What is GPC?

What is a GPC?

The Global Product Classification (GPC) is part of the GS1 System of supply chain standards. GPC is the chosen standard classification system for the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). 

How does the GPC work? 

The GPC standard helps global trading partners to group or categorizing products in the same way, everywhere in the world. The resulting common business language is clear and instantly understandable.

The GPC follows a four-tier classification system. The four tiers are Segment, Family, Class and Brick (with attributes)

GPC Level Example Image

Benefits of GPC

  • Provides a common language for category management which speeds up the ability to react to consumer needs
  • Improves data integrity and accuracy of product set-up, maintenance and catalogues
  • Can be cross-referenced to existing proprietary trading partner classification systems
  • Enables potential usage of Point Of Sale (POS) data consolidation

GDSN Defined

GDSN stands for Global Data Synchronization Network. The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is the world’s largest product data network. It is a system of connected firms that share product information in a standardized format.  The GDSN enables manufacturers and sellers of goods to harmonize information about their products with their customers.  Retailers and other buyers of goods subscribe to vendor catalogues and receive updates on them.

GS1_GDSN_Schema_Complex - Commport Communications

About GS1

GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit, international organization developing and maintaining standards including barcodes. GS1 standards, services and solutions are designed to improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in a wide variety of sectors.

Sources: GS1.org 

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What is a GTIN?

What is a GTIN?

GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number.

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) can be used by a company to uniquely identify all of its trade items. GS1 defines trade items as products or services that are priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in the supply chain. GS1 Global Registry holds information on who subscribed to trade items or party data using Global Location Numbers (GLN), Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTIN), Global Product Classifications (GPC) and Target Market (TM) as identifiers.

The GTIN can be used to identify types of products at any packaging level (e.g., consumer unit, inner pack, case, pallet etc.) as it moves through the global value chain to the end user. If a product comes back into the value chain as a re-sold item or needs to be recalled, it can be re-identified by its original GTIN.

Although GTINs are frequently encoded within a barcode, they can also be used on their own (some major online sellers use GTINs to authenticate a product before allowing it to be sold on their platform. GTINs can be used to identify trade items online, for example in catalogues, in electronic messages such as purchase orders and invoices, and embedded in web pages to optimise use by search engines and other information consumers.

GTIN

Benefits of using a GTIN

  • Improved data quality
  • Reduces confusion by accurately identifying specific products and avoiding duplicates
  • Fights product counterfeiting 
  • Eliminates manual processing which saves time and resources 
  • Increases the efficiency of payment and reporting processes
  • Provides a permanent record of products that can be leveraged when a product is resold or recalled

Types of GTINs

For Retail Point-of-Sale Products, only GTIN-12 and GTIN-13 are approved for retail point-of-sale applications.

GTIN-12s can be encoded with UPC-A and UPC-E barcode symbologies.

GTIN-13s can be encoded with the EAN-13 barcode symbology.

For Logistic units (Inner packs, Cases and Pallets) consisting of a homogeneous grouping, you can use GTIN-14s or assign GTIN-12s or GTIN-13s.

GTIN-14s can only be encoded in barcode symbologies that have a 14-digit capacity. These include ITF-14, GS1-128, GS1 DataBar™, and Data Matrix.

GS1_GDSN_Button_RGB_2020-03-05

GDSN Defined

The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is the world’s largest product data network.

GDSN makes it possible for any company, in any market, to share high-quality product information seamlessly. Because companies of all sizes need the same thing—timely and reliable product information—to ultimately benefit consumers and patients.

With GDSN, high quality product content is uploaded, maintained and shared automatically, ensuring trading partners have immediate access to the most current and complete information needed to exchange products on both local and global markets.

Sources: gs1.org 
 

What is a GLN?

What is a GLN?

A GLN is a Global Location Number and is part of the GS1 systems of standards which is used to identify locations and legal entities. This unique identifier is 13 digits, comprised of a GS1 Company Prefix, Location Reference, and Check Digit.

GLN Diagram

What is a GLN used for?

GLNs are used to identify parties to business transactions; functional groups within a company; or real, physical “places” that might ship, receive, process, or hold inventories.

