Real-time decision-making in your supply chain is a hit-and-miss affair when the data it is based on is unreliable, error-ridden, or just plain wrong.   The bigger the database, the more the mistakes are multiplied.   Missing or incorrect product codes, lack of units of measure, and currency issues can create major problems. Supplier and customer name-and-addresses need to be in a defined format, if they are not, management reports will be of minimal use. A classic example is IBM, it can be loaded on the supplier master in 5 different styles!   Time spent on scratching for information and redoing data analyses is expensive and a drain on productivity. Bad decisions not only create delays, they lose you customers.

Data accuracy

Accurate means correct.  Companies that place a high value on data integrity have a competitive edge.  Accurate inventory reports are crucial.   If an item is out-of-stock but shown as available to customers, this is worse than just a recording error.  Customers will be unhappy; sales and reputations will suffer.  In an omnichannel business where inventory must be tracked in real-time, accuracy is non-negotiable.

Product descriptions and definitions must be standard across the entire business and with supply chain partners to achieve maximum benefit from any sale.  This needs constant surveillance, even promotions cause variations in product codes.  Weights and dimensions are often misconstrued if they are not clearly defined and shared.  Vehicle size and height restrictions at customers’ premises is front of mind for transport schedulers, a dispatch supervisor may not realize its importance.  Dun & Bradstreet says supply chain managers who fail to update transporter and shipper databases are at risk of losing money this year. According to their new report, “The Past, Present, and Future of Data, almost 20 per cent of businesses have lost a customer due to using incomplete or inaccurate information about them.

  Accurate data is everyone’s responsibility: your data is my data. 

This article was first published by The Supply Chain Consulting Group.  Read more  here