WASHINGTON, DC - October 28, 2002 – A one-time investment of $1 to $2 million can save food retailers and consumer products companies several million dollars annually, according to a new action plan from the GMA-FMI Trading Partner Alliance (TPA) and global consulting firm A.T. Kearney. Examples of potential company cost savings include the elimination of up to 50,000 hours per year in unnecessary transcription work, the reduction of out of stocks by 10 percent and the reduction of new product speed-to-shelf time by 80 percent.

The Action Plan to Accelerate Trading Partner Electronic Collaboration is a call-to-action to manufacturers and retailers that reveals the escalating price of industry inaction on electronic collaboration initiatives such as item synchronization and UCCnet’s GLOBALregistry™ services. Electronic collaboration is the use of Internet-based technologies to allow continuous automated exchange of information between supply chain partners.

“This work is an action plan designed to focus executives and their companies on how to respond to opportunities associated with electronic trading between manufacturers and retailers,” said Patrick Walsh, director of industry relations, FMI. “Endorsed by industry CEOs as a top priority, this e-collaboration initiative is transformational in nature and will fundamentally change the buyer/seller relationship once implemented. It will provide enhanced levels of consumer value.”

GMA and FMI urge the industry’s leadership to take immediate action and begin electronic collaboration based on an independent assessment of the infrastructure and business case for data synchronization. Results of this assessment include:

  • The infrastructure for data synchronization is in place – The necessary standards for Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) and Global Location Numbers (GLNs) have been published by the Uniform Code Council (UCC) and European Article Numbering (EAN) International. UCC and EAN have reached an agreement that UCCnet will be recognized as the single Global Registry.

  • The benefits are significant and have been demonstrated – Studies and pilot cases have shown that data synchronization will save time and money for consumer products companies.

  • The costs of inaction are increasing – The industry has already invested in this technology and to not move forward now would mean facing higher costs in the supply chain while the rest of the world advances toward data synchronization solutions.

Pamela Stegeman, vice president of industry affairs, GMA, explained the industry must act now to reap the full benefits of the technology. “The estimated $25-$50 billion cost of incorrect information in the supply chain can be virtually eliminated if manufacturers and retailers implement electronic collaboration. Companies should immediately begin the process by subscribing to UCCnet, and preparing their data for registration and synchronization.”

Following a course set by Following a course set by the GMA-FMI Trading Partner Alliance, the publication recommends that trading partners confirm their companies commitment to global data synchronization, endorse and subscribe to UCCnet’s GLOBALregistry™ and prepare internal systems for implementation and start using the synchronization infrastructure. For more information, contact Melissa Porter at GMA (202-337-9400) or Todd Hultquist at FMI (202-220-0655).