Synchronised data network signs up big cosmetics firms

Related tags Supply chain

Cosmetic makers and other industry sectors are today wrapping up a
threemeeting in Atlanta, attempting to further iron out wrinkles in
aglobal system allowing all parts of a supply chain tohave
syncronised, accurate, up-to-date information about products en
routefrom factory to retailer.

The non-profit EPCglobal Network system combines combines radio frequencyidentification (RFID) technology, existing communications networkinfrastructure and the Electronic Product Code (EPC), anumber for uniquely identifying an item. The system is being built to help companies realise the value of datasynchronisation through the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). Jack Grasso, a spokesperson for EPCGlobal US, told sister that the syncronised system puts together alreadyexisting databases in place across North America, Europe and Asia andsets up a standard for accessing the information. "Billions of dollars are trapped in the supply chain due to baddata," he said. A unified data system, would allow changes in information about productsizes, weight, name, price, classification, transport requirements andvolumes to be immediately transmitted along the supplychain. For example it would allow shippers to immediately know if the amountof product stacked on a pallet had changed, or give a retailer time toadjust display space. "The end result helps organisations be more efficient, flexible,and responsive to customer," he said. "Data syncronisationis clean information. It contains all theattributes needed to describe a product. It is a data pool that originatesfrom the manufacturer." He said it would prevent the insertion of human logging mistakes whenproducts are changed. It would also save the time needed to manually contactby telephone or e-mail suppliers, transportoperators and retailers when changes are made. The aim is to create a single connected global network operating on thesame standard. Currently, many of the regional databases in existence do notconnect due to differing standards. "We want to make all this standard information available to allthe traditional partners," he said. "Accuracy andavailability is the key." About 4,000 companies worldwide have already signed on to develop theglobal system. Grasso hopes to sign up hundreds of thousands to the network.A company would first enter their products intothe global registry and chose a data pool it would be classified under. Any manifest changes would be input by the company, notifying all partsof the supply chain. It would be up to the individual company to maintainthe data. The data would be available to shippers,receivers, marketers, warehouses and retailers. The system will also help companies to be more effective and to deliverbusiness and consumer benefits such as safer drugs, fresher produce andeliminate theft and counterfeiting in the supplychain, Grasso said. Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Colgate Palmolive, Gillette, Johnson & Johnson, Sara Lee, Wal-Mart, Wegmans Food Markets, E J Gallo,Kroger, Lowe's, Office Depot, Paramount, Pep Boys,Nestle, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Hormel Foods, Kraft and Staples are among thecompanies that have signed up to the network. External links to companies or organisations mentioned in thisstory: EPCglobal

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