  • Legal Entities: whole companies; subsidiaries or divisions within a company; health system corporation; etc.
  • Functional Entities: specific department within a legal entity, such as an accounting department, purchasing department, hospital pharmacy, etc.
  • Physical Locations: manufacturing facility, distribution center, warehouse, dock door, hospital wing, bin location, retail store, etc.
  • Digital Locations: an electronic or non-physical address such as an EDI gateway or ERP system

The GLN is a required component for using the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) and various types of e-commerce transactions. This global identification system of GS1 helps assure that the GLN placed in a barcode or Electronic Product Code (EPC) is the same information contained in the corresponding electronic documents processed between trading partners.

GLN

Benefits of Using GLNs

There are several benefits of using the GLN to identify parties, functional groups, and physical locations:

  • Improve traceability within the supply chain
  • Eliminate costs caused by inaccurate data
  • Save time on manual documentation and data entry
  • Improve order and invoice process efficiencies
  • Eliminate the need for proprietary identification codes, which can lead to errors and additional costs
  • Simple: an easily defined data structure with integrity checking that facilitates processing and transmission of data
  • Unique: GLNs are unique worldwide
  • Multi-Sectional: the nonsignificant characteristic of the GLN allows any location to be identified for any company regardless of its activity anywhere in the world

Where GLNs are used?

Data carriers

GLNs in barcodes can help to route products to their destination or capture where they came from. Use of EPC®/RFID and readers identified with GLNs can support automatically capturing the movement of goods without the need for line-of-sight scanning or other manual intervention.

Systems and communications 

Sharing information relating to parties and locations using GLN within GS1 standards like EDI and EPCIS will enhance transitional data and physical event data.

GDSN Defined

The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is the world’s largest product data network.

GDSN makes it possible for any company, in any market, to share high-quality product information seamlessly. Because companies of all sizes need the same thing—timely and reliable product information—to ultimately benefit consumers and patients.

With GDSN, high quality product content is uploaded, maintained and shared automatically, ensuring trading partners have immediate access to the most current and complete information needed to exchange products on both local and global markets.

GDSN Defined

About GS1

GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit, international organization developing and maintaining standards including barcodes. GS1 standards, services and solutions are designed to improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in a wide variety of sectors.

Sources: GS1.org 

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What is the GDSN?

What is GDSN?

GDSN stands for Global Data Synchronization Network. The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is the world’s largest product data network. It is a system of connected firms that share product information in a standardized format.  The GDSN enables manufacturers and sellers of goods to harmonize information about their products with their customers.  Retailers and other buyers of goods subscribe to vendor catalogues and receive updates on them.

GS1_GDSN_Schema - Commport Communications

These updates are triggered when new items are added, existing items change, or items are discontinued.  All kinds of data points can be synchronized, from identifiers such as UPC codes and vendor part numbers, to descriptions and dimensions, and images.   ‘Data Pools’ facilitate the sharing of data by ensuring that the product information is formatted correctly and managing the subscriptions and publication of data.

Manufacturers and sellers benefit by having only one catalogue to maintain and update.  Buyers benefit from having item information continuously updated to ensure it is correct and current. 

Unlike a closed data pool or product registry, the GDSN is a global network where buyers and sellers are free to choose any of the approximately 50 certified data pools as their provider, independent of who their trading partner has chosen.  And the standards are global, enabling the sharing of product data in multiple languages and across national boundaries.

GDSN Terminology 

GS1_GDSN_Button_RGB_2020-03-05

GS1 Global Registry

  • The GS1 Global Registry is the GDSN's "yellow pages directory" that provides information for subscription sharing
  • Enables data pool interoperability
  • Guarantees uniqueness of the registered items and parties
  • Ensures all data pools in the network are complying with a common set of validation rules that support GDSN data integrity
  • Holds information on who subscribed to trade items or party data using Global Location Numbers (GLN), Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTIN), Global Product Classifications (GPC) and Target Market (TM) as identifiers.
GLN

Global Location Number (GLN) 

A GLN is unique entity identification for use in the GS1 system based on an company’s EAN.UCC company prefix.

  • It is a 13 digit number.
  • All data sources and data recipients must have a GLN to operate in the GDSN
GTIN

Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)

  • A GTIN is a unique product ID based on an EAN.UCC number that identifies a specific product at a specific level of packaging, examples: Each, Carton, Pallet:
  • The GTIN facilitates separate item records for each level of packaging for the same product IF the packaging is the supplier’s standard packaging and IF each level of packaging contains a separate standard EAN.UCC bar code label.

Global Product Classification (GPC)

  • GPC is a product category / class system used by GS1 to ensure each product is classified uniformly everywhere in the GDSN network.
  • The GPC provides trading partners with a common way to classify and group their products using a multi-level hierarchy.

Trading Partner Agreement (TPA)

  • The TPA ensures protection for the Data Source (supplier) data throughout the GDSN
  • It acknowledges that the Data Source owns the data
  • It provides legal protection and remedies to the Data source if the data is passed to any other entity other than the Data Source’s authorized and designated Data Recipient(s)
  • Every entity in the GDSN has to sign the TPA

Target Market (TM) 

  • TM is a country identifier indicating where the item will be sold
  • This is required because some products sold in different countries use the same bar codes but have unique product differences for the specific TM(s).

How Does the GDSN Work?

GS1_GDSN_Schema_Complex - Commport Communications

Benefits of GDSN

 

what is GDSN 1

Share real-time product content with all trading partners simultaneously

what is GDSN 2

Decrease data management time and costs

what is GDSN 3

Eliminate manual processes and reduce errors, generating quality

what is GDSN 4

Bring new products to market quickly and easily

what is GDSN 5

Enable brand transparency to consumers and patients

Using Synchronized Data 

Synchronized data is used anywhere product information is displayed or used.  This includes business systems such as ERP, accounting, and warehouse management applications.  GDSN data is also used on consumer facing websites.  Anywhere that product information needs to be reliable and current is a good target for synchronized product data.

Certified Data Pools

Organizations that want to provide GDSN services must be certified.  To be certified a GDSN data pool must prove they are able to connect with the other data pools and meet the global standards.  Buyers and sellers of goods around the world rely on the Certification to ensure the Network remains viable.

Global Standards

The use of global standards within the GDSN ensure that a manufacturer or seller of goods can easily populate their GDSN catalogue once and share that information with customers around the world.  This eliminates the need for 'local' attributes based on one country or region.  For buyers, the global standards mean that they will receive the same data points from suppliers anywhere in the world.  Committees from all industries and countries with representatives from both supplier and buyer organizations met to develop these standards.

GDSN

Read more or download Commport’s GDSN 101.

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GDSN Data Excellence Board of Directors Meeting – Brussels, Belgium

GDSN Data Excellence Board of Directors Meeting - Brussels, Belgium

GS1_GDSN_Schema - Commport Communications

At the end of February, I had the opportunity to attend the GDSN Data Excellence Board of Directors meeting in Brussels, Belgium which was part of the GS1 2018 Global Forum.  The Board of Directors was expanded this year with the addition of 5 new data pools, 3 Commercial and 2 GS1 Member owned.

Growth of the Network

While at the Board of Directors meeting, we were advised that the GDSN had just surpassed 26 million GTINs registered. A sustained growth of over 10% per year.  More and more manufacturers and brand owners are realizing that only the GDSN can deliver the single source of trusted data to local and global retailers and other demand parties.

We were also advised that 4 new data pools received certification, so there are now 40 Certified Data pools around the globe now including Iceland.  For more details: https://www.gs1.org/services/gdsn/certified-data-pools

There were over 800 attendees at this Global Forum conference from over 80 countries – more countries participating than at the recent Winter Olympics.

GS1 Cloud

Of the many topics presented at the conference, the predominant one was the GS1 Cloud.  Finally existing in a near ready condition, the GS1 Cloud is the culmination of a few years of effort to provide GDSN Brand Owners with the tool needed to help them sell globally, regardless of their size or financial ability to reach potential global customers.

Commport will provide additional news on this brand new tool in the very near future, but suffice it to say, it really adds value to your participation in the GDSN.

