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    Global Retailers, Manufacturers Collaborate to Advance Data Synchronization

    PARIS - Auchan, Casino, Delhaize Group, El Corte Ingles, Royal Ahold, and Tesco yesterday announced their plans to work with the WorldWide Retail Exchange's Worldwide Item Management (WIM) solution to make global data synchronization (GDS) a working reality.

    PARIS - Auchan, Casino, Delhaize Group, El Corte Ingles, Royal Ahold, and Tesco yesterday announced their plans to work with the WorldWide Retail Exchange's Worldwide Item Management (WIM) solution to make global data synchronization (GDS) a working reality.

    The above retailers and the WWRE held a meeting in Brussels June 17 for 16 of their key suppliers, to collaborate on plans to advance GDS. This meeting followed the recent ECR conference in Belgium, where WWRE members publicly announced their plans to use the organization as their home data pool.

    "Delhaize has selected the WWRE's WIM solution as our global data pool, therefore the entry point of all information concerning the items sold in our stores," said Pierre-Olivier Beckers, president and c.e.o. of Delhaize Group. "WIM will interconnect with all data pools containing the item information of our suppliers, both global and local. We believe that this approach will simplify and accelerate the rollout of data synchronization, as it will avoid our global suppliers [having] to deliver the item information directly in each country where we operate. We are firmly convinced that an integrated supply chain approach is key to performance [for everyone involved]."

    At the meeting, the WWRE members echoed Beckers' thoughts as they discussed their GDS plans, timelines, and expectations with their suppliers. Although retailer readiness for GDS has historically been an issue with suppliers, today's attendees got a positive feeling for retailer readiness and the seriousness of their desire to move forward with GDS projects in 2004.

    "Casino is on the way to achieve a major step in its data synchronization strategy, by introducing the WWRE as a single entry point to its internal systems," said Casino g.m. Jacques-Edouard Charret. "As a result all data product files proposed by our suppliers will be synchronized through the WWRE, whether the supplier is a WWRE customer or is using a catalog provider like Catalogic, Equadis, or Vertical wine. The WWRE will improve data quality within the industry and assist suppliers in this new way of working together. Furthermore, we believe the WWRE is a major influence for enhancing data model and synchronization standards worldwide."

    "The WWRE continues to be the most comprehensive and cost-effective solution available for suppliers to meet the requirements of our retailers," said Jerome Kuehn, European director for the WWRE. "Because of our continued focus on implementing the most up-to-date standards, provisioning of best practices, and shared industry knowledge, the WWRE WIM solution will act as the single point of entry to the GDS network for many of its retail members. The WWRE enables companies to adopt GDS faster, helping to overcome the inevitable challenges of implementation and therefore drive critical mass in the marketplace."

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