Raising the profile and importance of GS1 Standards for eCommerce

LANSA supports GS1 UK and fellow solution partners at eCommerce Expo 2015

GS1 eCommerce ExpoFrom June 2015 eBay sellers have been required to add product identifiers to their listings for a number of selling categories where the items listed are new or manufacturer refurbished. Product identifiers, like the brand name, Manufacturer Part Number (MPN), or Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) make it easier for shoppers to find, compare and purchase products online. Amazon and Rakuten also require that product identifiers are supplied when listing items. Other marketplaces have also recognised the importance of product identifiers to enhance the shopping experience and have either launched or plan to launch initiatives to support unique product identification. Continue reading “Raising the profile and importance of GS1 Standards for eCommerce” »


International i-Power Conference 2015

IBM i revival – A well attended event and an upbeat atmosphere

The International i-Power Conference, hosted by i-UG (the UK IBM i User Group), is the annual gathering of IBM i enthusiasts from across the UK. As a proud i-UG member LANSA was one of 21 sponsors at this year’s conference.


This event was held earlier this month at the Executive Centre at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire, UK. The two-day conference consisted of in-depth educational workshops and a multi-stream session day delivering up-to-date information on the IBM i and POWER System platform. Continue reading “International i-Power Conference 2015” »


What’s wrong with the Spreadsheet PIM? Part 2

Carrying on from my What's wrong with the Spreadsheet PIM? Part 1 blog post, today I'll share with you the importance of controlling your product data and offer an alternative to the spreadsheet PIM.

Spreadsheets do not provide the mechanisms to control your data

Without application logic there is no control over data that resides within a spreadsheet. Control means accountability, responsibility and governance. Master data governance is a combination of business process and application logic. Often, business processes are encapsulated within application logic, but when you are working within a spreadsheet that just isn’t possible.

Solution GraphicSpreadsheet files are very portable and can be ‘saved’ in many formats so the data can be easily retrieved by other programs and applications. While this is convenient and has many advantages, it makes data governance very difficult.  Product data is master data and allowing that data to become portable in such a way means it cannot be governed. Any organisation managing master data, whether that is customer data, financial data or product data, must have processes and controls in place to ensure there is a single version of the truth. Continue reading “What’s wrong with the Spreadsheet PIM? Part 2” »


What’s wrong with the Spreadsheet PIM? Part 1

The Spreadsheet is the software equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife for many businesses, it’s a Business Intelligence (BI) tool, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, an Accounting system, a Warehouse Management System (WMS), but above all, it’s the world’s most widely installed Product Information Management System, commonly referred to as a PIM.

It’s not hard to see why the spreadsheet is used to mimic these different systems, especially for smaller or start-up enterprises. The cost of acquisition is very low and a simple column/row/cell structure provides an easy way to store data, perform calculations and produce reports. However, there comes a time in any business when levels of sophistication become too much for the trusty spreadsheet to handle, resulting in business inefficiencies and data quality issues. Continue reading “What’s wrong with the Spreadsheet PIM? Part 1” »


5 Guiding Principles of Enterprise Modernization (part 3)

Thanks for joining me for my final post on the 5 Guiding Principles of Enterprise Modernization. So far I've covered the importance of delivering the best user experience, improving data quality and accuracy and getting information into the hands who need it. My focus today will be on how to implement continuous business improvements and why you must build and inspire change within your organization.

P R I N C I P L E #4:

Implement Continuous Business Improvement

IT must be in sync with the goals of your business. When your current application stack grows stagnant, it’s difficult for your company to evolve. When business changes occur without  IT’s support, users create workarounds, data stops flowing and the core system lags behind. By the time IT catches up, user workarounds have turned into bad habits  that are hard to break and the business goals may have changed yet again.

Businesses that are unable to react to changes will lose customers to more efficient and customer-friendly competitors. Organizations must develop and deploy software faster than before as they move toward a continuous delivery strategy  where application updates are released quickly.

For example, Amazon wasn’t profitable for many years, but continued to improve its systems and internal processes while expanding its product offerings. In its continuous delivery approach, Amazon deploys  new software into production every 11.6 seconds. Now the company has become the gold standard for customer service. Continue reading “5 Guiding Principles of Enterprise Modernization (part 3)” »