Supply Chain Challenges Tackled With Master Data Management

CIO Review Europe | Friday, May 06, 2022

The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Air Force rely on MDM to keep the acquisitions flowing.

FREMONT, CA: When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the Department of Veterans Affairs had to act rapidly to deal with the crisis. The agency's master data management proved helpful in assessing what vital medical equipment was available to address the influx of patients. MDM is commonly used by agencies to maintain multiple versions of data in sync. They're now using it for a new application: The VA isn't the only one using MDM to help manage the supply chain. The Food and Drug Administration and the Air Force are also using it. Tools like IBM InfoSphere and Informatica's Multidomain MDM can assist create a "master" version of data that can be used to eliminate duplication and ensure accuracy across many data stores.

Some see potential in MDM's capacity to deliver deeper insights when supply chain disruptions influence consumer behavior and government operations. According to IEEE member Yale Fox, “even a physical supply chain includes a data back end." MDM can make synchronizing product and location data across the supply chain much easier. According to Gartner, reliable master data management is necessary to efficiently decrease manual intervention in the supply chain. False or insufficient data, on the other hand, will always necessitate manual changes. The importance of data accuracy cannot be overstated.

During the early days of the epidemic, the VA's leadership resorted to MDM for supply chain management. To fulfill the needs of this new use case, the agency leveraged its existing MDM experience. Through the agency's "master ­person index," VA was already employing Infosphere, together with Oracle WebLogic Server and IBM WebSphere Application Server, to drive effective interactions with its user base. The MDM-driven index, integrated with more than 300 VA applications, "basically solves the challenge of identifying who their customers are.” VA Profile, another MDM installation, helps with identity management to improve service delivery.

The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA ensures that safe and effective medications are available. To handle essential regulatory data and gain a better understanding of the worldwide medication supply chain, the FDA employs Informatica's Multidomain MDM. Informatica is also used by the Air Force to support the supply chain. It uses MDM to track components and expenditures because it has about 327,000 active employees, approximately 5,600 aircraft, and missiles and satellites all around the world.

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