Because suppliers and retailers maintain their own product databases, it can often be difficult for these supply chain partners to share information about products, such as inventory on hand.
A major German retailer is doing its part to help break down this barrier to collaboration. Metro Group AG says it is the first retailer to synchronize item-level store data with key suppliers in Russia. Working with the consumer product giants Kraft Foods, Nestlé, and Procter & Gamble, Metro Group has extended its use of the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) to its Russian stores.
GDSN enables trading partners to efficiently exchange data around the globe through Internet-based networks of interoperable data pools and a product database known as the GSI Global Registry. Metro group is a member of the SA2 Worldsync data pool (which is also the data pool for Russia); the three suppliers belong to the 1SYNC data pool.
Up-to-date product information will allow suppliers and Metro to provide the right stock to meet customer demand in Russia, one of the fastestgrowing European markets. "By synchronizing product data with Metro Group in Russia, we are able to get real-time inventory updates from Metro's stores in the region," said Janna Kouchina, director of sales for Kraft Foods in Russia, in a statement. "This gives us the ability to get our products to the store shelf faster."
The Metro Group has also begun working on data synchronization in Germany as well as Poland and the United Kingdom. It plans to roll out a similar initiative in Denmark and Hungary in the near future. "We are very satisfied with the outcome from accurate global data synchronization and are working toward synchronizing item data with all our suppliers globally," said Urs Ulrich Katzenstein, Metro Group's head of master data exchange.
To learn more about the Global Data Supply Network and data synchronization, see "Want to be agile? Master your data" by Andrew White in the Quarter 2/2007 issue of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly.