

    |

    Hi Richard,
    Within the International region we face quite some challenges regarding this topic so this is a good topic!

    For now some additional info on this from customers who are already interested in this type of functionality: see request Customer Feedback – 34.229.002 and 33.013.488.

    Kind regards,
    Dick

    Reply

  • Amit Deokule

    |

    Hello,

    Can you tell me how feasible this product to use in India where Exact Globes has no presence in India? Sap and Peoplesoft are the most appreciated ERP Softwares which are pre-dominantly being used in India, in this scenario would it be the right decision to opt for Exact and how for SME Sector?

    Reply

  • Amit Deokule

    |

    Hello,

    why can’t the Indiian Legislation pack have the Payroll/salary module? It would be feasible to justify the cost of the license then???

    Reply

  • Richard Smits

    |

    @Exact User
    Thanks for your feedback!

    From a functional point of view, how would these customers handle local legislation issues/foreign currency in relation with central management?

    Would they like to manage it centrally, meaning users will define also divisional/local data centrally? Or would they like to define some data centrally, and divisional/local data to be enriched locally?

    Reply

  • Richard Smits

    |

    @Amit Deokule

    I don’t see what your comments/questions have to do with Central master data management.

    Reply

  • Amit Deokule

    |

    Dear Mr. Richard,

    Regret Inconvenience. Can you suggest me then…where can I put my comments because they are valid and it is expected that it is answered.

    Regards,

    Amit Deokule

    Reply

  • Richard Smits

    |

    @Amit Deokule

    I think your question is already answered via another media? If not, you can send me a mail: Richard.Smits@exact.com

    Reply

  • Arno

    |

    An interesting topic!

    We are facing problems with the multiple divisions and replications. We have one creditorsfile, so every creditor in our Synergy database is replicated to one or more Globe database(s).

    Currently when one division decides to stop doing business with one of those suppliers, we have to delete the creditorcode of the supplier in Synergy and should deactivate the supplier in Globe. Because if whe deactivate the supplier in Synergy, the supplier will be deactivated in all the Globe databases.

    The same problem we have with accountmanagers and other division specific data. My suggestion is to register this at the same place where we make the link with the debtornumber and creditornumber in Synergy.

    It should make us very flexible, every division has is ‘own’ relations and manages his ‘own’ relations and on the other side we have one central relations database with a single record per relation.

    Then you can fully use Synergy as a central system for all your data. Multi side and multi company!

    Reply

  • Juerg Eckner

    |

    Dear Richard,
    It certainly is an issue, specially in a mixed ERP environment as we have.
    I think we have 3 main challenges:
    – Central master data should be flexible enough to make changes in fields that are mainly relevant for central analysis and reporting.
    – Specific Central master data fields should be easily copied to relevant productive ERP systems (field mapping, consistency, …)
    – Local ERP should not be too much restricted by the central master data, however infringement of policy is then an issue. Example: part nr not given centrally..
    We tried to solve the issue of flexibility by building our own data structure. We have solved the issue of infrongment by implementing checks we can run to show differences. We still struggle with the easily copying…

    regards
    Juerg Eckner

    Reply

  • Richard Smits

    |

    Dear Juerg,

    Thanks for your comments.

    It’s indeed always balancing between flexibility and consistency. In order to be very consistent you might have to limit the flexibility, so creating the data always centrally.

    What do you mean with the ‘part nr’? Are you talking about items? Does this mean you have an item code centrally, but the item code locally can be different?

    You mention your own data strucutre, I’m curious about what data this is about. Is this all master data, or do you focus on e.g. Accounts and items?

    Thanks for valuable input!

    Regards,

    Richard

    Reply

  • Richard Smits

    |

    Dear Arno,

    Thanks for the input.

    So you suggest to store divisional data at the same place as we currently store the debtor/creditor number. Also something we are considering.

    Of course the question will be what data is ‘central’ data and what is divisional data. This will differ probably per (type of) company.

    Are you only replicating Accounts or also other master data?

    Thanks for your input,

    Richard

    Reply

  • Juerg Eckner

    |

    Dear Richard,
    With “part nr” i refer to itemcodes. We have our sales part nr centrally maintained, as we want our own products to be globally available consistently with the same quality measures.
    By our own data structure i mean that we maintain the master data ourselve in SQL server. We make the data available though our intranet and have it downloadable to (not yet for all) ERP for the items.
    Our main priority was items. We have the accounts centralized but not so pretty (Excel). We are currently undergoing a project to move more master data to our SQL server repository.
    Regards
    Juerg

    Reply

  • Arno

    |

    Hi Richard,

    We are replicating accounts, employees, items and projects.

    When you say, that the question is what data should be centralized, I think, in our case, we will store all the master data in Synergy. Also de divisional data, we would manage that in Synergy.

    For example, 1 supplier has in every company another relationmanager, who orders supplies. In Synergy you can have a workflow for this relationmanager, but in Globe he needs rights to make the purchase order.

    Nowadays we don’t replicate the relationmanager, because this can only be 1 person per supplier. And this person hasn’t got the rights to purchase in every division.

    Reply

  • Dave

    |

    Hello Richard,

    I am glad that you started up this topic. We have three companies in different countries which are working with identical Globe administrations. We would like to create a consolidated Syngergy environment to manage all the data like items and relations.

    A few big challenges are:
    – Administration specific fields (warehouses, item groups (partly), description, managers, VAT codes etc.)
    – Process flow after creating new master data. Somebody has to add some extra specific information to the data.

    Flexibility concerning this issue is very important because there will not be one solution for everybody.

    Reply

  • Richard

    |

    Thanks Dave for your feedback.

    About the second issue you mention. When an account of item is created you could of course create a request for follw-up, or are you referring to something different?

    Thanks,

    Richard

    Reply

  • Dave

    |

    Richard,

    No this is exactly what I mentioned. But what is your reaction about the first issue?

    Dave

    Reply

  • Richard Smits

    |

    Hi Dave,

    About the first issue, I assume you mean to be able to define different values for different divisions.
    If so…..this issue is clear!

    Thanks,

    Richard

    Reply

  • Steve Noakes

    |

    Hi Richard, Yes we also have the need for centralised master data. We are an Engineering company and needed to centralise item and BOM creation with replication to all local databases (we have 6 so far in different countries). then we plan to centralise customers and suppliers but this will take time to rationalise our own legacy data and logics.

    For the items and BOMs, the issue with centralised replication in Globe is that it replicates too much data, some of which is specific to the local sites and would therefore be over-written during the replication.

    We overcame this by writing our own SQL replication which pulls in the central data, whenever it is modified or created, but leaves the local data in tact, thereby allowing the local sites to link to differnt suppliers, make/buy decisions, warehouse and stock locations etc. etc.

    If there was a module to manage such issues it would be far more efficient and future proof – like you newly updated Intercompany logistics (central warehousing as was)

    Happy to share our experience / ideas with other Exact users

    Steve

    Reply

  • Laurence Ledford

    |

    Is this available in the USA yet? I can think of a number of customers that would benefit highly from this.

    Reply

  • Richard Smits

    |

    Central Master Data Management functionality is available in the US only via participation in our controlled release program and only in conjunction with Globe back offices.

    Reply

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