WWRE, Germany's SINFOS Ally

Retail exchange, European master data repository provide item synchronization across member base

Alexandria, VA — April 30, 2003 — A leading B2B exchange for the CPG and retail sectors has taken the next step in its drive to connect all major global data pools to its synchronization hub by allying with a top European item master data repository.

The WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE) says that its partnership with SINFOS GmbH, a leading European data pool currently used by about 1,000 companies in several countries, will increase the efficiency and speed of the international trade of retail products.

Under the alliance, the partners will enable connectivity between their two data pools, providing item synchronization capabilities across the two organizations and their member base. SINFOS and the WWRE have already established a connection based on EAN.UCC recommendations and standards.

Due to multiple data pools and varying international standards, manufacturers and retailers conducting international trade are often burdened with redundant data preparation, duplication of processes and a need for multiple interfaces based on global business requirements. The duplication of effort and the need for multiple interfaces creates an inefficient process resulting in costly bottlenecks in the global supply chain.

In fact, as iSource Business reported Tuesday, technology consultancy AMR Research believes that companies embarking on B2B projects without the necessary data synchronization platform in place are likely to waste billions of dollars over the next five years.

Now, however, through the connection of the WWRE and SINFOS, subscribers from both data pools will have a centralized process to exchange item data without redundancies.

"The SINFOS/WWRE alliance is an important step in the WWRE's efforts to build a global item management solution that is inclusive of suppliers and manufacturers of all sizes," said Michel Eeckhout, chief information officer for Delhaize Group, a food retailer headquartered in Belgium and operating in 10 countries on three continents. "And it's particularly relevant for WWRE members who want to accelerate their item management efforts with those manufacturers who are working directly with SINFOS."

"This partnership removes a primary barrier to international trade, the inability to achieve global item synchronization," said Cindy Cruzado, director of worldwide item management for WWRE. "The speed and success of the execution of this process also sets a standard for future catalog implementations throughout the world."

"Our agreement with WWRE represents an important step in our international strategy toward achieving interconnection with all of the leading Internet marketplaces worldwide," said Rolf Stark, CEO for SINFOS GmbH. "By linking WWRE's members with SINFOS clients, we are helping to create new trading partners, and ultimately, to expand the international marketplace on the whole."

The WWRE, which currently has 63 members companies from around the world, is an Internet-based B2B exchange for retailers and suppliers. Its members represent some $900 billion in annual sales.

For its part, SINFOS operates the portal for item master data that was developed originally by the German EAN Organization Centrale für Coorganisation (CCG). Industry and trade optimize their supply chain processes by synchronizing their item master data multilaterally via the central pool of SINFOS GmbH. The SINFOS master data portal is currently used by nearly 1.000 companies in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, with Finland coming aboard in May.