The world’s largest supermarket announced the move in a letter to its suppliers as it outlined the purpose of its Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) introduced in 2008. The system uses global industry standards to exchange item data electronically for item creation and maintenance, said the company.
Walmart listed the benefits of the system for new and existing items as increased speed-to-shelf time for new products and better purchase order accuracy. It said the process also optimises transportation and logistics.
The company said that as of December 2009, some 46 per cent or 3,000 of its supplier presently match their data using GDSN, which accounts for just 42 per cent of supplies.
The company gave all of its suppliers until the end of January 2010 to select a data provider and give Walmart a GLN. Suppliers are not obliged to use data pool provider 1 sync but can work with “any GDSN certified data pool provider to sync” with Walmart. The initial load of accurate product data must be completed by 1 March, 2010 and suppliers were urged to begin creating new items through GDSN immediately.
According to the letter and a presentation – both posted on http://www.1sync.org/walmart.html - the company said that at present only 46 per cent of its suppliers have accurate cube (dimension) data for their products and 55 per cent have precise weight information.