Tuesday, February 22, 2011

GDSN: The vicious circle

On one of the last GDSN workgroup meetings we were discussing how to improve the adoption of GDSN.

One of the comments was that there is a vicious circle: Retailers say as long as there is not more item data available from suppliers they will not start to engage with GDSN. And on the same time suppliers are arguing that they will not start delivering their article data through GDSN as long as retailers are still demanding product information on paper or via excel files or similar.

How to deal with that vicious circle?

Suppliers should launch a MDM program independently from GDSN. 

Suppliers have to prepare their own product data in a central database to fulfill the different requirements they are facing today. They need the product data for their internal manufacturing processes, for their sales processes, for internal information purposes, for all kind of electronic business. Providing that data via GDSN to their retail customers is only one additional use case for their correct, complete and quality checked product information.

If they are taking GS1 standards into consideration when defining their MDM program then they will be easily able to also deploy GDSN as part of their MDM program. And as there is already so much value in their MDM program, it does not matter if in the beginning they deliver the data via GDSN only to 1 or 2 retailers. Usage of the GDSN will evolve over time.

Retailers should take the same approach. 

Just launch your MDM program and make GDSN only being one (additional) source of product data. The MDM program itself will bring so much value that it also pays already for your GDSN implementation. What is key to your MDM program is that your vision contains that you are not any longer accepting item information on paper or via email.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting topic. I think the big barrier is the initial investments in integration with GDSN and in the internal process. It starts with the retailers. They have to see the GDS/MDM business case. If retailers support the standards, suppliers will follow.
    Peter Pottinga