Consolidating Two Item Masters

Looking for reduction of your item master by identifying duplicate items? Here are some tips to consider when consolidating two item masters.

  1. Different ERP systems can have multiple ways of identifying an item. Many items are manufactured by different companies and they really are the same inventory item as they are interchangeable in your warehouse.
  2. Use the main manufacturer information on your item master – or the manufacturer information that your main supplier uses for the item.
  3. If different vendors provide different manufacturers items for the same item, then using a vendor item cross reference can assist with keeping track of that. Lawson does that on PO13.
  4. If there are multiple manufacturers or vendors for the item, then having a way to compare those is also important. Lawson does provide the ability to store manufacturer information in multiple ways – on the item master, on the item location record if a particular item for a location was being purchased from a different Vendor , and on the Vendor Item record. That means there are potentially multiple ways to store and find the manufacturer information for a particular item.
  5. POs are another place where manufacturer information for an item is stored so even if you are not storing the manufacturer information on the item master, you might still be able to create a cross reference by looking at your PO line data as well.
  6. Once all the options for manufacturer information are exhausted, then the remaining items will need to be matched item by item by description. This can be very time consuming especially since Lawson has a small description field which often requires considerable abbreviation of words in the description.
  7. Some additional considerations are to use the any of the other ways items might be classified This includes: generic name, Inventory classes, GL Categories, commodity codes and possibly SKUs if any of these are being stored.