For more on the Global Forum: https://www.gs1.org/events/487/gs1-global-forum-2018

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GS1 Global Healthcare Conference – Standards

GS1 Global Standards

Commport attended the GS1 Global Healthcare Conference held in Chicago from October 16-19. I wanted to share my learnings from the GS1 Healthcare Conference

The conference brought together over 340 healthcare sector professionals from over 40 countries.  Dialogues, education and updates centered on supply chain, patient safety, bar coding, traceability, serialization, and other initiatives happening within several countries including Canada and the USA.

There were over 50 speakers from many countries who showcased progress reports and studies on a variety of healthcare topics. GSI Global, operating in 112 countries around the globe, is playing a critical role in transforming healthcare globally. Commport supports GS1 Global standards within our tier-1, EDI network and GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network) service.

The GS1 Standards in Healthcare focus heavily on how increasing integration of supply chain data and product traceability can improve patient safety and care, while also improving supply chain efficiency.  Standards are helping meet provider challenges such as regulation compliance and recall processes, cash flow and inaccurate pricing issues.  To read more about the standards and how they address these concerns view the opening presentation from the conference here .

I will be publishing a series of updates from the information shared at the Chicago conference relating to major progress being made in healthcare in Germany, the United Kingdom, USA and other countries.

In my next update I’ll be reviewing Canada’s disappointing ranking, #9 out of 11 countries in the Commonwealth Fund developed nations 2014 ranking, why we scored so low and what efforts are underway to improve our ranking.

GS1 Global Healthcare Conference held in Chicago

GS1 Canada: Friend or Foe?

GS1 Canada: Friend or Foe?

Written by Tim Wilson on June 21, 2017 for CanadianHealthcareNetwork.ca 

Tech Tonic
by Tim Wilson

GS1 Canada:

The healthcare supply chain in Canada is ripe for transformation, but progress to date has been slower than expected. Some of this might be due to confusion with regard to the role of GS1 Canada, a not-for-profit organization that, by its own admission, is dedicated to fostering the continuous development and adoption of global e-commerce standards.

“We don’t need to make the point about the importance of standards in healthcare,” says Art Smith, GS1 Canada’s founder and CEO. “Stakeholders need to consolidate around a standard, or else their supply chain and information requirement costs go up.”

GS1 Canada’s support for standards was evident in its response to Ontario’s Healthcare Sector Supply Chain Strategy (HSSCS) Expert Panel’s report, Advancing Healthcare in Ontario: Optimizing the Healthcare Supply Chain – A New Model. The organization responded to the HSSCS Report with a press release lauding the “strong endorsement for the application of ‘an internationally recognized bar coding standard that provides full traceability of products, including pharmaceuticals, to the patient.’”

“The Ontario report was a breath of fresh air,” says Smith. “It’s good news for us.”

There is some confusion, however, because the report itself was highly critical of GS1 Canada, stating that the HSSCS panelists had “heard that the business model, lack of transparency and fee structure implemented by GS1 Canada are obstacles to wider adoption of the standard by healthcare providers in this country.” As well, during the May 16-17 Healthcare Supply Chain Network (HSCN) conference in Toronto, HSSCS Panel Chair Kevin Empey openly chastised GS1 Canada.

“I am not happy with you,” said Empey, speaking to the conference attendees from GS1 Canada in front of a packed house. “The GS1 Canada business model doesn’t work. We need global standards.”

This was a striking critique, given that GS1 Canada is our nation’s member organization of GS1 Global, which refers to itself as “The Global Language of Business.” The whole idea of GS1 is to promote global standards, largely via Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) used in the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN). It’s therefore understandable that the criticism has led to some head-scratching, and defense from GS1 Canada.
“For the record: we see that as misinformation,” says Smith. “We are fully transparent. It is not about our business model. We are not sure why that is even in the report. We were not approached about pricing information. There really is no price barrier – our pricing is very similar to other organizations around the world that are providing standards.”

The concerns appear to come from past efforts by GS1 Canada to argue for added attribute sets in healthcare that would reside outside the GDSN in a proprietary system called the ECCnet Registry, which GS1 Canada brands as “Canada’s national product registry”. ECCnet, for example, is used for nutritional data and images in Canada’s food industry, with fees based on an organization’s annual sales revenue, which GS1 Canada reassesses on a periodic basis.

