A Day in the Life of the Master Data Management Team

Julia Richter-Gollbach

What is Master Data Management? 

The Master Data Management team deals with the most important master data of the company. We differentiate data between two different forms: address master data and tariff master data. These form the basis for clean data acquisition and processing as well as the correct billing in all directions and are essential for clean freight forwarding processing. The EDI (Electronic data interchange) is crucial for payment to entrepreneurs in the logistics sector.

What do people think Master Data Management is? 

The creation of customer numbers, and data capturing of offers.

What does it actually mean to be a Master Data Manager? 

MDM (Master Data Management) is a centralised department that is responsible for all of the data across tour different company departments. Our colleagues are based in different branches or in the home office and are still well-connected with each other. What unites us are our uniform processes and procedures that still leave enough leeway for flexibility. Our “customers” are almost all forwarding areas because we set the course for a clean flow of the entire process. As Head of MDM, I coordinate the processes, content, inquiries, and workloads together with my colleague (Competence Center Manager Offers) as well as general support if this is required. “Global” thinking and structured working methods are an important part of the team.

What are some common terms in the Master Data Management workplace? 

Master data, parameters, addresses, qualification, tickets, verify, trustedtrucks, tariff, offer, billing, control, process

What does a day in the life of a Master Data Manager look like? 

In MDM, no day is like the other. Our workload depends heavily on the interaction of the preliminary processes or the contractors involved, as well as on the pricing of our sales department. We are very closely linked to IT, sales and the billing department and we are on the pulse of the market. We help shape necessary changes, e.g. in prices and are responsible for their implementation. Our activities are varied and require a lot of expertise, so it never gets boring. 

Educational Path 

Why did you choose to work as a Master Data Manager? 

The work is very versatile and varied and you are always faced with new challenges. As a contact person for many departments along the process, you are well-networked and can help shape how the department is run.

What are some misconceptions in the Logistics industry? 

There is a belief that consistent master data is not necessary for operations and the entire topic is neglected. But if every process can start with clean data from the beginning of an order, from the shipment registration to the transfer, without anyone having to intervene again to correct the data, which is being maintained in different systems with different quality, this is a significant advantage and can mitigate errors and ensure great customer service. 

What are some of the challenges? 

Keeping the master data as up-to-date as possible and of good quality, pointing out the importance of compliance to everyone involved in the process, creating standards without taking flexibility, and explaining the overarching importance and scope of MDM. 

What are some of the Hard Skills that you need to do your job best? 

IT knowledge, MS Office, commercial training, forwarding knowledge, VAT law knowledge, the process knowledge of payment transactions (Debits./Credits.), calculation, Transport Management System knowledge and Customer Relationship Management skills.

What are some of the Soft Skills that you need to do your job best? 

A structured way of working, the ability to work in a team, quick perception, complex thinking skills, process knowledge, solution-oriented, entrepreneurial thinking and acting.

What is some advice that you would give to people who are keen to learn about and join the logistics industry? 

I would tell them that they have made a good choice. The logistics industry is so diverse and the opportunities for further development are plenty. The work never gets boring, since goods always have to be transported from A to B, but the transport requirements are different. Therefore, individual solutions must be sought. This makes the work exciting and you always have to face different challenges.

Who inspires you? 

What inspires me most about my work is the team spirit. You get in touch with colleagues and look for solutions together. You get a good feeling when everyone is satisfied with the result at the end.

Julia Richter


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