One of the more recent attempts to document the benefits of global data synchronization, dubbed Project Jury, was released in March under the auspices of Capgemini, New York, and the Global Commerce Initiative.
The report, called "Global Data Synchronization at Work in the Real World: Illustrating the Business Benefits," includes case studies involving Wegmans Food Markets, Dutch retailer Albert Heijn, Japanese retailer Aeon, Johnson & Johnson, Gillette, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. The report can be downloaded at www.capgemini.com.
Wegmans, Rochester, N.Y., long one of the industry leaders in data synchronization, is in full "production" for synchronization on product data with 300 suppliers representing 28% of its volume, according to Brad Papietro, e-commerce manager, Wegmans. Papietro provided the update at U Connect, held in Dallas by GS1 US (formerly Uniform Code Council) at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, June 7 to 9. Wegmans is synchronizing data for at least one item with 820 vendors representing 91% of its volume, he said. A total of 1,847 vendors, representing 95% of the chain's volume, are now signed up with a data pool to do synchronization.
Wegmans is synchronizing data for grocery, dairy, frozen, health and beauty care, and basic general merchandise items. "We still need 100% synchronization" to gain the fullest benefits from the process, noted Papietro.
Through its participation in Project Jury, Wegmans discovered that data synchronization could gain it two extra weeks of sales for new items while spending 80% less time on new-item administration. That equates to an annual savings of $150,000, jumping to $500,000 when Wegmans is synchronizing with all of its suppliers, said Papietro. "The total savings for us is between $1.5 million and $2 million for every $1 billion in sales," he said.
An unexpected benefit, he added, was that Wegmans can determine the correct tax to apply to new items much faster than in the past.