Progressive Grocer

MAR 2015

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118 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | March 2015 Data Synchronization Technology A lack of confdence in data quality between retailers and manufacturers, as well as sev- eral related technology issues, is making needed efciencies difcult to achieve. Tis pres- ents a huge opportunity for the industry to work together for the beneft of all stakeholders. An industry consensus on that issue led to the launch of a collaborative efort eight months ago. Te GS1 US Retail Grocery Initiative aims to enhance data quality and improve product information and images, supply chain visibility, and operational efciencies. "We anticipate this year to be a pivotal year in shaping the future of the retail grocery industry," says Angela Fernandez, GS1 US's VP of retail grocery and foodservice. Lawrenceville, N.J.-based GS1 US, a member of the global information standards organization GS1, brings industry stakeholders together to solve problems. The major organiza- tions involved in the grocery initiative include retailers such as Wegmans Food Markets, Pub- lix Super Markets and The Kroger Co.; CPGs (The Coca-Cola Co. and Kraft Foods Group); solution providers (Gladson and Clavis Insight); and trade associations (the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers As- sociation), among others. "We have long believed that standards and collaboration among retailers and manufacturers are essential," says Marty Gardner, SVP of merchandising at Roch- ester, N.Y.-based Wegmans and a GS1 board member. "Our industry must work together to build a solid foundation for the future. Without this discipline, there is waste and added cost for both the retailer and the manufacturer." Sadly, the quality of the data shared between retailers and manufacturers is still not where it should be, despite numerous industry eforts over the past 10 years, according to Nona Cu- sick, SVP of consumer products, retail and distribution at Capgemi- ni, a global consultancy. "Organizing good-quality data has proven to be difcult for both retailers and con- sumer goods companies. Often, the data is still treated in a fragmented way — with too few data-quality feedback loops between retailers and manufacturers — and lacks the required business focus," she says. In Sync for the Future Grocers and suppliers collaborate on global information standards. By John Karolefski

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