Global data synchronization or GDS as it is commonly known is a technology that was created as a result of several industry groups working together to help resolve the challenges that they had faced in the past with the speed of product data transfer from the manufacturer through to the retailer. In the product data was moved from the manufacturer to the retailer in a system that was prone to much error and was very labor intensive. The reason for this was that everything was entered into the retailer systems manually. By the time the actual entry happened it was often out of date and required to be updated.
GDS is facilitated by the availability of a global network that has been dubbed the Global Data Synchronization Network. It is a network that is administered by GS1. This is a global organization that has been mandated to design and implement global standards and solutions that will help in improving the efficiency as well as the visibility of vertical supply and demand chains. This organization has a regional data pool that is global in representation.
Global data synchronization works in such a way that there is a continuous exchange of product data between the supplier and the retailer. The data is synchronized by using a publish or subscribe model to get from one trade partner to the other. The supplier publishes his product data to a particular pool and the data pool then analyzes the information and then matches it to those who have subscribed to receive such data. In the past, the only way to receive such information was by peer to peer contact using paper brochures, mail or fax. Today things have changed for the better. Knowing that the lifeline of the supplier is having great relationships with retailers and other trade partners, it is critical that he pass information about his products in a timely fashion.
Once the retailer has subscribed to receive information from a particular supplier on the GDS system, the retailer will be able to receive every update that the supplier will put out as the supplier makes them available. This process will work for as many retailers as will connect to the supplier and they will all be able to receive the said product data. The suppliers workload is reduced so that he does not have to write each one an email or have a peer to peer conversation on the available products. It saves the supplier time allowing him to focus on other equally important aspects of his business.
Global data synchronization has become the way to do business around the world. Suppliers are now able to quickly and efficiently pass product information to their retailers.