Aligndata Volume 3-2

Earlier this summer, the U-Connect 2010 Conference surpassed all expectations for attendance and value. Many attendees cited the increased number of retailer round tables and the launch of the GS1 Foodservice Initiative as reasons for their attending. This year there was a noticeable increase in first time attendees.

Many of the U-Connect attendees were from foodservice companies and came to hear the numerous sessions on GDSN in Foodservice.  The sessions covered everything from GTIN/GDSN basics to the Foodservice Roadmap and individual distributors providing their view on the benefits they anticipate from adopting GDSN.

The theme of many of the conference sessions was on sharing experiences using standards and on understanding retailers’ current and future requirements. Highlights of the retailer sessions include:

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Vendors and Distributors are quickly preparing for the next phase of the GS1 US Foodservice Initiative, synchronizing product marketing and nutritional information. These attributes form the critical base of information used by the foodservice customer in deciding what products to purchase, and therefore it is critical for Distributors to deliver expanded accurate product information on their online catalogs and ordering websites.

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The GS1 US Foodservice Initiative continues to expand as more companies start publishing their foodservice items to distributors via GDSN; and additional manufacturers and distributors join the network.

The Foodservice Initiative was sponsored by 55 Founding Members representing foodservice manufacturers, distributors and operators. This group has since expanded to over 60 founding companies. Since the inception of the initiative, these founding members have met in work groups to produce implementation guides, industry roadmaps and industry education.

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Lowe’s continues to raise the bar on product information quality. On a recent trip to Lowe’s Head Office in Mooresville, Aligntrac met with Lowe’s Product Information team to discuss Lowe’s current and future initiatives on GDSN and Product Information. Lowe’s continues to expand their use of GDSN data thus requiring additional data attributes as well as greater attention to accuracy and timeliness.

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Many manufacturers are visiting how they are managing their GDSN data to ensure data quality. This has become more important in the past year as many Retailers and Distributors have aggressively started to measure and rank suppliers based on the accuracy of data provided via GDSN.  Here are five steps for manufacturers to improve the quality of data you are providing to GDSN:

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NORPAC Foods recently switched to Sync/PDI. NORPAC is a nationally recognized farmer cooperative and processor of premium quality vegetable and fruit products.

NORPAC Foods had been using GDSN for some time with another Solution Partner for their retail trading partners but was looking for a better option to help them expand their use of GDSN to their foodservice trading partners.  GDSN just wasn’t as easy as it should be.

“Aligntrac has made all the difference in moving our GDSN projects ahead. We have received outstanding support from Aligntrac. Dan and Dave have been of great assistance – their commitment to outstanding support is appreciated!”  Michael Schmidt, NORPAC Foods

“This tool is a night and day difference compared to our previous process for handling data sync.  It is so user friendly, that from the first demonstration, I thought I would actually enjoy doing data sync using Sync/PDI.”  Michelle Alverts, NORPAC Foods

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