“A year ago GS1 Canada was being too idealistic, and not speaking the language of its customers,” says Toby O’Hara, General Manager at Healthcare Materials Management Services (HMMS), and who also sits on GS1 Canada’s Healthcare Provider Deployment Committee. “They were insisting on Canadian attributes, which created a barrier to leverage barcodes. ECCnet was a good idea – I appreciate their idealism – but it didn’t work.”

The stubbornness on the part of GS1 Canada with regard to ECCnet slowed adoption in the healthcare supply chain, and created bad faith because although GS1 Canada operates on a cost-recovery basis, it is also a non-soliciting corporation—which means that its financials needn’t be made public. As a result, there is no visibility into how fees are used to remunerate executive salaries and expenses or to support technological investments. For its part, the HSSCS Panel didn’t dive into these organizational issues, but it did try to figure out why Canada’s adoption of global standards has been so slow.

“I spent a lot of time trying to research this,” Empey told me in a follow-up interview after the conference. “GS1 Canada has a healthcare advisory panel, and I know some of the members. I reached out and said, ‘You have had a responsibility to implement, and you have failed for ten years. What’s wrong?’”

From there, Empey encountered healthcare industry grumblings about past efforts on the part of GS1 Canada to force participation in ECCnet, and its fee schedule. However, things appear to have changed. Mr. Smith himself expresses no overt bias toward standards that are specific to Canada.

“Holistically, at the big picture level, there is no reason for different standards in Canada versus any other country in the world,” he says. “Our position on the study was to look at the big picture, given that it is important for Ontario to address the supply chain issue.”

The market itself is saying that having Canada build a unique system outside of the GDSN is a bad idea, because it imbeds a legacy out-of-network technology from a single provider within our national supply chain. The argument here isn’t about standards, it’s about the folly of ECCnet.

“It’s a no brainer to recommend standards,” says Empey. “But vendors are saying that they will not spend extra fees for ECCnet.”

GS1 Canada describes itself as a “neutral, not-for-profit organization”. However, ECCnet puts a shadow on that neutrality: for GS1 Canada to have competitive motivation to drive revenue off a proprietary technology that relies on so-called “Canadian attributes”, and that resides outside of the truly global GDSN, could be seen as a conflict of interest. As well, anyone who has studied technological implementations knows that getting locked in to a legacy system from one provider can impose significant financial and technological risk. For its part, GS1 Canada now claims to have no overt bias, offering ECCnet only as an option – and not a requirement.

“Since GS1 Canada has relaxed ECCnet, we are over the moon happy,” says O’Hara from HMMS. “It allows us to develop new procedures and relationships based on the GTINs. Before ECCnet went away these developments were not imminent – but now things are happening, and they are happening quick.”

They are indeed. Ontario’s HSSCS report landed just after Quebec announced that its new Life Sciences strategy will address supply chain issues, including for medical devices. As well, in early June Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence International Knowledge Translation Platform announced a $1.6 grant over four years for the Supply Chain Advancement Network in Health (SCAN Health).

No doubt, in the context of these and other initiatives, GS1 Canada will consult with supply-chain community stakeholders to talk about their requirements, and also educate people on common formats like EDI and XML. That’s all well and good. However, let’s hope there’ll be no more discussion—and time wasted—on ECCnet, or any further attempts to slow our healthcare supply chain’s adoption of truly global standards via the GDSN.

Tim Wilson is principal of T Wilson Associates. Follow him on Twitter: @TimothyEWilson

Source: http://www.canadianhealthcarenetwork.ca/healthcaremanagers/discussions/blogs/technology-blog/gs1-canada-friend-or-foe-34614#commentlist

How Much Does Bad Product Data Cost You Today

How Much Does Bad Product Data Cost You Today !

If you still receive incorrect, incomplete, inadequate product data from your supply chain partners, this “bad” data is costing you and your suppliers’ money every day….

