Tackling Market Expansion with a Master Catalog
By John Jones on Jul 1, 2021
Many companies — especially those in manufacturing — focus their expansion efforts on mergers and acquisitions (M&A). And right now, the M&A climate is buzzing. In 2021, global mergers and acquisitions have already increased by 158% year-over-year.
However, there are several complications to consider when it comes to M&A — many of which relate to the strength of your data management.
What Data Factors Complicate Acquisitions?
Acquiring a company also means absorbing new or overlapping lines of business, customers, and products. Without master data management (MDM), you could run into trouble, like:
- Data duplication and discrepancies
- An inconsistent customer experience
- Revenue inaccuracies
- Compliance issues (and potential fines)
- Moving too slow to meet your growth potential and goals
An Example — Manufacturers & Rebates
A flexible data model makes a big difference during market expansion. Let’s look at a typical example in the manufacturing space: rebates and revenue reporting.
Say you’re a foodservice company making multiple acquisitions to enter new markets. Each company has its own ERP system and operations —and none of them integrate well. This can quickly lead to problems with how you recognize revenue, particularly in foodservice where rebates play a significant role. If each entity reports sales differently (by case, item, pallet, etc.), it creates a financial mess — including lost revenue, accounting nightmares, and possible penalties.
Companies in this situation can’t rely on an ERP upgrade, which could take years — especially if their plans for an acquired company include a quick sale. So, what’s the remedy?
Create a Unified Master Catalog with MDM
We encountered a similar challenge with a customer, which we solved utilizing Winshuttle EnterWorks. We built a master catalog that enables the company to enter product data consistently and accurately — which can then be syndicated out or synchronized with each ERP.
A master catalog helps when you have plans to sell an acquired company or when you want to completely absorb them into your organization — including their market, customers, products, and all. With MDM, you can acquire a company and integrate its data without changing the existing ERP or infrastructure.
3 Tips for Expanding Your Market with MDM
Mastering your data and acquisition processes with MDM doesn’t happen overnight. But with these three tips, you can move in the right direction:
#1 – Start with a minimum viable product (MVP).
Once you know the capabilities of MDM, it’s tempting to try tackling data issues across the entire organization. But attempting to boil the ocean is almost always a mistake. So, how do you know what to prioritize first, both in terms of functionality and process? You can start by identifying an MVP based on impact to revenue or another top-line objective.
#2 – Choose a scalable technology solution.
Expanding your business will always require an agile approach and the ability to scale. That’s why companies with multi-domain MDM have an advantage. They can start with an immediate need (like integrating an ERP or PLM), then expand to incorporate data for warehouse management, distribution, customer data, other operating systems, and beyond.
#3 – Rely on analytics and intelligence.
The beauty of integrating more systems is that you’ll gain access to more data in the process. With the right approach and analytics, you can tap into the value of viewing data across domains (product, customer, location, material, etc.) for greater intelligence — helping you make even more targeted decisions about your products and future expansion opportunities.
It’s Easier with Expertise
With the right multi-domain MDM hub, you can confidently pursue market expansion. Yet there are still important steps to take — like determining an MVP or integrating data from multiple systems into your master catalog. That’s why you need a trusted agent to help you through the implementation lifecycle.
Pivotree and Winshuttle work together to ensure you have the MDM knowledge, hosting, implementation, and machine learning best practices you need. We’ve helped over 30 joint manufacturing customers reach their data management goals.
Not Done Yet
Do you have your eye on geographical expansion? Stay tuned for the final post in the How to Expand in 2021 series, where Pivotree will provide tips on taking your business into new regions or countries.
About the author
John Jones is currently the Chief Technology Officer for Enterworks, acting as Principal Technical Evangelist and Thought Leader providing long-term vision to ensure the delivery of efficient, scalable, and secure enterprise Catalog and Master Data Management solutions that exceed customers’ expectations. John joined Enterworks in 1998 to deliver an innovative real-time cataloging and process automation solution sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (or DARPA) to bring together critical information from a variety of governmental sources. This application platform is included in the Innovation Collection of the Smithsonian for its advanced capability to integrate and manage distributed information from diverse content sources into a single view...a transforming revolutionary concept that carries on in our products today.
Questions or comments about this article?
Tweet @Winshuttle to continue the conversation!