The 4 G’s for product data management GDSN, GS1, GTINs and GLNs

All of us have heard about the 4P’s of Marketing. How about extending this concept to the world of data synchronization between trading partners? The 4 G’s, in this case, are the essential tools used by manufacturers which drive the success of a supply chain.

The supply chain is one of the most important functions for any large organization that manufactures and sells a variety of products. In any given supply chain, there are a staggering number of steps and trading partners involved – and often, the average consumer is not aware of just how complicated the logistics of this chain can be. Especially in today’s market, consumerism continues to boom, goods continue to circulate at rapid rates, and product data management is no easy feat. Luckily, the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) provides an efficient solution to a path that is otherwise full of obstacles.

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The GDSN is a universally accepted set of data formatting standards that guarantees senders and receivers of product data operate within the same structure while maintaining the highest levels of data integrity. In short, it ensures continuous coordination of information between manufacturers and retailers for innovative product data management.

How does it work?

Information typically flows in the following steps:

  • The manufacturer/supplier submits information about its products to a global data pool or registry.
  • After this information is registered, the supplier publishes the product in the global data pool.
  • The recipient data pool can request this information by subscribing to specific items.
  • The information from the global data pool is then synchronized with the recipient data pool.
  • If approved, the recipient data pool can share the information with retailers.

The middle person between the supplier and the retailers is the GS1 Global Registry®, which provides data validation services, maintains connections between items and involved parties, and ensures that the data complies to predefined standards. These standards are the defining features of GS1, acting as a common language of sorts that users from either side can efficiently communicate with.

The GS1 “language”

This is now where GTINs and GLNs come into view. The two main attributes of the GS1 language are the Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) and the Global Location Number (GLN).

The GTIN is a unique number assigned to a product that can be ordered, priced, and invoiced by a trading partner at any point in the supply chain. Simply put, it is the barcode that you see on a product. The GLN, meanwhile, is used to identify the physical location of items in a supply chain, legal entities, and trading parties.

These features are fundamental for successful product data management, as they whittle down the scope of items to their basic dimensions such as height or weight, and determine their location. Trading partners can thus easily access this product data in what is otherwise a huge pool of various items.

Implementing the GDSN

Implementing the GDSN is a great step forward for any company. Directly, the benefits to product data management are numerous; and indirectly, GDSN’s efficiency enables better marketing and sales practice. In other words, if product data is well managed, successful sales and marketing can come more easily.

In the Food & Beverage Industry, where product data management is especially crucial for food integrity/safety, SpecPage’s GDSN-related services ensure that customers’ unique experiences are met with industry health and nutrition regulations. The SpecPage GDSN Guide and SAP® GTIN-Connector are key solutions to maintain supply chain efficiency. As leaders in the industry for data accuracy and compliance, SpecPage provides customers with innovative tools that they can trust for their product data management needs.

2020-03-04T08:40:50+01:00Data Management, PDM|
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