Automate Price Sheets with Data Synchronization

DCS Can Help You Set Up Your 1SYNC Data Processes

Several mass merchants, grocers, and manufacturers in the United States such as Wal-Mart, Home-Depot, Intel, and Supervalu require the use of 1SYNC or RosettaNet by their suppliers to accomplish Global Data Synchronization. The use of standardized data formats and registration of information is essential for facilitating global data synchronization. Both 1SYNC and RosettaNet are governed by GS1, a neutral, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards.

1SYNC resulted as a merger of the former standards organizations UCCnet and Transora. RosettaNet is operated as an independent organization, though still conforming to the direction of GS1. RosettaNet is used primarily in the electronics, automotive, and aerospace industries, while 1SYNC is used by the retailers and mass merchants. 1SYNC transmission utilizes XML processing. In comparison to traditional XML EDI, 1SYNC XML uses standardized tags, to allow easier integration across entire industries.

DCS has years of experience with data synchronization. We can assist you in determining the most effective combination of subscription fees, software, and implementation strategy. Call us today to get started with our FREE assessment.

What is Data Synchronization?

A single global system for data synchronization is crucial if the long-promised benefits of electronic collaboration are to be realized. Only when basic catalog and price information is correct and “in sync,” can companies reliably communicate electronic information about future sales plans, transactions, and the movement of product through the supply chain. Data synchronization, also referred to as Global Data Synchronization (GDS), is a process whereby Retailers and their Suppliers synchronize in advance, the various data elements they will eventually transmit.

Examples of such “data validation” elements are:

  • Part number
  • Price
  • Color
  • Unit of Measure
  • Weight
  • And others

By “pre-synchronizing,” many of the time consuming and costly errors that occur because of a lack of “data integrity” (non-matching data being exchanged between customers and vendors for the same product), become apparent.

The processes of synchronizing the key data elements such as product numbers and pricing, is completed through a data repository using common standards. 1SYNC includes the two standards that manufacturers, retailers, and intermediaries have agreed to adopt and adhere to, which are:

  • The GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number, formerly UPC number) for product numbers
  • The GLN (Global Location Number) for ship-to addresses.

The process begins with manufacturing companies making their product catalog available in “data pools” that are securely linked to a single global registry. For example, retailers are then able to search this registry, identify the “data pools” where information is stored about the products they want to synchronize and download. Retailers then establish a link from these “data pools” to their own catalog. The information in their catalog is then automatically updated and synchronized on a continuous basis.

Currently many companies send their catalog information to customers using spreadsheets, faxes, FedEx, etc. They realize the customer needs to enter the data into their ERP or other system, but do not consider the vast number of vendors and the large amount of data entry needed by very large customers. When the catalog item information arrives in many different forms and formats, data entry errors are inevitable. These cause delays and perhaps lost business. Conversely, the vendors find themselves completing numerous Web front ends as a service to the large customers, and everyone involved finds the web forms time consuming and lacking in error alerts. A further complication is the emerging requirement to provide promotional details such as daily pricing that change quickly. The best approach is then to:

  1. Ensure all data within our business application is current,
  2. Send data in a single standard format, and later
  3. Require vendors to send their data in a standard format

Getting Started

The costs of becoming GDS compliant will depend on the size of the company and the level and degree of the implementation. For starters, 1SYNC charges an annual subscription fee based on a company’s annual sales. The costs range from $100 to $400,000 to subscribe.

Secondly, a software solution is needed to enter and transmit the. Several software packages exist which will enable a “publisher” to communicate their information to 1SYNC and for a “subscriber” to download the information. The cost of the software ranges from a few thousand dollars for service bureaus up to $50,000 for a full fledged integrated system.

Next, there is the actual cost of implementing the program. A “publisher” essentially has three choices:

  • Implement “In-House” – Company wide effort. Impacts most departments of company. Possibility exists to integrate into MRP system. Will need to develop “In-House” expertise.
  • Work with a UCC Partner to Implement – Same issues as above, but with addition of outside help, start-up time is greatly reduced.
  • Outsource to a Service Bureau.

DCS Can Help with Your Synchronization

Training is needed to ensure the required level of accuracy for successful data synchronization. Since motivating sales, marketing, nutrition, and I.T. staffs take responsibility a higher level of attention to detail is unique to the 1SYNC challenge, group training is needed. With DCS’ EDI Training service we can get your staff up to speed in 1SYNC.

DCS can also assist you in determining the most effective combination of subscription fees, software, and implementation strategy. Due to our vast experience with 1SYNC and data integration DCS EDI consultants can better help you set up your 1SYNC data processes. Call us today to get started with our FREE assessment.