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PLEASANTON, Calif. - Safeway, Inc. has completed a successful Global Data Synchronization (GDS) initiative with Unilever, an international producer and marketer of food and home and personal care products. The significance of this project has international reach, since it's the first time that product information has been synchronized by way of interoperability between the leading supply-side and demand-side data pools, Transora and the WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE).
The consumer goods industry is adopting the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) as a more efficient and accurate means of exchanging product information, and this effort reveals the feasibility and importance of the GDSN for Safeway, Unilever, and the industry.
The project is the culmination of a two-year initiative by Safeway to offer its trading partners a flexible method of synchronizing product information through the WWRE. Unilever transferred product information to the company primary data synchronization engine, furnished by Transora. It was then processed through the WWRE, Safeway's main data exchange, directly to the retailer. The whole process employed GDS communication standards. The accuracy of this communication on the Safeway end was ensured by the company's use of a collaborative product information management (CPIM) solution, which synchronized all of the messages, data, and processes involved in the four-way transfer mentioned earlier. Safeway is an early adopter of a CPIM system, provided by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Velosel Corp., and, as a result, has experienced significant improvements in process management and supply chain operation efficiencies.
"A crucial goal for Safeway is to be as flexible as possible when dealing with partners, while always maintaining focus on the Safeway shopper," said Roger Lekberg, s.v.p., supply chain for Safeway. "Through the successful completion of this project, Safeway and Unilever have demonstrated that by adopting industry standards, critical product information exchange between manufacturers and retailers can be achieved in a scalable and rapid manner. This rather complicated initiative was completed with a high level of accuracy, in cooperation with Unilever and our respective data pool and technology partners, and firmly establishes Safeway as a leader in the creation of mutually beneficial and highly efficient supply chain relationships."
"We are very pleased to have collaborated with our valued trading partner, Safeway, in achieving this significant industry milestone," said Tom Barnhart, director eBusiness at Unilever North America. "Unilever is committed to the GCI Global Data Synchronization vision, and we view this project as an important step towards the realization of that vision. The establishment of interoperability between Safeway and Unilever through our respective data pools, WWRE and Transora, provides a firm foundation for electronic collaboration. This initiative demonstrates how leading retailers and suppliers working together can achieve mutually beneficial results through alignment with the Global Data Synchronization Network."
"Velosel is pleased to have helped enable such an important initiative for Safeway," said Prakash Nanduri, Velosel's v.p. of services and strategic customer relations. "The success of this project illustrates the efficiencies that can be gained by combining the power of flexible GDS communications with a scalable, extensible, process-driven product information management system."