….imagine that you could continuously align product data and digital content with ALL your supply chain partners

….imagine that you could receive automatic updates nightly from all your trading partners for all SKUs (changes, deletions & new SKUs)

….imagine that all the product data attributes you require for all similar products would be the same from all suppliers

….imagine that you would receive a separate, discreet data record for each level of packaging for each SKU

….imagine that all the digital content you require would be included in each data record using URL tags

A CAP Gemini study demonstrated that adopting and implementing a global data synchronization program would lead to a 1% to 3% savings in supply chain costs for retailers. Long-term benefits were expected to be even greater. The reality has been just that.….and better still, many of your suppliers are already able to supply this content to you using a global data content network. This network exists and is known as the GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network). 1500 global demand parties like your company use the GDSN today to obtain all their product content from 40,000 GDSN registered suppliers.

Contact Commport today and we will confirm how many of your trading partners are registered in the GDSN today and explain how easy it is to use the GDSN.

Find out more about the GDSN here. Contact us today to get started.


À combien évaluez-vous le coût des données erronées dans vos systèmes aujourd’hui ?

Si vos partenaires vous envoient encore des données incorrectes, incomplètes et inadéquates, ces données erronées ont un coût d’impact important pour vous et votre partenaire chaque jour…

imaginez si vous pouviez continuellement harmoniser les données sur les produits ainsi que le contenu digital avec TOUS vos partenaires dans la chaîne d’approvisionnement

imaginez si vous pouviez recevoir automatiquement des mises à jour de la part de vos partenaires d’affaires pour tous les produits que vous transigez (incluant tout changement, tout ajout ou toute suppression aux données existantes)

imaginez si toute donnée nécessaire pour vous sur tous les produits de même acabit était la même quel que soit le fournisseur qui vous la fourni

imaginez si vous pouviez recevoir ainsi une information complète pour chaque unité d’emballage possible pour chaque item

imaginez si tout le contenu digital (une image, par exemple) que vous désirez était disponible pour chaque produit grâce à un lien URL

Une étude de Capgemini a démontré que l’adoption d’un programme global de synchronisation de données permettrait des économies sur les coûts liés à la chaîne d’approvisionnement de l’ordre de 1 % à 3 %. Les bénéfices attendus à long terme seraient encore plus intéressants. Les projets en cours ont atteint au minimum ces attentes.

Plusieurs de vos fournisseurs sont déjà à même de vous distribuer de telles données en utilisant le réseau global de synchronisation de données, le GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network). 1 500 organisations telles que la vôtre utilise aujourd’hui e GDSN pour obtenir des données sur les produits de quelques 40 000 fournisseurs.

Contactez Commport aujourd’hui ! Nous pourrons vous dire combien de vos partenaires d’affaires sont inscrits au GDSN et vous expliquer à quel point il est facile d’accéder à ces données.

Ready to find out more about Commport GDSN Solution?

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What We Do

What We Do?

We provide EDI, VAN and GDSN Solutions

Commport supply chain solutions

Explaining what Commport does isn’t the easiest or sexiest thing to try to express especially in an elevator pitch style conversation. Statements like “we provide EDI and data sync services” are most often met with a look of confusion and when we go home at night to our spouses, all they seem to understand is that we work with computers. (but doesn’t just about everyone these days?)

I was once coming home from a GS1 Standards Event and upon reaching customs I was faced with the standard re-entry questions… “You say you have been travelling for work, what do you do for work?” My go to response has always been “ecommerce” and this is usually enough detail to get me through, but not this time.  The agent then looked at me and said “ecommerce is a very large field, can you elaborate”.  Caught slightly off guard, I told him that I was attending a conference to “define the international standards for the electronic exchange of product catalogue information through a global distributed networ….”  I didn’t even get to finish my sentence before his eyes glazed over and he just waved me through with a muttered “Welcome Home”.

So, what is it that we do at Commport?  We provide value added EDI and GDSN data sync services.  That’s great… but what does that mean?  At our last staff holiday party, surrounded by our spouses, our COO gave a speech that for the first time, clarified how what we do affects every one of us on a day to day basis.

“We help to put food on the shelf at your local supermarket.  We help to ensure that suppliers get paid. We help ensure that the product information that is made available to you as a consumer, is accurate and up to date – we help to make supply chains more efficient so that when you go to the store you can find the products and information about them that you need in order to make a purchase.”

For the first time ever, what we do here at Commport clicked for our spouses.  We often get lost in the nitty gritty details of what we do day to day and sometimes fail to take a step back and appreciate the broader impact of what it is we do.

