MRO Material Master Quality

What is the key quality trait of MRO material masters to deliver value to the business? The answer points to what is needed for success in a material master catalogue cleanse.

People working in Maintenance, Supply Chain and Reliability processes in asset intensive businesses, know weak low quality MRO material masters are a significant and unnecessary value drain. Cleansing your MRO material catalogue is the common suggested fix to improve quality. But what does the cleanse need to achieve to return value?

The answer, structured unique identities for every record are the most important element of quality.  Weak identities need extra user time to confirm an item is the right one for a job, leads to mistakes in provisioning, incorrect materials being installed or attempted with wasted job time, unneeded reverse logistics, and increases demand for costly free text item procurement. With weak identities every step or interaction with materials is harder and more error prone. Every other quality dimension about material records presupposes good identities. Also, high value follow on master data activities like maintenance BoMs and visual interactive parts catalogues all presuppose unique identities are in place.

MRO material identities are more than just description fields. Identities also include manufacturer, manufacturer part number, and key specifications. Having a structured method allows comparison between items and is necessary for the goal of uniqueness. A taxonomy consisting of a class for each primary noun needed in your universe of MRO materials, with each class having identifying attributes in a set order, plus other key specifications, and manufacturer and MPN as appropriate is the solution. There is no international standard for MRO material identities.  SPC Results has created the Structured Materials Identities taxonomy for this purpose, and it is quickly adaptable to your specific needs.

I have seen many material master data cleanses that missed the point of what they needed to accomplish for success. The results were underwhelming. For MRO material masters, structured unique identities are the main quality goal. After the cleanse the taxonomy needs to be used in the ongoing material master admin process or the value of the cleanse will be lost over time.

My company, SPC Results, can guide you to structured unique MRO material identities that will make operations and maintenance run better. If you feel the pain of weak MRO material identities but are not the decision maker, share this with your colleagues and boss, talk about the problem. The payback is quick, the return on investment is high when the problem you are solving is understood.

Reach out, let’s discuss your situation.

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