MarkSilberbauer.gifMost organisations have duplicates in their vendor master data, Marc Silberbauer of Marshan Technologies told Smart Procurement. The example he provides shows how one supplier could be registered with seven different vendor numbers…

In this example if you wanted to know how much you spend with ABC Stationery you would need to add up the spend for all seven variations of ABC Stationery.

“One would not be surprised to find different BBBEE statuses attributed to the different variations if ABC Stationery,”he says

In this situation, if you wanted to change the status of a vendor for example a change in BBBEE status or credit rating you would have to find all seven variations and change them individually. In fact, in this case, all the administrative tasks and associated costs with managing this vendor have been multiplied by seven.

Having duplicates in your vendor master results in inaccurate information, inefficiency and wasted efforts.

Eliminating duplicates in your vendor master will help you to:
•    Accurately report on spend per vendor
•    Reduce the number of active vendors
•    Reduce the number of payments and vendor accounts that need to be balanced
•    Reduce the administrative effort associated with maintaining your vendor master data.

The trick is to find the duplicate vendors. This can be a very time consuming process if done manually.

One of the things you need to do when before comparing vendor names is to standardise some of the usual causes of duplication for example

    * CO, Company, Co. etc…
    * PTY, pty, (Pty), (PTY)
    * SA, South Africa, SOUTH AFRICA etc…

Even after standardisation it is a bad idea to require a 100% match. It is better to identify all vendor names that are more than 90% similar after standardisation and manually confirm that they are in fact the same vendor.
Marc’s company, Marshan Technologies has applied its free-text analysis software to this problem, and has been providing Searchlight subscription customers with reports indicating duplicates within the vendor master for some time.

  Silberbauer says “Marshan Technologies is now offering a stand alone duplicate vendor identification service. In this service our customer sends us their vendor master data, we run it through our software and develop a report indicating duplicate vendors.” Typically this service costs R18 000- [excluding VAT] assuming a maximum of three data sources and less than 100 000 registered vendors.

Marc can be contacted on:

Cell: +27 (0)83 412 9493