Have a Strategy for Master Data

We have to do away with the notion that ERP solutions are set in stone.

Consider the amount of people who has an iPhone or a smartphone, and how infinitely much functionality, we have access to in the app stores.

It’s the same challenge as when laying the foundation for a house that later needs and addition built onto it: the future is different than you had expected, otherwise you would have laid the foundation differently!

But the only thing you can do is extend and add to the foundation, even though you would rather have redone it completely.

Plan to avoid frequent customizations

A lot of people still believe in the fundamental paradigm that an ERP system’s data foundation can’t really be changed.

And when you have to add new sections to your foundation, you have to hire a system consultant and pay him to expand the foundation with additional fields – which is not only expensive, but also makes the system even more customized.

We surpassed this reality long ago – but not a lot of people have discovered that fact yet.

With the right ERP tools, you can be your own system developer

There are already tools for some ERP systems that allow you to easily and flexibly customize and maintain your master data in line with changing wishes and needs.

In Microsoft Dynamics NAV, we work with a tool for master data management that is very similar to the logic that most of us know from Excel, which makes working with data very quick and easy.

For our customers, this means that they do not have to call a system developer – and wait for him to find time to come by – just to have a single data field added to their products, customers or suppliers, for example.

I am convinced that the future of ERP solutions will offer many more solutions for master data management.

Read more about this topic in the free book: The Profitable ERP Strategy

I have written a book with input for your ERP strategy, and you can read it for free.

It contains 7 recommendations for a healthy and changeable ERP system:

1. Consider a Cloud Strategy
2. Focus on value and readiness for change
3. Select “best practice” scalable standard functionality
4. Have a strategy for flexible management of master data
5. Select ongoing operating costs rather than large investments
6. Consider a strategy for upgrades where only relevant data is included
7. Select a needs-driven ERP strategy – perhaps with different platforms?