GXS Makes Global Data Synchronization a Reality in United Kingdom

GS1 UK, GXS partner to strengthen UK supply chain with the world's largest GDS-compliant data pool

GS1 UK, GXS partner to strengthen UK supply chain with the world's largest GDS-compliant data pool

London, and Gaithersburg, MD — March 7, 2005 — GXS, a provider of B2B e-commerce solutions, and GS1 UK, the independent body responsible for promoting supply chain efficiency and standards in the UK, today announced the official launch and deployment of the UK GS1-certified global data synchronization (GDS) data pool.

According to the companies, the data pool will allow UK suppliers and retailers to synchronize global data exchanges, making data management activities more efficient, speeding up the supply chain.

Members of the UK data pool include a number of major retailers, including Tesco and Makro Cash & Carry UK (part of the METRO Group in Germany), as well as over 3,000 suppliers. In total, 300,000 items will be synchronized between trading partners before the end of 2005, making this the largest GDS-compliant data pool in the world.

The GS1 UK data pool, which goes live on April 4, will enable British suppliers to synchronize their data with retailers anywhere in the world; and likewise, retailers may synchronize data with any supplier regardless of national base.

Both UK suppliers and retailers will become part of the growing Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), enabling the optimization of supply chain business processes through the exchange of clean, accurate and consistent product information with their trading partners while complying with the latest industry standards.

The deployment of the GS1 UK data pool is the result of a strong partnership between GS1 UK, which will market the service to its members; GXS, which developed and will manage the service; and UDEX, which will provide data normalization services to the data pool community.

"The UK data pool is critical to our supply chain strategy," said Philip Steedman, e-commerce manager, Makro Cash & Carry. "Thanks to global data synchronization, our UK suppliers will now use the UK data pool as their single point of entry while our systems will be synchronized with SINFOS, the German data pool service of METRO Group. This will ensure that changes made by our UK suppliers are automatically replicated within our own systems, improving catalog maintenance, order management and fulfillment, and ultimately speeding up the time-to-market of goods."

Steve Coussins, chief executive of GS1 UK, commented that his group anticipates the UK data pool will have a significant impact on the overall efficiency of its members' businesses. "Already, our extensive testing gives us confidence that the system is robust and ready to manage the data of the 3,000 suppliers we expect to be using the data pool before the end of 2005," he said. "The power of GDS will reduce the overall cost impact of poor product information and the administration resources required to handle and review such information, which run upward of millions of dollars per year.

Coussins added that, on top of providing the core community-based technology for the development of the data pool, GXS has already been instrumental in ensuring the efficient delivery and management of this service among GS1 UK's members.

The GS1 UK data pool service was deployed using GXS Data Pool Manager, a solution for community-based organizations that seek to offer a data pool solution. GXS Data Pool Manager is designed to lower the barriers to implementing Global Data Synchronization by providing a GS1-certified data pool as a managed service that is configured to the needs of specific geographic markets.

GXS now powers more GS1-certified data pools than any other service provider worldwide. GXS supports data pools in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, Russia and Taiwan.

"The success of the Global Data Synchronization Network will depend on building a critical mass of users as quickly as possible," said Ross Curtis, GXS senior vice president of worldwide field operations. "The UK represents one of the world's largest retail markets. The leadership shown by GS1 UK in deploying a data pool service will benefit global suppliers and retailers who want to standardize business practices, as well as local UK suppliers and retailers who want to ensure all of their trading partners can implement this new business practice. GXS is looking forward to further working with GS1 UK to make the GDSN a reality by deploying more data pools in partnership with other GS1 member organizations."