GS1, the not-for-profit organisation that develops global standards for the identification of goods and services across supply chains, has announced that the number of companies using the GS1 Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) has grown from 200 to over 5,000 in the last 12 months. Suppliers and retailers that electronically synchronise data with their trading partners in the GDSN are saving costs through efficiencies in logistics, accounting and inventory. They are boosting sales by introducing new products to the market faster and ensuring better on-shelf availability.

Over half of the top 20 global retailers have now made the GDSN a cornerstone of their successful electronic business practice. The reliable environment it provides enables standards-compliant data to be exchanged in a streamlined manner, throughout local, regional, and global supply chains. The GDSN has flexible functionality that supports new item introductions and retailer-specific data requirements, such as price and promotion information.

Mike Haas, chief information officer of Johnson & Johnson's Consumer and Personal Care Group says, "Thanks to data synchronisation, we were able to significantly reduce out-of-stocks at Wal-Mart and uncover savings in other supply chain areas, such as logistics."

"Wal-Mart is absolutely committed to data synchronisation across our global operations," said Randy Salley, vice president of Information Systems for the international retailer, "The positive results of our work with the Global Data Synchronisation Network have exceeded our expectations."

Sally Herbert, president of GS1 GDSN, Inc., notes that "Reaching the 5,000-user mark shows that the global community has confidence in the GS1 GDSN. By working through the 104 global Member Organisations of GS1 and 23 GDSN-certified data pools, trading partners in industries ranging from consumer packaged goods to hardlines to consumer electronics gain all the advantages of local and global synchronisation."

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