Great post on the GXS blog site by Melanie Ligons on 12/17/07 (link below).
Essentially she predicts/hopes that “leading companies will step up to the plate in 2008 and address the CPG product data quality issues by taking the first steps toward implementing solid B2B Data Management programs.”
She has correctly nailed an issue that is fundamental to our times. Poor CPG product data has plagued the industry for years. The industry has made some assumptions that:
- Manufacturers have near perfect product information and have an obligation to keep it perfect
- Manufacturers have product information that they can and should share with their customers
What we now know and are beginning to admit to ourselves and our customers, is that according to Ms. Ligons: “information integrity issues associated with products …reduce the ability (I would argue, preclude the ability) of an organization to make appropriate short and long term decisions. ….companies are realizing that the data they’ve been keeping is flawed, and so is the data they are using to run their business on a day to day basis.” Further, “sharing data isn’t the issue. Making sure companies have accurate data, and then keeping it that way is the real challenge.”
Challange indeed. In subsequent posts, we can and will examine why this challenge will continue to BE a challange regardless of the current spate of expensive poultices applied generally lurking under the names/initials NIS/PIM/MDM and data normalization. Further, manufacturers tackling this issue is not an effective/efficient solution which means GDSN is a dream that will not be fulfilled in the foreseeable future.
Today this issue is simply a silent drain on the effectiveness and efficiency of every relationship between supplier, customer and consumer. As new product data centric issues such as health & wellness programs, product safety and multi-channel inter-dependencies burst onto the scene they will joint older issues of supply chain and demand chain inefficiencies and too-costly out-of-stocks, and literally rip brand reputations and financials to shreds.