In today’s fast-paced environment, access to trusted product information is essential for businesses to succeed. To ensure their product data is up to the task, more and more enterprises are taking advantage of the Global Data Synchronization Network, or GDSN.

In this article, we’ll cover four key elements of GDSN and how you can navigate implementing data synchronization for your organization.

Get to Know GDSN – 4 Key Elements

GDSN is an internet-based integration system that allows trading partners to automatically share business data – namely, product data. For example, when a supplier revises its database with new product details, that data is immediately updated through GDSN, providing trading partners with access to this information in real-time.

To understand the basics of GDSN, there are four key areas to cover:

  1. GS1 standards
  2. GDSN data pools
  3. Major Release 3
  4. Master Data Management

GS1 Standards

GDSN connects trading partners to the GS1 Global Registry® of GS1 standards. GS1 standards use a unique set of identification numbers for products, companies, locations, services, assets, logistics units, and customers at any point in the supply chain. Utilizing GS1 standards allows trading partners to synchronize their data despite language or geographic barriers.

Data Pools

Trading partners must subscribe to a GS1-certified data pool to participate in GDSN. These data pools communicate through the GS1 Global Registry, which keeps track of connections, guarantees data uniqueness, and ensures compliance with shared GS1 standards.

To help organizations find a pool to exchange product data, GDSN provides a list of certified options. The information on that list, however, can be overwhelming. Organizations can seek help from a data management expert to ensure they choose the right path. Once linked to a data pool, trading partners can populate the pool with product data, as well as subscribe to existing item data to receive continuous updates.

GDSN Major Release 3

In 2016, GS1 launched its long-awaited major release, known as GDSN Major Release 3 (MjR3). Enhancements included richer product information sharing, features to support regulatory requirements (such as EU Commission and U.S. FDA), and functionality to support specific industries. For example:

  • Retailers: MjR3 addresses the retailer’s need for timely, trusted product information to support the digital experiences that savvy consumers demand. Trading partners can respond and adapt to market demands, and provide the compelling, channel-specific product content required to compete.
  • Healthcare: MjR3 gave a boost to the healthcare community by providing a secure and easy way to load product data into any Unique Device Identification (UDI). It also provides healthcare-specific data models that take into account the industry’s unique needs.
  • Grocery: Food and beverage consumers demand more from today’s grocers. MjR3 helps organizations in the grocery industry respond with globally-sourced products and support for traceability, product transparency, regulatory compliance, and speedy product recalls.

Master Data Management (MDM)

Retailers, manufacturers, and distributors need to know as much as possible about the products they sell, create, and distribute. Acquiring and sharing product data is also essential to continuously expanding and evolving product catalogs. To get to this level of automation and data synchronization, enterprises must consider an MDM implementation. Otherwise, the adage of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ will apply.

Product MDM provides the central repository and workflows that enterprises need to maintain accurate, updated, and compliant product information. Some MDM platforms also feature integrated GDSN receivers that make it easier to receive and manage data from GDSN-certified data pools, as well as filter and transform the data to meet the needs of downstream systems.

Navigating GDSN for Your Organization

While there are many benefits to leveraging GDSN, it’s also clear that organizations can get left behind without it. If your business relies on product data and content, you’ll want to consider GDSN at some point in your implementation.

Data syndication can be a complicated undertaking. Every channel has unique rules and formats – whether it be Google, online marketplaces, GDSN data pools, etc. Enterprises should seek help from a partner that understands both MDM and GDSN. The right Systems Integrator can help an organization implement MDM and set up the right data model, GDSN integrations, syndication, workflow automation, and business rules.

Amplifi helps clients untangle the data web and ensure synchronized product data is shared seamlessly across your touchpoints, from GDSN and beyond. If you’re ready to dive into a GDSN data pool, let’s start the conversation. 

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