GS1 Connect 2017 Conference: Our Top 5 Takeaways

By Kerry Young on Jul 6, 2017

The EnterWorks team recently returned from an excellent week attending the GS1 Connect 2017 Conference, along with 1WorldSync’s Users Conference. These back-to-back events allowed EnterWorks to demonstrate our commitment to enhancing access to richer, trusted product information for our customers and global trading partners.

GS1 Connect 2017

At GS1 Connect, EnterWorks’ Product Information Management (PIM) and Master Data Management (MDM) software experts joined a diverse group of thought leaders, industries, standards experts and trading partners to focus on the benefits of leveraging GS1 Standards for full supply chain visibility. The conference combines unmatched knowledge, networking and tools to maximize the value of applying standards-based business processes to help drive efficiency, productivity and a seamless customer experience.

Over the course of three days, we observed exciting and interesting developments from the CPG, manufacturing and food industry attendees. Here’s a breakdown of our team’s top five observations from the bustling EnterWorks booth at GS1 Connect 2017.

Top 5 Takeaways from GS1 Connect 2017

1: PIM and MDM are hot.

One thing was abundantly clear throughout the GS1 Connect Conference. Digital transformation is a very big deal, and there’s a high level of excitement specifically around PIM and MDM. Software that helps facilitate a seamless flow of compelling product information and accurate data is extremely relevant as manufacturers, distributors and retailers work to boost efficiencies, quickly introduce new products, elevate digital commerce, and satisfy evolving consumer demands. As EnterWorks CEO Rick Chavie recently said in an article with TechRepublic:

“Everyone working within the supply chain has one objective,” said Chavie. “And that’s to get product pushed out and into the stores or online sales sites as quickly as possible. However, now that retailers are operating in a more customer-centric world, they are beginning to realize that they can improve sales performance by pushing the right content to customers at the same time that they are pushing their product. They can do this if they have a better understanding of what their customers want in different retail channels.”

2: The GS1 audience has evolved and is ready to go “all in” with PIM.

While the excitement around PIM and MDM was evident, we also observed that the GS1 Connect audience has evolved. They increasingly understand the requirement of a PIM solution that goes beyond data syndication. We also saw a drastic advancement in the knowledge of enterprise PIM benefits, and the need for a stronger system. They see the big picture beyond GDSN, and in many cases, they’re ready to go all in.

3: Watered-down solutions weren’t enough.

Several years ago, as companies sought to solve their product information problems, they settled for solutions that they thought were PIM. However, they were actually implementing GDSN connectors or syndication tools. Now, they realize that these limited systems only address one piece of a very big puzzle. Because of that, the systems really aren’t solving their problems.

Companies that implemented syndication tools like Salsify are realizing they need to upgrade to a PIM solution. We had great conversations with companies who have been down the syndication road, and can now speak to the needs that go beyond GDSN. For example, content exposed to more channels, or to leverage content for advanced purposes like print, ERP and internal systems. They also want expanded translation capabilities, greater data quality and purpose-built portals. And, they need richer automation and the ability to manage digital aspects for other supporting roles. Throughout the event we heard the same feedback: Watered-down solutions simply weren’t enough, but change is on the horizon for many.

4: SmartLabel™ along with other nutritional/allergen requirements are a driving force for digital transformation.

From the 1WorldSync Users Conference to GS1 Connect, SmartLabel was a hot topic. CPG and food companies are more focused than ever before on meeting requirements around nutrition, ingredients and allergens. And, they are looking at systems like EnterWorks Enable™ PIM/MDM and 1WorldSync as a solution. EnterWorks and 1WorldSync recently spoke about their evolving partnership, and have a new joint ebook coming soon on succeeding with SmartLabel using PIM/MDM.

5: PIM/MDM is roadmapped, not reactionary.

Finally, PIM is no longer all about the GDSN rush. For most, it has advanced beyond a reactionary decision to a strategic point on a carefully-planned roadmap. Businesses are becoming more educated about PIM, and are therefore able to plan for a system 1-2 years in advance. And, for those who need a solution quickly, they have a better understanding of the features that will help them meet their long-term goals.

Cheers to another great GS1 Connect Conference! Let’s keep the conversation going. Subscribe to our blog below, contact us, and learn more about the EnterWorks Enable™ GDSN Major Release 3 certified PIM/MDM solution.

About the author

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.

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