Sunbury, United Kingdom — March 7, 2005 — GXS™, a leading provider of B2B e-commerce solutions, and GS1 UK, the independent body responsible for promoting supply chain efficiency and standards in the UK, today announced the official launch and deployment of the UK GS1-certified global data synchronisation (GDS) Data Pool. The data pool will allow UK suppliers and retailers to synchronise global data exchanges, making data management activities more efficient and speeding up the supply chain. Members of the UK Data Pool include a number of major retailers including Tesco and Makro Cash & Carry UK (part of the METRO Group in Germany), as well as over 3,000 suppliers. In total, 300,000 items will be synchronised between trading partners before the end of 2005, making this the largest GDS-compliant data pool in the world.
The GS1 UK Data Pool, which goes live on April 4th, will enable British suppliers to synchronise their data with retailers anywhere in the world and likewise, retailers may synchronise data with any supplier regardless of national base. Both UK suppliers and retailers will become part of the growing Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN), enabling the optimisation of supply chain business processes through the exchange of clean, accurate, and consistent product information with their trading partners while complying with the latest industry standards. The deployment of the GS1 UK Data Pool is the result of a strong partnership between GS1 UK, who will market the service to its members, GXS, who developed and will manage the service, and UDEX, who will provide data normalisation services to the data pool community.
“The UK data pool is critical to our supply chain strategy,” said Philip Steedman, e-commerce manager, Makro Cash & Carry. “Thanks to global data synchronisation, our UK suppliers will now use the UK data pool as their single point of entry while our systems will be synchronised with SINFOS, the German data pool service of METRO Group. This will ensure that changes made by our UK suppliers are automatically replicated within our own systems, improving catalogue maintenance, order management and fulfilment, and ultimately speeding up the time-to-market of goods.”
“We anticipate the UK Data Pool will have a significant impact on the overall efficiency of our members’ businesses. Already, our extensive testing gives us confidence that the system is robust and ready to manage the data of the 3,000 suppliers we expect to be using the data pool before the end of 2005,” said Steve Coussins, chief executive of GS1 UK. “The power of GDS will reduce the overall cost impact of poor product information and the administration resources required to handle and review such information, which run upwards of millions of dollars per year. Additionally, on top of providing the core community-based technology for the development of the data pool, GXS has already been instrumental in ensuring the efficient delivery and management of this service among our members.”
The GS1 UK Data Pool service was deployed using GXS Data Pool Manager, the leading solution for community-based organisations that seek to offer a data pool solution. GXS Data Pool Manager is designed to lower the barriers to implementing Global Data Synchronisation by providing a GS1-certified data pool as a managed service that is configured to the needs of specific geographic markets. GXS now powers more GS1-certified data pools than any other service provider worldwide. GXS supports data pools in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, Russia and Taiwan.
“The success of the Global Data Synchronisation Network will depend on building a critical mass of users as quickly as possible,” said Ross Curtis, GXS senior vice president of worldwide field operations. “The UK represents one of the world’s largest retail markets. The leadership shown by GS1 UK in deploying a data pool service will benefit global suppliers and retailers who want to standardise business practices, as well as local UK suppliers and retailers who want to ensure all of their trading partners can implement this new business practice. GXS is looking forward to further working with GS1 UK to make the GDSN a reality by deploying more data pools in partnership with other GS1 member organisations.”
GS1 develops global supply chain standards and solutions used by over one million companies for bar coding, electronic business messaging, data synchronisation and through the EPCglobal Network, radio frequency identification.
GXS is a leading global provider of B2B e-commerce solutions that simplify and enhance business process integration and collabouration. Organisations worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 500, leverage GXS Trading Grid® to achieve balance between supply and demand. Active in the global standards arena, GXS solutions enable customers both large and small, to connect with global partners, synchronise product information, optimise inventory levels and demand forecasts, and accelerate the execution of supply chains.
Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., GXS provides sales and support to businesses and their partners worldwide. For more information about GXS visit www.gxs.co.uk.