IFDA & IFMA publish this bi-monthly newsletter to keep our members informed about this important industry initiative.
Interview with New GS1 Member Dawn Foods
Dawn Foods joined the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative in late 2012. We asked Bill McClellan (right), president of Dawn Foods and IFMA Board Member, to provide his perspective on the initiative and why they decided to participate.
Q: Why did Dawn Foods decide to join Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative?
A: One key benefit in joining the Initiative was getting a seat at the table to discuss the shape and scope of the Initiative efforts. We are a more active participant and have a better understanding of why and how information is important to our customers. The investment in this initiative is being made to help us continue to effectively meet the needs of customers.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in implementation?
A: Gathering the Phase 2 data in a consistent format. This has been a cross-functional effort, involving many groups in our organization.
Q: What has been the easiest?
A: We were already using GTINs and sending core data through GDSN, so meeting that part of the Initiative was the easiest for us.
Q: How does the initiative integrate or support you current business strategy?
A: Dawn Food Products is committed to doing everything we can to simplify how customers do business with us. As the Foodservice industry embraces the GS1 US Standards initiative, our goal is to ensure we can effectively meet the needs of our current and future customers. Our goal is to be a "best in class" sweet baked goods supplier. This goal drives our commitment to the initiative.
Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for other companies considering implementation?
A: Keep the communication channels open with your customers. The amount of data required in the Initiative can be challenging at times, but remember your customers want you to succeed!
Data Integrity Initiative Pilot
In July 2012, Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative participants expressed concern at the GS1 Connect Foodservice Face-to-Face meeting that there may be issues regarding the integrity and accuracy of Phase 1 Foodservice GDSN attributes. Distributors perceived that Manufacturers may not be publishing accurate data (within the GS1 recommended tolerances), thus Distributors were hesitant to integrate. Manufacturers expressed concern that Distributors may not be following GS1 best practices regarding integrating the published data or may not be using it to their fullest extent. These concerns seemed to be causing delays in implementation of GDSN for both Manufacturers and Distributors. In order to understand the issues from both sides, IFDA and IFMA began the Data Integrity Initiative. Three phases, which include key milestones, were outlined including "Identify the Issues" (7/12-3/13); "Create Solutions" (4/13-10/13); and "Mechanize and Simplify" (11/13-12/13).
A broad spectrum of Foodservice Manufacturers are participating and include Bush's, Ecolab, Farmland, General Mills, Georgia Pacific, Heinz, Hillshire Brands, Hoffmaster, Jennie-O Turkey, PepsiCo and Tyson. Distributors include Ben E. Keith Foods, Dot Foods, Food Services of America, McLane Foodservice, Performance Food Group, Reinhart FoodService, Shamrock Foods, and US Foods.
The pilot program focuses on 15 attributes that are further broken down into two categories: Measurable Data (weights/measures) and Data Management. After creating specific control measures, the pilot program has begun and will run through March 2013. The first phase of the pilot program includes an audit of select attributes that can be easily physically validated on the case such as the GTIN 14 barcode, gross case weight and case dimensions.
The goal is to complete the pilot program, access the discrepancies, and unveil results at the GS1 Connect Conference (more on this below).
Purchasing Arm of Subway begins Data Synchronization Initiative
Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC) has recently entered into an agreement to utilize the FSEnet+ GDSN Data Pool to conduct a pilot project on data synchronization with a select group of Suppliers and Distributors in the US. As a founding member of the GS1 US Foodservice Initiative, IPC's objective is to establish proper standardization/agreement around product identifiers and attributes within their supply chain. This process will streamline administrative tasks, item management, and logistics processes and will ultimately establish a foundation to improve product traceability.
IPC will be evaluating the different ways data can flow to and from its trading partners through the GDSN to choose the workflow that best allows for all parties to work with the same accurate product information.
GS1 2013 Annual Report
The GS1 Annual report provides information on the beginnings of GS1 and the various industries it touches, including Foodservice, CPG, Healthcare, Fresh Foods and Apparel/General Merchandise. Foodservice specific information is found on page 22 and a case study involving Compass Group, a founding member of the foodservice initiative, brings to life how they leveraged the power of the GDSN to their customers' benefit. General information on membership and financials can be found on page 30. To access, click here.
IFMA Chain Operator Exchange (COEX): Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative will have a table at this year's COEX, March 3-6 at The Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, NV. Interface with peers and customers, and stop by the table to learn more about the initiative and how to get involved. Space is limited, so register today!
GS1 Connect Conference: This year's GS1 Connect Conference will be held June 10-13 at the JW Marriot San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX. GS1 Connect provides a unique opportunity to learn how GS1 Standards can improve supply chain visibility and efficiency. Attendees will have the chance to meet and network with trading partners in order to share best practices and solve supply chain problems.
IFDA SMart Conference: All areas of the supply chain will be represented in a panel discussion where companies will talk about their experiences to date in implementing Foodservice GS1 US Standards. Some of the topics include what has worked and what hasn't, nutritionals and the global data synchronization network, a product images update, and more. The conference takes place July 21-23 in Boston, MA.
Just Attended: GS1 US participated in the January 27-30 IFDA Partners Executive Forum, meeting with 27 companies over a period of three days, including 15 distributors and 12 manufacturers. Above representatives from Saval Foodservice, including (on left) Gerald Mack, merchandising projects manager, and Paul Saval, president & CEO, meet with GS1 US representatives. The meetings provided an opportunity for companies interested in standards implementation to ask questions, as well as for companies already engaged in implementation to discuss progress or challenges.