GDSN Data Pools, new allies for food chains in the United States

GDSN Data Pools

Society’s interest in knowing the origin and composition of its food and the demand for information from consumers has led governments to respond through regulation. Food legislation has reinforced aspects of marketing food and, in particular, its labeling.

New regulation for nutritional information

For this very reason, new regulations made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require caloric information to be in restaurant menus and vending machines. These regulations affect restaurant chains with more than 20 establishments and need to be applied by May 7, 2018.

The GDSN and product data synchronization

Restaurant chains rely on the accuracy of the product information they receive from their suppliers. GDSN helps ensure that both restaurant operators and their suppliers are working with quality data that is reliable and easy to use. The data is defined and formatted according to GS1 Standards, which make data identical for all business partners. The updates are made in real time and data exchange is automatic. GS1 bases its operation on the exchange and synchronization of information structured in XML format, between electronic data catalogs (Data pools) that act as repositories of information that are interconnected around the world.

Also, the large supermarket chains benefit from this information since they are able to offer accurate data on the nutritional composition of their food. Therefore, customers can make informed decisions about what they consume. Additionally, this new mandatory legislation will offer added value to each customer’s shopping experience.

Advantages of having a global data synchronization solution

The entire chain, suppliers, distributors, and consumers, in a commercial relationship enjoy the benefits of this solution. The main players in the GDSN, the provider and distributor, act as publishers and data subscribers through a Data pool certified by GS1. Companies that wish to use the GDSN to synchronize their product data systems must do so through the Data pool either as issuers to publish information or as data recipients to establish subscriptions.

For the publisher, the advantages of having this tool translate into: saving time because information is updated in real time, having product data available at the point of sale, and administrative savings because the system automates processes for sending and updating information.

For the subscriber, GDSN is a tool that allows product attributes and new references to be updated automatically. It offers information accuracy as it eliminates language and cultural barriers when categorizing products under the same criteria (measurement, weight, currency, etc.) It also has commercial benefits as it helps to offer more effective promotions at the point of sale.

EDICOMData, a Data Pool with added value

There are customized synchronization options like those offered by the EDICOM catalog EDICOMData homologated by GS1, which allow commercial parties to exchange necessary data for their business automatically and safely.

EDICOM’s system allows for process automation. Users, publishers, and subscribers are able to input product data directly from their ERP by generating a customized data transformation map, which adapts to the format and structure of the client’s internal article master.

What are the advantages of EDICOMData?

In addition to advantages outlined above, this system:

  • Is interoperable with any Data Pool connected to the GDSN.
  • Offers a private and customized environment where publishers and subscribers synchronize only the critical information they need to share. (Synchronizing the essential information streamlines the product data management and updating processes.)
  • Offers an environment where indexed multimedia content (images, videos, audio files, etc.) is available to catalog subscribers.

GDSN: How does data synchronization affect the final consumer?


Today, one of the main objectives of logistics and trade is immediacy. The sooner the demand is met the more competitive the company will be. For this reason, suppliers, manufacturers and distributors are abandoning the use of traditional catalogs in favor of product data synchronization through the GDSN network. What is the difference? While the catalog needs to be updated constantly to modify article information or to add new references, electronic synchronization makes the process automatic and more importantly, immediate.

For participants involved in the supply chain, the benefit is direct. The flow of communication is optimized, information is always up to date and orders are made and delivered more easily. But what advantages does product data synchronization have for the final consumer?

The benefits of product data synchronization for the final consumer

The buyer is the last link in the business chain. Everything that happens before reaching it will determine the success or failure of the sale. This means that if suppliers and distributors optimize their procedures with data synchronization through the GDSN network, they will also see an improvement in the final consumer’s reaction.

The four major benefits for buyers when applying this technology are:

  • Increased product availability. With synchronization, the supply chain shares information in real time and streamlines logistics. In this way, stock is controlled better and so is the product’s availability in the store. This advantage is essential for the company because if consumers don’t find their brand during their weekly visit to the store, they will choose another product and sales will decrease.
  • Decreased delays. Automation reduces errors and product returns. In traditional catalogs, outdated information leads to misunderstandings that can be very costly for the company. Also, correcting errors takes time. Product data synchronization avoids such problems and decreases delays, which is something fundamental in some sectors such as health in which patients cannot wait.
  • More reliable product information. In the nutritional field, outdated product information can have serious consequences, such as allergies or intolerances. This way synchronization gives the consumer more accurate information, even when buying from a distance or online. In fact, measures have already been taken in the European Union to allow e-commerce to share data on foodstuffs with consumers and thus increase nutritional security.
  • Better promotions. Increased productivity, agility during the process and increased sales thanks to a better response in terms of demand means a reduction in costs and an increase in revenue for companies. As a result, companies have more leeway to make promotions for consumers who can benefit from lower prices on certain occasions.

These four benefits translate into greater satisfaction for the final consumer and therefore an increase in sales, the main objective for any company.

EDICOMData, the most complete electronic catalog

The electronic catalog EDICOMData is certified to operate in the GDSN network (of the B2B sector) and in the GS1 Source (directed to the final consumer). This makes it the most complete solution for users who can either synchronize their product data with other partners or give the final consumer access to the information in a structured way through portals or web pages.

–> Click here to find out more information about EDICOMData.

EDICOMDATA: An electronic catalogue for sharing multimedia data


Electronic catalogues are a perfect tool for text based product data synchronisation between providers and distributors. But what happens when the data isn’t text based? Sometimes products have photos, videos and sound clips that need to be shared in a standardised form.

