The clean “Vendor Master” problem- when strategy meets execution.

Attended a great talk by Matt Marthinson on working capital on Tuesday (January 2010). Among  other very useful things Matt explained the concept of “vendor master”  in the context of working capital in ERP systems.

The vendor master as supply chain professionals know and marketing professionals may not realize is the master data organizations maintain by individual supplier. This data really drives all kinds of things like RFP’s,Purchase Orders, Payment Terms and the very welcome “check in the mail”(See B2B Buying Process).

With thousands of suppliers large organizations can have all kinds of messy stuff happening. Typical examples are many entries for the same supplier and outdated payment terms. The purchase order is generated from the vendor master and due to general sloppiness the order going out may be completely missing agreed payment terms. The solution?- well- have only a few  individuals handling the vendor master and ensure that it reflects the current agreement with each supplier. 

If you think about it the “Vendor Master” problem is rampant in all kinds of organizations. Marketers really are not up to speed with customer data , schools with student data, associations are not entirely sure of the member data and the list goes on.

Cleaning  master data  and aligning with current strategy sounds boring but is critical to execution  The most well thought out strategy fails when simple things like addresses and email id’s have changed.

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