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FMCGS, retailers announce launch of global data synchronisation services news
22 April 2005

Mumbai: Leading Indian FMCG manufacturers and retailers gathered at Mumbai for the ECR India Meet have announced the launch of GDS Services (Global Data Synchronisation) — a common standards-compliant 'information data pool' to benefit the Indian consumer.

"Global Data Synchronisstion (GDS) is a global, internet-based initiative enables companies to exchange accurate, up-to-date, standards-compliant supply chain information," explains K Radhakrishnan, chairman, ECR India and vice president, Foodworld Supermarkets Limited. "It has been identified as one of the single biggest reasons for inaccuracies in out-of-stocks (OOS) management and is being aggressively pursued by global companies," he adds.

Leading FMCG companies like Johnson & Johnson, Hindustan Lever Limited, P & G, Reliance, Nestle, Pepsi Foods, ITC and Glaxo SmithKline and major retailers like Canteen Stores, FoodWorld, Big Bazaar, Pantaloon, Nilgiris, Retailers Association of India and CONCOR are attending the ECR (efficient consumer response) India Meet.

Malcolm Bowden, sales director, Global Exchange Services, UK who addressed the ECR India members on the benefits of GDS said, "As retailers and suppliers face increasing pressure to complete business transactions in real-time, retailers in all industries are turning to automate the processing of inbound product information, cut operating costs and increase speed to shelf."

He added that GXS offers complete end-to-end data synchronisation solution in the retail industry, which helps in keeping product information accurate and consistent across all channels.

According to N Ambwani, co chairman, ECR India and managing director, Johnson & Johnson said, "By improving information accuracy, companies will be able to reduce costs and improve the efficiency and performance of their business processes, such as inventory management and replenishment, order reconciliation, and new product introductions. In the US alone, which otherwise has highly automated supply chains, it costs $60-70 as administrative costs for correcting each wrong dispatch or order."

He added that the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) which represents over 60 per cent of the world's leading retailers and FMCG manufacturers has identified GDS as the single biggest priority area and has strongly urged the FMCG sector to implement it to remove a major pain point which contributes to stock outs and inefficiencies across the supply chain. He also informed that the leading retailers like Wal-Mart, Home Depot etc have already mandated their global suppliers to start submitting their product data using GDS specifications & exporters out of India are likely to get affected shortly in response to these directives.

A report on "Dataflows project" prepared by Hindustan Lever was also released. The report provides guidelines to the FMCG sector in India on adoption of global standards to facilitate electronic exchange of product & party information between manufacturers and their distribution trade using EAN.UCC international standards.

The efficient consumer response (ECR) movement in the FMCG sector was launched in India in October 1999, with its founder members being The founder members include J&J, HLL, P&G, Godrej, Nestle, PwC, TCIL, Food World and EAN India. The movement has since rapidly progressed to include over 36 companies today.

EAN India (soon to become GS1 India) is an affiliate of EAN International, Belgium which has 101 EAN organisations representing 155 countries across the world. Over one million companies across the world use EAN.UCC standards with over 5 billion barcodes being scanned each day at retail point of sale outlets worldwide making EAN.UCC standards, the de-facto standards in retail.

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FMCGS, retailers announce launch of global data synchronisation services