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 In traditional catalogs, outdated information leads to misunderstandings that can be very costly for the company.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 In the nutritional field, outdated product information can have serious consequences, such as allergies or intolerances.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.

NHS e-Procurement Strategy: Key phases for 2016

The e-Procurement Strategy, which is set to transform the British Department of Health into a fully digital entity, is now up and running. This ambitious technology initiative is aimed at NHS Trusts and their suppliers, who must adapt to the different technological changes within the deadlines scheduled in the calendar drawn up by The Department of Health.

Due to the breadth of the project, e-procurement strategy rollout is divided into different phases. The next deadline to be met is September 30, by which time suppliers must have completed the following actions:

  • Draw up a plan to ensure compliance with GS1 and PEPPOL standards and deliver it to the Department of Health.
  • Join a PEPPOL Access Point.
  • Assign the GLN code to suppliers and upload it to the GLN registry.
  • Add a GTIN designation to the products for each of the packaging levels.

Once these actions are completed, the suppliers have to comply with further specifications. One of the most important among them will be their inclusion in a GDSN-authorized e-catalogue (datapool), by March 31, 2017.


How to adapt to the e-Procurement Strategy?

Implementing the e-procurement strategy is a challenge for hospitals and suppliers. This is a wide-ranging project which affects different company departments and applications. For example, it influences commercial and logistics management through the sending and reception of purchase orders and delivery notes. The same goes for the accounts department, with e-invoicing management. In addition, incorporation of the product data e-catalogue affects purchasing departments and management of their item master file.

In this regard, it is important that providers and hospitals should opt for a technology solution that not only meets the required standards (PEPPOL and GDSN), but is also able to integrate with their own internal systems, so there is no need to make changes to the current working processes. Finally, the communications infrastructure must also be powerful, robust and able to connect with any organization or supplier.


EDICOM is ready

The EDICOM solution is certified by PEPPOL and GS1 as an Access Point and Datapool. It is also a platform integrated with the management system, scalable, international in scope and with high service availability. This makes it an ideal option.

To find out more about what is involved in this adaptation process to the technological leap by the NHS, the EDICOM team has drawn up a White Paper on the NHS e-Procurement Strategy, which you can download free of charge (available in English and Spanish).

In addition, our professionals will be at the UK’s benchmark healthcare sector event, Procurement in Healthcare (PIH), to be held on London on September 28, with the new NHS e-Procurement strategy the first item on the agenda. Interested parties may ask for a live demonstration via the contact form.