Why Reference Data Management Is Important to Manufacturers

Since its rise to prominence in 2012, reference data management (RDM) has impacted various industries. RDM (not to be confused with remote device management) offers both processes and solutions for sharing reference data amongst multiple groups. This includes admins, systems, and data domains.

In the manufacturing industry, the RDM standard has become a fixture for a variety of data processes. However, to understand how the RDM protocol can impact the industry, it’s also critical to understand the methodology’s essentials.

RDM Essentials


While the abbreviation may seem complicated, reference data management (RDM) is relatively easy to grasp. RDM, as mentioned, stands for reference data management. And “what is reference data management?” you may ask. Well, it’s a form of managing classifications and directional communication for hierarchies across sometimes disparate systems. RDM functionality can entail reference data analytics, tracking, distribution, and more. The examination process is beneficial when reviewing RDM messages, but this requires each industry to set specific internal and external data management standards. This can include industries such as entertainment services and technology association organizations and the manufacturing industry.

RDM also carries numerous benefits, especially through a specialty examination. In particular, centralized control of data helps ensure that your organization can maintain consistency and compliance. For manufacturing, in particular, RDM controllers allow businesses to scale up operations more effectively. Since efficiency is critical to this particular industry, relying on an RDM controller can be incredibly beneficial. Without this ongoing data consistency, many technology association businesses would find themselves unable to leverage their data as general data quality would be poor. Instead, admins, systems, and other master data fixtures can leverage RDM messages to ensure that extended consistency is possible.

RDM Capabilities


While the array of RDM capabilities may seem static across industries, different capabilities are more beneficial to connected manufacturing in particular than some others. In particular, there is a potential for RDM services to enhance operations and reduce overhead costs. The manufacturing industry frequently depends on overlapping business functions that need to be addressed in a more consistent, effective way. By relying on reference data management, it’s easier for admins to eliminate redundancies and put pins in processes that can negatively impact cost forecasts.

Instead of attempting to connect disparate data sets from varied swaths of a manufacturing organization, it’s much easier to set a unified data management strategy that benefits both frontline workers and executives. This can also simplify and automate workloads which can have a net positive impact on employee productivity. Since much of manufacturing depends on increased productivity and efficiency, it’s much more sense to incorporate RDM principles.

Reference data management also pins down key complications with compliance and risk management essential to concrete manufacturing. Manufacturing organizations frequently spend a great deal of time navigating internal and external compliance reporting. When reference data management can put pins into all of the components of data interchange, it is less likely that a manufacturing enterprise will make a financially harmful mistake when developing compliance reports.

Incorporating Reference Data Management

These days, many manufacturing businesses are considering RDM certifications to help streamline their data connectivity efforts. Since reference data management is a fixture of so many industries, it makes sense that businesses are looking for ways to incorporate the practices more holistically. Often, doing so starts with selecting the correct RDM platform. It’s important to find a solution that provides for innovation and contextual collaboration between an organization’s arms. This allows decision-makers to optimize costs and expenses while leveraging key data to improve the customer experience.

While not unique to the manufacturing industry, it’s apparent that reference data management is a fixture of the market and a fixture of master data management.


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