Sure, supply chains existed before EDI and data sync technologies and goods were made available at stores for consumers to purchase. However, retailers such as Walmart have famously leveraged technologies based around EDI and supplier communications to optimize their supply chain management techniques.  In the case of Walmart specifically, this approach to its business is directly credited with helping to make it into the world’s largest retailer.

For a supply chain to be effective in today’s retail landscape, it takes collaboration with suppliers and the implementation of information technologies to get it right.  Using this approach, retailers are able to optimize their inventory, turns, warehouse management techniques and vendor payment schedule while suppliers are able to provide timelier logistics services, accurate information regarding product availability, and electronic invoices.

Putting EDI and data sync technologies into practice is beneficial for both the supplier and the retailer organizations, but the real win is dealt to the consumer who is able to find the products they are looking for, the information they need and with those, is able make the purchase that is right for them.

Enabling that is what we do at Commport, every day.

 

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GDSN Implementations: What You Need to Know

GDSN Implementation: What You Need to Know

GDSN is a universally accepted set of data formatting standards that ensures senders and receivers of product data are operating within the same structure and maintaining the highest levels of data integrity.

Over the next few years, retailers requiring their suppliers to provide GDSN-compliant data will be growing exponentially. The major players in U.S. retail are already mandating it, and it’s just a matter of time before it works its way through the system to include every national and regional chain in Canada and the U.S.

GS1_GDSN_Schema_Complex - Commport Communications

If you’re a supplier that is currently selling to a national or regional chain, or if you have plans to start in the near future, it’s in your best long-term interest to start laying the groundwork to provide GDSN-compliant product data. Here are a few tips on selecting a GDSN certified data pool provider and ensuring that your transition to this new industry standard goes smoothly.

 

4 Step Process to Get Started With GDSN

 

1. Choosing Your GDSN Provider

For buyers and sellers just entering the world of GDSN, the most important factor in deciding which provider to utilize is that you do not have to use the same GS1certified GDSN provider as your trading partners. By definition, all GDSN certified data pool providers can seamlessly interact and exchange data with one another.

That opens up the field considerably. Although there only a handful of GDSN-compliant solution providers operating in North America right now, the number is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, and with it will come a wide variety of fee structures, solution options and service levels. These are the elements you should be focusing on.

2. GDSN Pricing

Compare competing pricing plans – upfront sign-up cost, usage fees and annual maintenance charges. You’ll be surprised at how many ways there are to pay for services that essentially have the same end result! Choose a plan that best suits your business needs based on your product line, and future plans. A quality GDSN provider will act as a consultant, helping you to make the right decisions for your company’s implementation.

3. Comprehensive GDSN Solutions

Consider the GDSN solutions offered by a provider. Does their product offering meet all your needs or will you be forced to bring in other partners to achieve your goals? Are they targeting their platform toward large multinational traders or the SME market? Is it industry-specific or adaptable to wider uses? Does their GDSN solution need to be integrated into your existing IT infrastructure or is it hosted remotely and accessed through a PC via the internet? What kind of reporting options do they offer? Have they invested in developing and updating their own proprietary platform or are they reselling another company’s?

Lastly, as with any company you’re considering doing business with, investigate their operations. Ask to speak to current clients to learn about their experiences with set-up and training, ongoing customer service support, and continuous improvements to the application.

4. GDSN Implementation

Of course, deciding on a GDSN-compliant provider is just the beginning. Now it’s time make any necessary adjustments to your current methods of managing product data, integrate the new GDSN platform into your daily business and establish the data pipeline with your trading partner.

The best GDSN providers view themselves as true business partners and will be with you every step of the way here. Their expertise will prove invaluable in preparing a comprehensive project plan that explains every step of the process, allocates responsibilities, and outlines expected completion dates from the first training session right through to the final item syncronization. Also, look for a GDSN solution partner that assigns dedicated support staff to each project. There’s nothing better than being on a first name basis with the resources that are helping you prepare your business for the next chapter in its success!

GDSN advantages in efficiency, cost-savings and customer service are well documented at GS1 Website, the web site of the non-profit organization that defined and maintains international GDSN standards.

Contact us today to find out about the advantages of having Commport as your GDSN partner.

 

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