EDICOMData Multimedia is feature of EDICOM’s electronic catalogue that allows companies to publish, store and share multimedia files. This information is provided to the catalogue distributors and subscribers in a standardised form and can also be directly accessed by the final consumer through online stores.

It’s important to keep in mind that the e-catalogue EDICOMData has a Datapool certification, allowing it to operate on the GDSN network, which is focused on the B2B audience. It’s also part of the GS1 Source (TSD), a B2C network. This network operates in a manner similar to the GDSN, although it uses some data repositories, called aggregators, which allow resellers to disseminate information directly to the products’ consumers.

With EDICOMData Multimedia, companies avoid the habitual problem of constantly having to share multimedia information about products. It also diminishes the work load for distributors since it’s not necessary for them to manually send information to consumers. For suppliers and manufacturers, the main advantage is that it allows members of the public to have access to material specifically designed for them.

Some examples of multimedia content most frequently received by final consumers include product photos for publicity, movie trailers, videogame demonstrations, book illustrations, manuals, and music clips.

How does EDICOMData Multimedia Function?

EDICOMData Multimedia functions in a simple manner. These are the four most important characteristics of this solution:

  • The manufacturer or supplier publishes product data and updates it as necessary.
  • EDICOMData allows companies to index B2B data (information logistics, nutritional, etc.) and other multimedia more focused on the final consumer (videos, advertising photographs, etc.)
  • The solution allows distributors to share product information easily in their on-line shops or mobile applications.
  • Subscribers have the ability to download the information for later use.

To learn more about EDICOMData, click here to download more information.

Enhanced implementation of GDSN and PEPPOL Standards as part of the NHS e-Procurement Strategy


The deadlines set by the UK Department of Health (DoH) for rollout of the NHS e-Procurement Strategy are looming. So, next September 28 thousands of organizations affected by the strategy developed by the DoH will be attending the PIH Show, with the aim of finding solutions to this technological leap.

To this end, EDICOM specialist Vera Kabout, will be giving a talk in which she explains how to address implementation of this strategy successfully. And she will do so taking into account one of the great challenges faced by companies affected by the NHS e-Procurement Strategy: compliance with GDSN and PEPPOL standards.

The talk is scheduled for 11:35 and framed within the e-Procurement and Standardisation section. Vera Kabout will take advantage of the occasion to highlight the benefits of these two standards (PEPPOL and GDSN) as part of the NHS paperless strategy. She will also give some tips for suppliers and hospitals to help achieve the greatest benefits from the e-Procurement Strategy. Among them, she will mention aspects to be weighed up when choosing a technology provider, such as the fact that they should be an accredited Data Pool and Access Point.

An integral solution

In addition to the conference, visitors to the PIH Show will also have the chance to get to know EDICOM’s proposal for this technological quantum leap at stand 238. There, our team of experts will be presenting a comprehensive solution for compliance with the NHS e-Procurement Strategy.

Through the EDICOM Health platform, integrated in their ERP or internal management system, businesses automate electronic data interchange and product synchronization with their trading partners in line with the standards and requirements demanded by the strategy. To this we must add that it is an internationally scalable solution with 99.9% availability guaranteed.

How to attend the PIH Show?

The PIH Show takes place on September 28 at the London Olympia. Two days later, the deadline set for delivering a plan to the DoH that ensures compliance with the GS1 and PEPPOL standards will be reached. By then, companies affected by the initiative must also have joined an Access Point.

The EDICOM team will be at the event to facilitate the implementation of these electronic processes for suppliers and hospitals. The talk by Key Account Manager Vera Kabout is headed Enhanced implementation of GDSN and PEPPOL Standards as part of the NHS e-Procurement Strategy and can now be consulted in the PIH Show agenda. Organizations affected by the strategy can attend free of charge, once they have registered for the event.

How did the NHS e-Procurement Strategy come about?

National Health Service (NHS) trusts and their providers are now fully engaged in the process of adapting to the e-Procurement Strategy, the initiative that aims to make all processes related to procurement in the health sector electronic. This ambitious project was announced in 2014 and its execution may foreseeably extend beyond 2018.

The e-Procurement Strategy came about after a series of breakthroughs by the British Department of Health (DoH), which promoted use of the technology in the sector. In fact, 7 years before launching the strategy, the Coding for Success report was published, where the DoH already encouraged the use of GS1 standards for identification of patient background records and product files.

However, the e-procurement strategy’s main predecessor is the text Better Procurement, Better Value, Better Care. In this document, the DoH explicitly committed to undertake a digitization strategy for the NHS procurement system. In addition, it noted that this technological leap would necessarily be linked to the use of international standards (PEPPOL and GDSN) to make interoperability possible.

In any case, these prior documents to the grand NHS project are based on tried and tested experiences worldwide, both in the healthcare field and retail or banking. This is one of the points most emphasised by the DoH when defending the strategy. All the measures proposed have already been carried out in other countries or sectors, with positive results.

Despite these precedents, the e-Procurement Strategy technology project is still one of the most ambitious and far-reaching in terms of modernization of supply chain management, affecting a large industrial sector in its entirety. This is because it is the first time that all these tried and tested initiatives have been brought together under a single strategy, destined to completely change the commercial, logistical and administrative management of the British public health service.


Would you like to know more?

The EDICOM team has drafted a White Paper on the NHS e-Procurement Strategy, which you can download here free of charge. It covers the main aspects of this initiative, ranging from the measures being taken to how healthcare suppliers can handle the adaptation.

In addition, on September 28 healthcare sector specialists from EDICOM will be taking part in Procurement In Healthcare (PIH), the benchmark event for the sector which takes place on London. Booking for the event is now open, by registration on the website.