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Nestlé drives development of standardised product data

By Rick Pendrous , 10-Sep-2007

Food giant Nestlé is pushing ahead with its plans to share standardised product data in the UK, despite supermarkets being slow to adopt this technology.

Nestlé took advantage of its 1Sync global data synchronisation (GDS) system to speed the launch of its Polish Winiary subsidiary’s range of soups, seasonings and desserts into the UK earlier this year. Demand was anticipated from a growing Polish population accustomed to this leading brand at home.

“1Sync provides us with the ability to take information from our systems and translate those into any globally compliant tool, be it retailer specific or a public data pool like that of GS1,” said Chris Tyas, Nestlé UK and Ireland supply chain director.

Tyas, who is also vice chairman of the GS1 UK data synchronisation group, added: “We were able to get [Winiary] to market very quickly because we were able to extract all the data straight out of our systems in Poland. It’s all going very well.”

1Sync is integrated with Nestlé’s Globe top level information management approach, which is based on SAP enterprise resource planning systems. This means it can extract information from the same system in every business in every country of the world.

Instead of having to repackage the Winiary range, all Nestlé had to do was provide “over stickers” displaying a consumer care contact in the UK.

“The important thing in this is speed to market and we were able to get the product into the market place very, very quickly and when it was seen to be a success, to extend the range in June.”

Tyas said UK retailers had been slower than those in other countries, particularly Germany, to adopt GDS because of “other systems priorities”. But this did not mean they didn’t recognise the potential benefits on offer, he added. However, “it is something which requires a critical mass”

“You are certainly going to get better on-shelf availability,” he said. “It will reduce errors and rework throughout the supply chain.”