The Co-Sponsors of the Product Data Coalition, David Taylor, Procter & Gamble and Olaf Koch, METRO, recently held a Sponsor virtual meeting with the aim of discussing the Coalition’s priorities for the next year. The meeting took place on 16th June 2020 and was attended by 12 members.

The Coalition aims to address two fundamental weaknesses in the industry’s data exchange processes: a) poor quality product data, which has led to lost sales and eroding consumer trust, especially in ecommerce; and b) a plethora of inconsistent approaches to exchanging product data, which results in CGF members incurring huge unnecessary costs to create and exchange those data.

The pandemic further increased the need to address the fundamental weaknesses in the industry’s data quality and exchange processes. On the one hand consumers, post-Covid, are likely to place more emphasis on buying brands that they trust – which means reassuring them through accurate and transparent product information. At the same time, the pandemic is likely to result in faster growth in e-commerce channels – which are entirely dependent on accurate data (including images of course) to sell a product.

To tackle these issues, the 24 members of the Coalition are focusing their efforts on five projects including:

1. Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) ubiquity: to ensure that all physical products have a unique digital identifier

2. Verified by GS1: Enabling any retailer or marketplace to verify in real time that a given GTIN is valid and relates to a particular physical product

3. Global Data Model: aligning brand owners, retailers and platforms on a consistent set of
definitions for a core set of product attributes needed to list, order, store, move and sell a product

4. Data Quality Scorecard: build a related catalogue of global business validation rules for.

5. DataPorts: a technology to provide simple, efficient connections between different data sources both inside a single company and between companies. These connections enable businesses to build dedicated data networks ready for the orchestration of precise queries and instruction sets to increase the options of automation.

The Coalition is also planning the third CGF Leapfrog Data Symposium in October in Barcelona, where participants will focus on the importance of fit for purpose data generation and exchange. The CGF Data Symposium is the yearly gathering to get first-hand updates in an interactive round-table setup, from pioneering companies in the five different Product Data Coalition efforts mentioned above. 

For more information, please contact Ruediger Hagedorn, End-to-End-Value Chain Director, The Consumer Goods Forum