Foodstuffs

Wednesday, 04 May 2016

Foodstuffs announces launch of new national data management system (One Data)

Foodstuffs North Island Ltd and Foodstuffs South Island Ltd are pleased to announce to the grocery industry the launch of a national product information management project. Phil Lemon, General Manager Merchandise, Foodstuffs South Island and David Stewart, Chief Financial Officer and Acting General Manager Merchandise, Foodstuffs North Island believe the project will transform Foodstuffs’ product information management processes.

“Traditionally, the Foodstuffs companies have operated their regional activities independently. Project OneData will create a single source of truth for product data across the Foodstuffs group – nationwide. Although, the project will initially require extra effort by Foodstuffs, our stores, and our vendors, the long term pay off makes it worthwhile,” says Lemon.

The project, One Data, will create a single system and shared team which will be responsible for the companies’ national product information management. The team will ensure that national product master data is clean, up to date, and fit for use across the business. This will lead to; 

  • Consistent data nationwide 
  • Improved order accuracy 
  • Increased visibility of vendor product range as all product data submitted will be retained in the national catalogue 
  • Better consumer insights for targeted marketing 
  • Support for current and future initiatives

“As with any major change it is understandable that there must also be changes to the business’ processes,” says Lemon. “We are pleased to announce that we will no longer require vendors to submit product changes and new products on the Universal Buying Form (UBF) or Non-barcoded Buying Form (NBF) after 30 June 2016. These documents will cease to exist for Foodstuffs and our stores.”

Instead there will be two options for vendors to keep the business up to date with new products and changes to existing products, these are; 
1. Product Flow which is a service offered by GS1 that will provide product information via the National Product Catalogue, as well as barcode and image verification. This is the best option for vendors who have barcoded products and make changes regularly. 
2. Data eXpress an interactive online form located within Foodstuffs eXchange that will easily step vendors through the data we require to list, purchase and sell products through the entire Foodstuffs group. This option is best for vendors who have non-barcoded products and/or hardly ever make changes to their range. 
Stewart points out that the sheer magnitude of this change is significant for Foodstuffs. With over 100,000 products in the combined catalogue, there will be a transition period to complete the data merge and set up the new system with all of these products. To assist this process, Foodstuffs will have a moratorium on product and price changes during July 2016. The moratorium is scheduled to run from 1 July 2016 – 25 July 2016. Price changes should be submitted prior to the moratorium to ensure customers receive any savings in time. After the moratorium, products and changes will only be accepted if they have been submitted first via Product Flow or Data eXpress.

Stewart is looking forward to the new system. “Foodstuffs has a massive range of products, and we know that our current maintenance process is not efficient. We are really looking forward to the new national Product Information Management system and having one team responsible that sets the data quality standard for our business will give both us and our suppliers’ massive benefits in terms of consistency nationwide.”

At this stage lead times to present new products and changes will not change. But in the future, the new process is expected to bring greater efficiencies and should allow for a review of these requirements. 

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