‘Data is the new currency’ and the way it is managed and shared is therefore becoming a critical challenge.

Rising demands of data transparency, up-to-date product information, product traceability and government regulations have a profound impact on companies. Failing to cope with these demands and trends results in the risk of lost sales, steeper competition and high operating costs. Furthermore, poor handling of data drives up costs throughout the entire supply chain. Therefore, a collaborative approach and coordination across the supply chain have become a necessity. Companies that perform better are those that invest in supporting business processes, data governance, internal data structures and external data collaboration.

What is a Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN)?

GDSN is “a network of interoperable data pools” that allows businesses to exchange real-time information and synchronize data with trading partners across the globe. The secured information exchange is based on GS1 standards. GDSN allows trading partners to maintain consistent product information, standardize product classification, validate against standards and comply with regulations. It also enables organizations to receive automatic database updates when trading partners update their own database. For this to happen, organizations must subscribe to one of the GS1 certified and tested data pools.

How does GDSN impact your organization and its role in the supply chain?

Organizations taking part in GDSN have seen a direct and positive correlation between synchronized data and fundamental business indicators: better customer service, an increase in sales, greater accuracy of orders, and a decrease in out-of-stock items. The bottom line is that synchronized data adds value through cost reduction and revenue enhancement.

The impacts can be seen in several functional areas, including value chain, product introduction, product lifecycle management, administration, customer service and sales. The value of collective collaboration among trading partners is significant, and standardized and synchronized data benefit each player in the supply chain (see Figure 1). For instance, suppliers have been able to automate re-stocking, receive direct feedback from distributors and customers and avoid transactional errors due to mismatched ordering data. Retailers have reaped the benefits of GDSN through better inventory cover and lower out-of-stocks. Moreover, with trusted and up-to-date product information retailers have enhanced the consumer shopping experience, thus satisfying data-hungry consumers.

Factors influencing the effective participation in GDSN

Data gathering, maintenance and sharing is not just about technology and systems, but also about people and processes, which are in fact the key influencing factors. Organizations invest significant time and money to keep up with data trends, yet end up with enormous costs and low ROI in the long-run. Therefore, the key challenges and influencing factors must be considered before starting data sharing and compliance initiatives. The 5 key factors for effective participation in GDSN are:

Data synchronization must be aligned with business needs & requirements: Synchronized and structured data – a business priority; vision and roadmap; business cases

Effective data synchronization requires the consideration of the affected stakeholders regarding corresponding areas: 
Key roles and responsibilities; trainings; data ownership

Standardized and flexible processes considering business needs & organizational architecture are necessities: 
Data collection from several repositories; data maintenance processes; automation of business processes

A clear governance concept is essential for an improved data strategy and corresponding IT solutions: Ensure data integrity; data policies and standards; organizational structure

Sustainable and standard-based data synchronization needs to be closely aligned with IT: Integration services and data structures; security measures; workflow and interfaces

As you can see, establishing global data synchronization as a business practice is more than just a technological change. So why not get started today?

Get in touch with us to find out how your organization can benefit from effective and efficient data synchronization.


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