GS1 UK and GXS Partner to Launch New Product Data Quality Services for GS1 UK Data Pool

LONDON and Gaithersburg, Md. – August 2, 2007 — GS1 UK, the independent supply chain data standards body, and GXS™, a leading provider of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce solutions, today announced an agreement to deliver a new integrated data pool solution incorporating UDEX, a GXS service, for retailers, suppliers and manufacturers in the United Kingdom. The new solution will build on GS1 UK’s global data synchronisation network (GDSN)-certified data pool solution, already in use by GS1 UK members and supported by GXS Data Pool Manager. The new service offerings will include UDEX Product Data Quality (PDQ) and PDQ Firewall services already used by more than 2,000 retailers, wholesalers and suppliers both in the U.K. and the United States.

Clean and synchronised product data is a foundational element for all B2B initiatives such as collabourative planning, forecast and replenishment (CPFR), radio frequency identification (RFID) and price synchronisation. According to AMR Research1, “Data quality is an elusive goal for most companies because it is treated as a one-time event. But since it is critical to getting value from enterprise applications, companies need to pick a strategy for measuring data quality, cleansing data on an ongoing basis and possibly enhancing it with outside information to meet their business objectives.”

Poor data quality results in time-to-market delays, increased out-of-stocks, higher volumes of product returns and frequent order/invoice discrepancies. Through the use of PDQ, retailers and suppliers can improve operational efficiency by ensuring the accuracy, consistency and completeness of product data within the supply chain. Long-term benefits include lower costs, increased process efficiencies; more streamlined supply chains and improved customer satisfaction.

“While more suppliers and retailers are adopting GDSN-certified data pools and reaping benefits, poor data quality remains a significant pain point in the supply chain,” said Gary Lynch, Chief Executive of GS1 UK. “While many companies recognize the challenges and delays that poor data quality represents, they have yet to fully solve this problem. By partnering with GXS and UDEX for the UK Data Pool we will drive data quality improvements industry wide.”

The UDEX PDQ Firewall service also will be part of the new GS1 UK Data Pool for retailers. PDQ Firewall maps and transforms standards-compliant data into the format required by the buyer or retailer, making data virtually error-free and improving product data dependent processes. As data is submitted by suppliers, PDQ Firewall validates the data against a retailer’s specific requirements. If the data is in full compliance, PDQ Firewall allows the data to pass. Businesses using the GS1 UK Data Pool then can leverage accurate product data within their merchandising, warehouse management, store operations and business intelligence systems to lower costs and maximise operational efficiencies.

PDQ Firewall helps you to ensure the success of Global Data synchronisation (GDS) and other product data initiatives by:

Verifying incoming supplier product data against the UDEX PDQ Certification database to identify potentially corrupted or uncertified input
Mapping industry standard data to a structure you can use without requiring suppliers to re-enter data
Enabling you to request specific data not currently included in the standards
Supporting queries directly between you and your suppliers to resolve anomalies
Verifying the consistency of attribute value descriptions across competitive suppliers
Enabling your buyers to validate key fields, such as price, before uploading them
Transforming data into the technical format you specify
Maintaining an audit trail of data
Helping your buyers spot product changes by highlighting product data modifications
Supporting customised data validation and reporting
Preventing data conversion errors as product data enters your product information management (PIM) or merchandizing system
“Within foodservice , 3663 is fully aware of the importance of good, quality data. The integration of the UDEX PDQ service with GS1 UK Data Pool is welcomed.” said Jim Gouldie, Head of Supply Chain at 3663 First for Foodservice. “For 3663, it will help provide the appropriate platform to meet the growing data demands of our business and our customers, whilst reducing duplication and confusion for our suppliers.”

The newly enhanced data pool will deliver a total solution to customers in the U.K. providing accurate product data synchronisation to customers with a single price, single contract and a single point of contact. The new agreement is the result of the continuing partnership between GS1 UK, which will market the new data pool service to its members, and GXS, whose data pool technology is the foundation for many GS1 data pools around the world.
“Once again, GXS and GS1 UK have come together to address the issue of poor data quality with the end-goal of increasing customers’ supply chain efficiency,” said Brian Riordan, general manager of UDEX. “This new level of cooperation will put a powerful solution into the hands of organisations that care about customer satisfaction and supply chain efficiencies. It is our intention that the success of this project can be replicated in data pools around the world, thus minimising the effects of poor quality data throughout the global supply chain.”

In November 2006, GXS completed its acquisition of UDEX. As part of GXS’ data synchronisation portfolio, UDEX PDQ enables retailers and suppliers to eliminate costly errors in the supply chain, thus increasing sales and improving operational efficiencies. GXS Data Pool Manager has been deployed by 27 GS1 Member Organisations around the world for the purpose of creating and supporting country or regional data pools. These data pools support local retailers and suppliers and enable them to trade consistent, standardised data with trading partners around the world. The enhanced solution gives the GS1 UK Data Pool, and its users, access to a product data management solution that ensures product data integrity and provides for complete, accurate and consistent data, including management of product images and packaging orientation.

About GS1 UK
GS1 UK has driven innovation in the supply chain for over thirty years. It is part of the global GS1 organisation, dedicated to the development and implementation of global data standards and solutions for the supply chain. GS1 standards are the most widely used in the world. GS1 UK helps industry to implement these data standards through the use of bar codes, RFID, Global Data Synchronisation (GDS) and electronic business messaging. www.gs1uk.org.

About UDEX
Founded in 1998 by product classification and data exchange experts, UDEX—a GXS Service, delivers innovative Product Data Quality (PDQ) solutions and professional services for a wide array of sectors, including grocery, home improvement, retail pharmacy, food service, wholesale, general merchandise, office products, and consumer electronics. With UDEX, retailers can improve supply chain efficiency, suppliers can protect brand equity, and consumers can make more informed product decisions. As a real-time, on-demand solution, product data flowing between suppliers and retailers is validated and cleansed to ensure virtually error-free data throughout all product data-dependent processes.

About GXS
GXS is a leading global provider of B2B e-commerce solutions that simplify and enhance business process integration, synchronisation and collabouration among trading partners. Organisations worldwide, including 75 percent of the Fortune 500, leverage the GXS Trading Grid® to extend supply networks, optimise product launches, automate warehouse receiving, manage electronic payments and gain supply chain visibility. With an unmatched global presence, proven trading partner management and B2B outsourcing services, GXS’ on-demand solutions maximise the benefits of integration for businesses.

Based in Gaithersburg, Md., GXS’ extensive global network serves customers throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific regions. GXS can be found on the Web at www.gxs.co.uk.

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All products and services mentioned are trademarks of their respective companies
1 AMR Research “The Many Paths to Data Quality” by Bill Swanton, September 2006.

For further information please contact:

Denise Oakley, Director, Marketing Programmes International GXS
Tel – +44 (0) 1932 776408 / +44 (0) 7768 537 481 Email: denise.oakley@gxs.com