The surprisingly high cost of bad product data

April 17, 2023 | 4 minute read
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Albert Einstein famously said "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." One way to do that is by getting more of your enterprise apps from fewer vendors. Of course, we would prefer that you get them from Oracle, but recognize that there are valid reasons for using multiple vendors. For example, your company may have just completed an acquisition, or decided on a transition to cloud apps where on-premises apps coexist for a period of time, or have divisions that operate in diverse verticals that require very different, industry-specific business applications.

But consider the specific case of decentralized ERP and SCM applications. Often, this combination inhibits growth, dings customer satisfaction, and erodes profitability. Even if that problem is understood, ripping and replacing everything at once is seldom practical. Organizations more often move toward rationalized application portfolios in phases, addressing the most pressing problems while making progress toward long-term goals (weighing short- and long-term business benefits and technical value against anticipated costs and disruption along the way).

This is a common way of building an application portfolio, and it is a good framework. Unfortunately, a frequent casualty of this approach is that organizations miss out on opportunities that don’t fit into big application categories (e.g., ERP, SCM, HCM). A prime example is addressing the integrity of information about products and services. This is one of the most potent—yet overlooked—tools for driving value.

Understand the quality of your product information

To see how your company is doing on this front, answer these questions about your product data:

  • Can you easily look across lines of business to answer basic questions about product costs, revenues, and profitability?

  • Is product information consistent or does it define the same thing (such as color) in different ways? Are crucial product attributes (such as weight or dimensions) inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistently represented?

  • Is your product data consolidated across the enterprise, or are there separate (mis)representations in silos (perhaps in different ERP item masters)?

  • Does it properly represent your company’s brand to customers and partners with high-quality images, videos, or other assets, or is it a bare-bones definition?

In most cases, the answers to many of these questions are not positive. Yet the benefits of consistent, accurate product information are profound. It lays the groundwork for future application rationalization while delivering hard-dollar ROI.

Oracle Fusion Cloud Product Hub can help

Oracle recognizes these challenges and developed Oracle Product Hub, which is part of Oracle Fusion Cloud Product Lifecycle Management. Oracle Product Hub provides enterprise product master data management (sometimes abbreviated PMDM) to deliver an authoritative master product record that benefits all product-related processes across front- and back-office functions. It addresses new product introductions, cross-channel commerce, regulatory compliance, and supply chain execution with partners, suppliers, and logistics providers. It also provides the ability to search, find, and view a complete history and audit record of product data.

This will enable you to run business applications with clean item data that is synchronized across applications, data pools, and partners. Specifically, it can:

  • Drive best-practice product information management (PIM) processes with flexible attribution, change control, and native-governance capabilities.

  • Centralize product data so that it’s complete and consistent across back-end systems (e.g., SCM, ERP, and order fulfillment) and suitable for publishing across sales channels.

  • Automate product data authentication, verification, and validation for information exchanges with suppliers, contract manufacturers, and other external entities.

Oracle Product Hub complements other enterprise applications—whether from Oracle, home grown, or from other vendors, and either cloud or on-premises. It can help you revamp how you manage products, creating immediate value while also driving your journey to a rationalized application portfolio.

To learn more and download the definitive, step-by-step guide to improving how your company manages product data, click the “Learn more" button below.

If you're an Oracle Partner and want to learn more, visit the Oracle Partner Community.

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Fusion Development

The Fusion Development team is responsible for building, maintaining, and driving innovation on the Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite, which includes Oracle ERP, EPM, SCM, HCM, and CX. Its members are based throughout the world with central offices in the US, India, Mexico, The Philippines, and Romania.


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