In the Netherlands, GS1 is the most used data standard. Industries such as the food-, do it yourself (DIY)-, healthcare- and fashion industry have made separate agreements about which product information is exchanged and how product data must be processed.
Suppliers must publish their data to GS1 according to the requirements that apply in their industry. But how do you make sure your data meets the criteria set in GS1? This blog presents five steps on how to become compliant with GS1 using a PIM-system.
Step 1: Create a business case
If you want to be compliant with GS1, your data management processes should be arranged to publish data to GS1. But does a PIM-system help you to achieve this? Before you start setting up data management within your organization and start looking for a PIM-system, it is important to identify clear goals. Why do you need to invest in product data management? What are the (financial) benefits? What are your customers expecting concerning product data? What else do you want to achieve? These are some questions you should ask and help build the business case for PIM.
Step 2: Describe the desired situation
When you have a business case that justifies the investment in a PIM-system, you will need to identify the current and desired situation. To do this ask yourself the following questions:
What are our targets regarding data management and data quality?
What is our current process for data management?
Which data management systems are we currently using?
Step 3: Choose a PIM-system
When it is clear how you want to manage product data within your organization, the next step is to find a PIM-system that supports your desired process. Make sure you take enough time and effort to find the right solution.
Step 4: Collect and enrich your data
When your PIM-system is integrated into your organization, you can start collecting and enriching your data. Depending on how you set up your PIM-system, product data is either imported by hand or automatically. A PIM-system automatically enters data in the correct fields in the desired way. After importing your data, it is possible to enrich data with additional information so that it complies with GS1.
You can publish your data to a GS1 datapool by the GS1 webportal or web interface. However, before you publish data to the GS1 datapool, it needs to be validated if it meets the requirements. All your data goes through the GS1 data checker first. This data checker checks whether your data meets the GS1 standard. When the data is compliant, it is included in the datapool and available for retailers.
Stay compliant with GS1
Your data is compliant with the GS1 data standard when it is complete, correct, up-to-date and uniform with the requirements set by GS1. All of your product data stays compliant with GS1 unless one of the following scenarios occurs:
There is an update of the GS1 data standard. In this case, you will need to adjust your product data according to the new requirements.
You introduce a new product: in this case, you will need to take all steps to make any product compliant with GS1.
One or more product changes: for example, the package size of one of your product changes. Then you will need to update your data in your PIM-system and the GS1 datapool.
How do you ensure your product data is compliant with GS1?
SRC-PIM makes sure your data is and stays compliant with GS1 by providing real-time insight into the quality of your data, so you will know if it is compliant with GS1. Moreover, SRC-PIM supports and maintains the global GS1 standard and subset for the food-, do it yourself (DIY)-, healthcare industry. As a result, product data in SRC-PIM is always up-to-date with the GS1 standard.
Do you want to know more about GS1 and SRC-PIM? Read our whitepaper and discover how you can manage and publish your data according to the GS1 standard.
Henk-Peter (HP for intimates) is Development Manager at SRC. HP is a specialist in Product Information Management (PIM) and has been active as an internet entrepreneur for many years. HP has more than fifteen years of e-commerce experience as the owner of a web shop and a number of content websites. HP was a member of the Shopping Tomorrow PIM expert group from 2014 to 2017.