Data Pool Raising Hong Kong's Profile as Asian Logistics, Trading Hub

GS1 Hong Kong partners with GXS to deliver GS1 HK pool for integrated business processing, data exchange worldwide

GS1 Hong Kong partners with GXS to deliver GS1 HK pool for integrated business processing, data exchange worldwide

Gaithersburg, MD — February 17, 2006 — GS1 Hong Kong and GXS today announced the official worldwide launch of the GS1 HK Data Pool, designed to enable enterprises in Hong Kong and the Pan Pearl River Delta (PPRD) region to exchange accurate, GS1 standards-compliant product information with their global trading partners.

GS1 Hong Kong (formerly known as the Hong Kong Article Numbering Association or HKANA) is a not-for-profit industry support organization that helps Hong Kong enterprises optimize business efficiency through the provision of global supply chain standards and enabling technologies.

The GS1 HK Data Pool, Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN)-certified and based on the GXS Data Pool Manager (DPM), is one of 26 GDSN-certified data pools worldwide. It is intended to serve as a global gateway for enabling more efficient international collaboration between manufacturers and their retailer trading partners, with the goal of achieving improved business processes for globally sourced goods and services.

Trading Data

The Data Pool allows trading partners to exchange consistent data, based on common global standards of Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and Global Location Number (GLN), with trading partners around the globe. GXS technology enables the GS1 HK Data Pool to interoperate within the GDSN to synchronize information about products with other global data pools in conjunction with the GS1 Global Registry, a global data directory managed by GS1.

According to GXS, the GS1 HK Data Pool serves as both a source and recipient data pool, and it provides enterprises with a platform to exchange accurate and up-to-date product information compliant with GS1 System standards. Companies connecting to GS1 data pools can benefit from fewer out-of-stocks, increased speed-to-market for new product introductions and reduced logistics costs, GXS said.

"The impact of this global initiative on global e-commerce will be profound," said Anna Lin, chief executive of GS1 Hong Kong. "The GS1 HK Data Pool enables trading partners to collaboratively achieve increased efficiency, improved productivity and superior economic benefit within and across sectors electronically."

Raising Hong Kong's Profile

Lin said that global data synchronization (GDS) will help enterprises improve supply-chain efficiency and bring products to market faster and more effectively, making end-to-end supply chain data accuracy a reality. "This seamless and integrated business process will help position Hong Kong as the premier hub for logistics and trading operations in Asia," Lin said.

GS1 Hong Kong partnered with GXS, a B2B e-commerce provider, to initiate and create the GS1 HK Data Pool. GXS provides data pool services for many GS1 member organizations. The company is developing and deploying data pools in 22 countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Slovakia, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and a regional data pool spanning the Middle East and Mediterranean (MEMA) region. The MEMA data pool supports retailers and suppliers in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Complying with Standards

"The launch of the GS1 HK Data Pool represents a significant milestone in the advancement of Asia's retail market and its ability to comply with global standards," said Larry Rushing, director of product management at GXS. "GXS is working with GS1 Hong Kong to give retailers and suppliers alike an easy, cost-effective method to join the GS1 HK Data Pool, enabling global data synchronization to soar in Hong Kong."

Rushing said that GXS' experience in B2B e-commerce enablement has helped put small companies on the global stage, while giving large retailers access to clean, consistent and accurate product data, thus reducing costs and boosting operational efficiency.

A research study conducted by consulting firm A.T. Kearney revealed that widespread adoption of the GDSN could help companies achieve cost savings of up to $25 million a year. Several leading international retailers already have realized these gains. For example, Japanese retailer AEON reduced management costs by $2 million, while Dutch retailer Alert Hejin improved productivity nearly 30 percent by adopting GDS.

Hong Kong Dairy Milking Data Exchange

In Hong Kong, The Dairy Farm Company Limited, an established pan-Asian retailer, is taking the lead in deploying GDS to improve customer satisfaction.

John Shelton, North Asia IT director of The Dairy Farm, said that the company is aiming to achieve continuous business growth and be distinct in its field by improving supply chain efficiencies, and to achieve this, the company needs to effectively collaborate with international partners and align product data according to globally accepted standards.

"GDS will further ensure end-to-end supply chain data accuracy, thus enabling trading partners, including our organization, to effect smooth collaborative commerce and faster roll out of new products to meet market demands," Shelton said.

At present, 26 GDSN certified data pools worldwide, including the GS1 HK Data Pool and the GS1 Global Registry, have successfully passed the GDSN Interoperability Certification Test. The number of certified data pools has increased three-fold since 2004. The GDSN currently encompasses more than 3,700 trading partners, with over 450,000 items registered.

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