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Article Master Data

The below flowchart provides a high-level overview of the flow of information relating to articles in the Foodstuffs systems:

Article Data flowchart

It is crucial for the data relating to articles to be accurate in our operating systems. The data relates not only to pricing and discounts but also to units of measure for inners, cartons, layers and pallets. In addition, the barcodes (GTINs) for the respective measures must be accurate.

All changes relating to the article must be submitted to Foodstuffs via one of two methods:

  • Data eXpress: this is an online system, housed on the Foodstuffs Exchange, allowing suppliers to submit product information via a web-based interface, with in-line validation to ensure data accuracy.
  • GS1 National Product Catalogue & GS1 ProductFlow: these systems are managed and supported by GS1net, allowing suppliers to support either a full catalogue of products (NPC) or a progressive catalogue of new products and product changes (ProductFlow).

Both systems perform certain levels of validation on the information entered by the suppliers, to ensure its accuracy and that it meets the standards defined by both the Foodstuffs companies and GS1.

This information is received into a National Foodstuffs Product Information Management (PIM) system, where it is reviewed and enriched by a National team (located in the South Island), before being made available to the Local regions, to be consumed into the respective systems.

The PIM system uses an application called Hybris, which enables the National team to review submissions received, into a "Staged" catalogue, for completeness, populate additional business-defined information, and prepare the record for publication in an "Online" catalogue. The prioritisation of submissions is determined by the start availability of the product in the supply chain, as well as requests from the Local regions for specific products. Once the information is "Online" it is made available to both local Foodstuffs companies (Foodstuffs North Island and Foodstuffs South Island) to be used in their respective system for the creation of an article.

Article Data with GS1net

Foodstuffs and the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council Inc. (FGC) fully support this industry initiative. It was rolled out by these two key players back in 2008, and more players in New Zealand are recognising the benefits that GS1net can bring in carrying out their own rollouts of GS1net.

GS1net is a data synchronisation network managed by GS1 - a non-profit organisation that provides a common language for international trade and commerce, primarily a series of standards designed to improve supply chain management.

GS1net is a data pool of product information including barcode numbers, item descriptions, dimensions, and pricing information. GS1net represents the Australasian segment of the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN), and now leads the way in providing systems and processes for accurate data provision across the supply chain in industries such as Grocery, Hardware, Liquor, and Healthcare.

Foodstuffs is committed to data maintenance through the use of GS1net. As part of this commitment we aim to receive new product information, product maintenance, and price changes via GS1net for at least 80% of our products. With over 344 suppliers now providing us with product and pricing data through GS1net or ProductFlow, we are well on the way to achieving this goal.

With a view towards having a single source of information for our product data, the Foodstuffs companies have eliminated the need for suppliers to provide UBFs during New Product Presentations and for Product Changes. Through using key product identifiers, our business is now drawing this data from the National PIM database for use in the respective regions.

In order to get onboard with GS1net and make the most of the opportunities for simplified data maintenance please make contact with the Foodstuffs National PIM team and/or Cameron Frith at GS1NZ.

The initial adoption of GS1net for suppliers involved a Ready-to-Live process, which required a synchronisation process to be undertaken between Foodstuffs and the Supplier. This involved the comparison of data loaded in GS1net against data held in the Foodstuffs systems. Adjustments were made to either set of data to ensure consistency between the two sources. This process has now been superseded by the implementation of GS1's ProductFlow service, enabling suppliers to build a catalogue of product information over time.

Suppliers Achieving GS1net Live Status

With over 344 GS1net Live and GS1 ProductFlow activated suppliers, we share the benefits of synchronised product data, reducing costs and inefficiencies from the supply chain:

  • Eliminate manual data input
  • Facilitate the adoption of data standards
  • Improve data quality
  • Error free Supply Chain transactions
  • Reduce scanning errors
  • Reduce the need for unnecessary paperwork

Completed GS1net Live and GS1 ProductFlow submissions are received into the National PIM database, to eventually be made available to the regional Foodstuffs companies, ready for article creation in the Local systems.

Article Data with Data eXpress (DEX)

The Data eXpress (DEX) system was developed as part of the OneData initiative as a mechanism for suppliers, who are unable to access the services provided through GS1, to submit electronic article information to the Foodstuffs group of companies.

The system is housed on the Foodstuffs Exchange and provides suppliers a guided interface to the completion of product information, ensuring completeness and accuracy of data, meeting the defined National Product Information standards.

The DEX system is designed to guide suppliers through the various components of information required to make up an article record. Through in-line validation and prompts, the supplier can build a complete record for the specific product, eventually submitting the information once all the required data has been specified.

Completed DEX submissions are received into the National PIM database, to eventually be made available to the regional Foodstuffs companies, ready for article creation in the Local systems.

Suppliers transacting via Data eXpress

As part of the process of being a Foodstuffs registered supplier, suppliers are set up on the Foodstuffs eXchange. An addition to this will be ensuring that non-GS1 suppliers will have access to the Data eXpress system. Once a vendor number has been allocated (by the local Foodstuffs company), this information is forwarded to the National team, who ensure the correct identifying company information is added to the applicable database, enabling access to the system.

Once a supplier has been configured, they are able to start communicating their article information via the DEX system. Additional supporting information (and a Wiki outlining the various functions of DEX) can be found on the Foodstuffs Exchange, when logged in.

Pricing Updates

Foodstuffs works with Foodstuffs Own Brands Limited(FOBL) to schedule all changes to article pricing and terms  nationwide. This includes change of ownership or distribution of articles or change of company details that necessitate new vendor accounts and the transfer of articles from one vendor to another. All price changes should be directed to price@foodstuffs.co.nz with a letter of justification and a completed Supplier Price Adjustment form (SPA), which can be located here: http://suppliers.foodstuffs.co.nz/national-guidelines/price-adjustments.aspx