Asda, Makro and Tesco begin roll-out of Global Data Synchronisation programme

Market leaders launch industry initiative to improve the quality of supply chain data

GS1 UK, the industry body responsible for supply chain data standards, launched an initiative with Asda, Makro and Tesco to Get our data right first time. The organisations will work together with the retailers supplier communities to communicate their intention to use Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN)-certified data pools in a bid to wipe out poor quality data. The retailers intend to have the majority of their suppliers synchronising product data through GDSN-certified data pools by the end of 2007, with the process beginning in April 2006.

Currently, retailers and suppliers are restricted by trading with poor non-standardised data, as they are not able to view the same information. Their product databases become unsynchronised as manual processes are relied upon to update information when, for example, new products or promotions are introduced. This discrepancy of data leads to the wrong product being ordered, shipped, invoiced and ultimately, credited.

Investments in new technologies and processes are futile if the foundation the data is wrong. The cost to UK industry can be measured in millions through increased operational costs or lost sales.  The solution is to provide all parties within the supply chain with a view of the same, accurate data.

GDSN is one of the primary ways of eliminating inefficiencies in the supply chain. It can help companies achieve tangible business benefits such as reduced stock outs, improved on-shelf availability, cost reductions and increased sales.

GDSN will improve service for consumers and strengthen returns for retailers, manufacturers and other business partners by ensuring that parties and processes along the supply chain have the same high quality product data.

The initial stage of the roll-out will be to invite suppliers to join them in the initiative and to start planning and undertaking the necessary implementation work. GS1 UK will give advice and support to suppliers.  

This initiative will lend considerable momentum to the adoption of GDSN by our suppliers, says Philip Steedman, E-commerce Manager, Makro. We hope to make the implementation process as painless as possible by reducing repetition and overheads that would otherwise be required if each retailer was considered in isolation. As GDSN operates to global standards, implementation of a GDSN-certified data pool will mean that suppliers only have to set up core data once for all of their customers.

Parminder Basran, Business Controller, The Authentic Food Company, adds, We see Global Data Synchronisation and the associated data accuracy as being key to Authentic Foods. By improving the consistency of our data used in supply chains, we will be able to increase the accuracy of our orders and invoicing, thus saving administrative time, eliminating errors and helping us to improve our relationships with customers.

The alignment of data between retailer and supplier systems is vitally important to efficient electronic trading, concludes Steve Coussins, CEO of GS1 UK. We are committed to working closely with suppliers on this initiative to assist them as they work towards data readiness deadlines.

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