GS1 South Africa is going GDSN
Since the late 1990s the concept of retail data synchronization has gone through many changes as businesses have aligned their methods and goals to achieve data standardization.
After years of synchronizing data through the product data catalogue (PDC.za), which was established in 1999 by the GS1 South Africa, it became evident that there were several challenges that needed to be addressed in order to bring supply chain efficiencies to the local and international members utilizing the system.
GS1 South Africa, a non-profit global standards organization operating under the Consumer Goods Council of SA (CGCSA), is proud to announce that PDC.za will soon be migrating to the GS1 Global Product Classification (GPC).
This migration would enable products to be classified correctly, uniformly and globally and suppliers from which local retailers/wholesalers import products from or which local agents get products from are already on the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN).
The first phase of the migration is expected to start in August 2010 when the pilot and testing phase will commence with the 20 identified test companies. By the end of October 2010 active data will be migrated from the PDC.za to the new platform.
GS1s Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) currently consists of 28 local data pools, covering 90 countries with over 24,000 trading partners depositing information about the attributes of their products according to pre-defined rules.
With the new system, international suppliers will not have to capture product data in every country they operate in as the GDSN will be a centralized point of data entry; specific data fields for General Merchandise, Food Services, Chemicals and Healthcare are necessary in order to grow the number of industry sectors on board;
It had become increasingly difficult to keep the current local system up to date with globally accepted data formats, compatibility with new technology and web browsers.
The initiation of this project will see an increase in value in logistics, accounting, customer service and inventory management through simpler additions and changes, few complaints and disputes and a much greater confidence in the information sent to and received from trading partners.
While the focus of GDSN is on the improvement of catalogue disparities, invoice errors and lost sales opportunities, a prerequisite for success remains accurate, clean and maintained data. GS1 South Africa together with key industry players will be working to develop a sustainable data quality management system to ensure reliable data is created by information suppliers and maintained by information recipients.