Concluding GS1 Belgilux Members Forum 2015: Now for a bit of DIY and Gardening

GS1 Belgilux Forum 2015 Panel

I don’t mean putting that shelf up, repairing that broken chair leg, cutting the grass or even planting some seeds! It’s time for the inaugural Belgilux Do-It-Yourself & Garden Event 2015. This was the first dedicated DIY event that I have ever attended, and I was eager to learn what challenges exist in this sector around product data management, and how online retailing is threatening the traditional Garden Centre and the local Hardware shop.

The event was opened by Jan Somers with support from Piet De Lange, Sector Manager COMEOS, Piet De Coninck, CEO FEBIN, and Jerry Tracey, Industry Manager DIY & Garden GS1 Netherlands.

The first presentation looked at trends and challenges in DIY, and unsurprisingly there are many comparisons with other markets like Retail CPG. Neil Munz-Jones, Director mdj2 associates ltd, and Pieter Van Bastelaere, Sector Manager e-Commerce, COMEOS, explored how this sector is mirroring other markets with the demand for accurate data to satisfy the consumers’ desire to research and buy products online. Pieter singled out Screwfix Direct as a poster child for the future of DIY retailing while Neil talked about how the power has shifted to the consumer, as well as singling out the demand for data – describing it as “the new oil”.

The following session took a closer look at ‘data management’. Theo Schrijvers, Director of Operations, Intergamma, presented what they had recently achieved around data management and why there was such a focus on complete and accurate data. Intergamma revealed their lessons learned from the project and were able to deliver some key words of wisdom to those beginning their product data management journey. On his future plan for 2015 and 2016, Theo highlighted the 3 key drivers within Intergamma’s partner community: to improve Data Quality, add compliance on Dangerous Goods and connect to the GS1 data pool. In summary, he stated that data management will be the backbone of its enterprise.
We have seen in many other industries how legislation and regulation have contributed to the attribute explosion, but what about DIY? What is currently driving the attribute explosion in this sector?  Healthcare has UDI, Food & Beverages has EU 1169/2011 – what’s the equivalent in the DIY sector?

It would appear that DIY isn’t one of the safest pastimes. Each year 220,000 people turn up at A&E with injuries caused by ‘doing it yourself’. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Health & Safety and Managing Hazardous Materials are areas where the industry might want to record and share this product data.

Ingmar Hensbergen, Project Leader for Hazardous Substances at Intergamma, presented the current challenges facing the industry with regards to legislation around hazardous substances and what steps are being taking by Retail DIY to comply.

So where does GS1 fit in and how can GS1 support this market sector? Jerry Tracey & Joke Op den Acker laid out the strategy and clearly positioned GS1 standards as the enabling language of business to help address the challenges outlined earlier.

One such standard was explored in more detail in presentation from Dirk Bergman , Managing Director, JéWéRET. Dirk presented an excellent case study on the use of GDSN at JéWéRET. The lessons they learned during the implementation of GS1-DAS included the importance of reliable data and having a ‘single source truth’, as well as the significance of implementing accepted standards and procedures in order to improve efficiency for both retailers and suppliers.
Finally Jan Somers wrapped up the event by covering the GS1 roadmap for 2015 and 2016, as well the 3 pillars for Data Quality improvement, which included:

  1. A Priori Quality checks for new members
  2. Monitoring via the GS1 Data Checker
  3. Physical Audits

So that brings to a close the formal proceedings for Day 2 and the end of another great GS1 Belgilux Annual Conference. After a little more networking, it was time to pack-up our Expo booth, load it in the Ford Transit and head towards Eurotunnel Calais. With a bit of luck and the wind at my back, I was able to arrive home just before dawn!

Ian Piddock

Author: Ian Piddock

Ian Piddock's career has been focused in the IT industry. Since 2000 he has worked in a variety of business development and marketing roles for global enterprise software companies. Ian has been a GS1 standards advocate and practitioner for over 10 years, he is a data quality evangelist and experienced in the practical application of the GS1 Data Quality Framework. In recent years Ian has been responsible for the design, branding and product management of LANSA’s Data Quality software tools – DQ Inspector and DQ Reporter.At LANSA Ian heads up Marketing for EMEA and manages the relationship with GS1 Member Organisations worldwide, seeking to identify where LANSA solutions can accelerate industry adoption of GS1 standards and use of the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN). Ian is also a trusted advisor on the impact that regulation and legislation has on the product data management process and has worked on projects involving the EU Food Regulation and the FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) rule.

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