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GDSN – What’s the Big Deal?

GDSN – What’s the Big Deal?

How industry standards are one part of an integrated content program

Let’s face it: Data quality is the driver of almost everything in business. Poor information, whether it’s out of date, incomplete, or just wrong, can cause negative impacts to ripple throughout a system. And without quality data at the beginning, it is extremely time consuming and costly to manage later in the business process.

However, we also know that data needs some sort of customization for every use. For example, brands have their prescribed hierarchies and line extensions; every retailer (or other data recipient) has their own internal system standards and MDM requirements; and sharing among the multiple relationships of suppliers, agents and recipients quickly becomes a complex ecosystem.

Where does the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) fit in all this?

Think of it as a consistent, agreed-upon data set from an international governing standards body (GS1). It’s one of many standards developed by GS1 in conjunction with brands and retailers worldwide to ensure a common language for data sharing. GDSN exists in addition to the more specific data requirements a brand or recipient may need, to ensure that any company, in any market, can eliminate confusion around naming conventions, measurement units and other common data points, enabling more efficient data management throughout the supply chain.

According to GS1, clean, consistent data is important to reduce the cost of services (through lower errors), improvements in supply chain (including shorter inventory turns and time to market), and other benefits including safety, traceability and top line sales growth. And Syndigo is a leading independent global GDSN data pool and synchronization provider, delivering category breadth and global reach to ensure our clients’ product information can be distributed to the widest global network. This can help streamline operational activities.

Helping You Get in Shape

Using a GDSN expert like Syndigo can help you and your recipients upgrade their product related master data to GS1 Global Standards without building expensive systems to do so, while also creating efficiencies by automating item set ups and change processes throughout the system.

It is why Syndigo built our integrated Content Experience Hub (CXH) platform. With the ability to physically validate and code every possible item attribute needed – from physical qualities like weights and dimensions, to more challenging ones such as low sodium or compliant for paleo diets – Syndigo works to ensure the best, most accurate content upfront.

1. Ingesting client information. Through CXH clients have multiple methods of connecting suppliers to recipients, based on their configuration needs: Our integrated platform can deliver the connectivity to ingest data to multiple workflow formats including API, XML, and HTML.

In addition, Syndigo can create effective brand imagery by capturing consistent, high quality and accurate product images that comply with requirements and resonate with shoppers. Our GS1 Certified Photographers’ expertise ensures your products are captured in the right size and format for each usage, whether it’s for retail or foodservice. Plus, our expanded enhancement capabilities can take existing product shots beyond GDSN and optimize them digitally for infographics, lifestyle layouts or other contextually-relevant detail.

2. Managing content. With CXH, our clients’ content is consolidated through a single platform, meaning that GDSN standards, as well as core marketing, enhanced content and deep nutritional information can be accessed in one user friendly system. There is no need to build internal systems to manage digital assets or other product information.

Being on a single platform also means better speed to market, as all assets can be accessed, syndicated or changed easily – no more accessing multiple systems or vendors. With custom import / export features, clients can also ensure their content is feeding the appropriate client system.

3. Broad Syndication. A dedicated PIM system is only as good as its syndication network, and Syndigo has built CXH to be able to deliver to one of the largest global retail networks as possible. With thousands of global recipients and close to a million brands in the Retail, Foodservice, Healthcare, DIY and Automotive industries, Syndigo is the single point of integration for your data synchronization needs, validated to GS1 standards.

While some solution providers tout a “syndication” capability, many really mean simple distribution: sending a supplier’s information to a recipient, with no guarantee of acceptance or posting. Syndigo built CXH with syndication in mind – not only can CXH deliver to a recipient standard and data format, but we also provide monitoring capabilities to monitor a suppliers’ content readiness and content health.

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4. Engagement with your network. Retailer and regulatory requirements are ever changing, and it is important to stay up to date. Syndigo helps to ensure category and regulatory compliance by maintaining retail relationships and association positions to ensure deeper understanding of retailer specific attributes, nutrition labeling and allergen warnings, or healthcare initiatives such as GUIDID, Eudamed, DSCSA and NHS.

By automating your item setup and change processes, you can drive greater efficiency and reduce your operational costs while keeping your sales team and broker network engaged by sharing consistent, standardized product information.

5. Optimizing your content. An integrated platform like CXH can deliver recipient-ready content due to our data quality engine, which performs thousands of real time validations to ensure data completeness and accuracy. Add to that dedicated implementation and support teams, detailed reporting and analytics to deliver better content health, plus brand- and recipient- specific dashboards, and it’s easy to see how Syndigo can provide a single source of content truth for all product content, syndicated to all recipients.

While everyone agrees there is a need for accurate and complete content that is based on a process of data quality standards, there is also a need for customization in many complex configurations. An industry standard like GDSN helps to create a common language for sharing information among data partners, and is an important part of an overall data strategy. However, additional consideration must be given to the many other uses for product content by supplier brands and distributor or retailer recipients and the agencies that serve them all.
That’s why Syndigo was formed – to enable commerce for all clients by providing a platform that can serve the end-to-end needs of the entire product ecosystem.