Advance planning when defining mandatory fields

Proactive planning is not only important when setting up client databases as part of your master data, but also when handling data relating to your products and suppliers. The digital infrastructure for your databases comes from external IT-providers or your IT department, but ultimately, it is the operative areas throughout your concern which are responsible for maintaining these systems and gathering the data. In order to make sure that you have all the important data you need, it is essential that when setting up your databases, you decide which fields should be mandatory.

Why mandatory fields?

Most applications for the maintenance and saving of your master data, for example SAP or Microsoft Dynamics, offer many functions for the integration of all the data of a concern in master databases. However, even the best computer systems cannot compensate for important information which is missing. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that the data entered is complete. This applies both to the data relating to your business partners, i.e. customers, suppliers and their addresses, telephone numbers or bank details, and to your product data.

Mandatory fields can help here. If your employees know what information is essential for the master data and it is only possible to complete an entry if all the important data has been entered, this information will always be complete. From the beginning, fields on forms for the addition of data records can be marked as mandatory.

Which Information is mandatory and which is optional?

This does, however, require careful planning. Before creating a new database, it is important to check and determine which details are essential for your company. These can then be defined in the customizing menu of your chosen database application.

In the case of customer records, this might include names, addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, SEPA direct debit mandates and, in particular for B2B, company information. The same applies to your suppliers. Complete master data is vital for successful customer relationship management (CRM), processing invoicing and contracts or for marketing automation.

Defining mandatory fields is even more important in your product databases, especially if you want to offer e-commerce or if the databases have to be accessed by different departments. It is vital for products which are subject to certain regulations or restrictions that the necessary information and guidelines are accessible. As this data has to be maintained by different specialist departments, it is important to define centrally which information should be mandatory and which should be optional. This facilitates processes such as drawing up technical data sheets, putting together information for packaging or presenting this information online, in the cloud or in your e-shop.

As you can see, good master data management is a great help in providing consistent and accurate information. Proper maintenance of your databases saves work, reduces costs and ensures that data is complete and reliable. Defining mandatory fields is a small but important part of data maintenance, ensuring that all relevant data is recorded by your employees in all departments. You are guaranteed high-quality data right from the start.

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