How have you been? I’ve been fine, done a bit of writing since we last met and gotten a little greyer. How are the kids? My two kids are doing great but I have to admit, after raising two I don’t know how you do it with 125 kids, or whatever the number of M.O.s there are today.
The reason I’m writing to you today is to offer you my thoughts on your Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) Marketing campaign. That campaign would be more effective if it focused on demonstrating the distinction between internal master data (and programs associated with improving its quality), and externally shared master data (and the significantly different kinds of programs needed to improve its quality). And especially to show that many (most?) of company master data is, in reality, externally shared master data, either incoming or outgoing. That’s the step that I see missing from your campaign.
Companies who are already familiar with the kind of programs that are designed to improve their internal master data need to be taught to see the special characteristics of the externally shared master data which they could publish for the benefit of their trading partners, or which they could consume from the trading partner who “owns” that data. These are the characteristics that make the externally shared master data unique from the purely internal master data. This is the epiphany that your marketing campaign should seek to impart.
Your campaign should acknowledge the existence of internal master data—the kind that benefits from the traditional data quality management programs but which would not benefit from the use of GDSN. By separating this kind of data from the externally shared kind of master data you will help companies recognize on their own why they may have had so much difficulty elevating and sustaining the quality of this class of data in past data quality efforts. Once that realization occurs, the need for, and the value of GDSN will become obvious and you will no longer need to “sell” anyone on it. They would seek it out instead.
HERE’S HOW YOU DO IT
It’s really pretty simple. All you need to do is to define a new term for the externally shared master data, a term that makes it clear that it is distinctly different from internal master data. I have proposed the term “Supply Chain Master Data” (SCMD) in the past (here, here, here and here) because I believe it accomplishes that goal. SCMD is MD that is shared within a supply chain. I offer that term to you (it isn’t protected as far as I know)—or make up your own. As long as you talk about SCMD as a special class of MD and how it’s quality can benefit from the application of GDSN I think you will get a lot more agreement because it will finally make sense to people, especially those who are new to GS1.
Whether you pick up my suggestion or not I wish you luck in your current marketing campaign. I look forward to see you at our next meeting. Say hi to the spouse and kids.
Sincerely, Your Friend,