One of the significant factors to determine the success of a product’s serialisation is to have accurate and verifiable information. The serialisation data needs to include information about the product details, the source and where it is destined to arrive. The information in the records must include details like the name of the product, the cost, and location of shipping. This information is also known as master data that could be about materials, vendors, suppliers, and customers and can also include transactional data (depending on the business). As master data is used to maintain and build an accurate and reliable system for product records, this helps during data exchange between interfaces and in singling out where issues have occurred in the supply chain.
Master Data helps trading partners, dispensers, and government agencies in product authentication. It would not be possible to sell the serialised product without having the correct data exchanged with all the required parties. Efforts are being made in various complex serialisation project these days to improve and manage master data which will ultimately set the serialisation operation on the right track for the long run.
Importance of Master Data
Many organisations believe they have useful, precise datasets only to later face challenges with trade partners and associates as the information may not be valid anymore or found in the same system. It’s also important to note that master data is stored in different systems (e.g., government systems) and is created only once, and then referred to and used again and again. The information can then be edited and updated within a dataset.
Companies must, therefore, ensure serial numbers for their products and maintain records of their master data which is critical when exchanging data and for the packaging and labeling stages. The objective is to synchronise the data from different sources and locations; otherwise, there’s a risk that it may become inaccurate, stale, and unusable. The data needs to correctly correspond to the serial number of the product in the company records and when sending it to partners. That’s why it’s crucial to be alert, vigilant and to have proper protocols in place. This is so there’s appropriate data management and to include consistent practices and policies.
Studying and understanding the master data helps in planning a serialisation strategy as it provides information about a product, company, partner and explains the journey of the product in the supply chain. It helps also with packaging and labeling configuration in the serialisation process. Master data is vital in the serialisation of a product as the serial numbers on it or the unit allows tracking and tracing and is used to check if the information is sent to the right destination with the correct, corresponding serial number. Accounting for master data usage throughout the serialisation stages and process prevents future challenges with serial numbers on packages and with differing country-specific requirements. Businesses can use master data information to grow and work more quickly and efficiently. More so through understanding data requirements and addressing the master data challenges right from the inception stages till completion.
Master Data Key Types:Company Master Data – This contains the detail regarding all your company’s locations that includes address, company identifiers like GLN, SGLN, country code, business type & logo to name a few. Partner Master Data – This contains information regarding your partners and their locations including address, contact information, global identifiers. Product Master Data – This contains the list of all your products and their detailed information like product name, description, strength, product code, etc., It is considered to be the most difficult form of master data to manage because of the complexity of information that needs to be stored and changed across multiple systems as and when needed.
Different partners and authorities require different data for their processes. A well-planned approach is important to have in place to share the master data across multiple systems as a part of serialisation that should address all the government and partner requirements.
Master Data Management
Master Data Management (MDM) has become an integral part of the companies to protect the health of their master data. The management requires efficiency and accuracy to provide correct information to the government and trade partners whenever required. The following parameters are crucial for setting us the Master Data Management program in your company:
- Knowledge of required data
- Process of capturing data
- Verification of data
- Quality of stored and processed data
- Workflow of sharing data with required partners
Identifying the master data sources and formats on time and having the right master data in place plays a big role in the success of serialisation at the enterprise and network level for businesses.
There are high risks associated with managing master data if the organisation does not have the right tool or personnel managing the system and ensuring that the data is updated and maintained throughout its lifecycle. To avoid risks, companies should take help from the right partners for “tidying up the house” by involving them in their serialisation projects to manage the complexities of handling master data throughout the project life cycle.