ECCMA corporate naming system for SAP

‘Weakness’ in SAP materials management turned to strength through ‘cataloging at source.’

A new white paper from the ECCMA standards organization offers help to those seeking to optimize their SAP materials management systems. The 25 page document offers advice on fixing data issues and maintaining master data quality in an SAP database and introduces ECCMA’s own system for building and managing a standards-based corporate dictionary. Author Peter Benson observes that one of the greatest strengths and weaknesses of SAP is how easy it is to change material names and descriptions. SAP provides no guidance on how to create consistent high quality material nomenclature.

Enter the corporate dictionary—derived from an analysis of existing material master databases and purchase orders. These can then be mapped to the ECCMA Open Technical Dictionary (eOTD), a new ‘open’ public resource of terminology from standards bodies and industry associations.

Benson advises against acquiring product data from the internet. It is far better to ask suppliers for such information—a process described as ‘cataloging at source’ (C@S). C@S can supports applications using the ISO 22745 suite of supply chain automation protocols. Benson’s work leverages the NATO stock number (NSN) registry, an inventory of over 20 million materials and their codes. More from eCDM and eOTD.

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