GS1 Beliglux Forum 2015

Day 2: GS1 Belgilux Members Forum 2015

Wow, I couldn’t believe it when I was handed the event registration and more than 325 guests were registered to attend Day 2’s proceedings. That’s a huge turnout, but then again judging from previous GS1 Belgilux Forums, it’s no surprise. The content delivered each year is top-class and draws fantastic attendance from enterprises all across Belgium and Luxembourg as well as The Netherlands.

Hilde De Geest, President GS1 Belgium & Luxembourg, opened the event with a reflection on 2014 and set forth the priorities for 2015. A primary focus will remain on enabling consumers to make fully informed product choices, both on- and off-line. The accuracy of product information is the joint responsibility of food manufacturers and on-line resellers. To ensure the efficient exchange of product data between manufacturers and on-line resellers, GS1 Belgilux developed Trustbox. Manufacturers enter their data via Trustbox, a single point of entry, and resellers access this information through the same source, ensuring one common language is spoken. The success of Trustbox has been overwhelming, with over 1,500 companies using the system and nearly 60,000 items registered. If you are a consumer in Belgium & Luxembourg, and care about what you eat and drink, then Trustbox has stepped up to the mark providing a nation with EU 1169 compliant product data.
Hilde De Geest During the opening presentation Hilde recognised the sponsors of the event and gave special acknowledgement to LANSA’s presence and support as the Gold Sponsor, showcasing master data management (MDM) and product information management (PIM) solutions for both small-to medium  and large enterprises!

Aurélie De Ruyck, Front End & Store Experience Manager Delhaize, and Veerle Lauwers, Senior Manager Digital Shopper Marketing, then took the stage to talk about the revolution in couponing and digital coupon management standards. Next, Sofie Hofmann, Head of Customer Service & Logistics Nestlé, and Bruno Claes, Director of Administration Carrefour, presented on the continued benefits of using electronic data exchange (EDI) for orders, delivery notifications and invoicing.

What really excited me was what I heard next, the announcement that Delhaize, Carrefour, Colruyt and Intergamma are all to roll out GDSN. With such world-class retailers leading the way on this initiative in Europe, we will see a market transformed, as GS1 standards-based product data flows through the supply chain bringing about improved efficiency and better consumer experiences.  With the continued drive towards omni-channel retailing it’s really no surprise that the GDSN was chosen as the enabling technology platform for sharing and synchronizing product data.

Day 2 also included a presentation from Marc Eisel, Supply Chain Director at Orangina Schweppes, who discussed good data as the key to customer satisfaction – the running theme throughout the presentation being ‘no data = no sales’.

Next were the results of the recent GFK Study into food information. GFK is a research organisation that positions itself as the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. Some interesting findings from the research showed that nearly 60% of people feel it is important to know how much fat, sugar and preservatives are in a product before purchasing; while nearly 50% struggle to find nutritional information for a product online.
GS1 Beliglux Forum 2015 Bart Eynatten, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting, accompanied by Hilde De Geest then delivered a session on automatic data exchange, highlighting the fact that all manufacturers should be sharing information with customers, and that this exchange of information can bring about many benefits, including the digital influence in sales. He also highlighted the importance of integrating labelling processes with EU 1169 compliance processes to avoid having paper process and digital process side-by-side, In addition, Bart championed implementing a PIM to support the digital processes.

Leading us all up to the mid-morning break, was Miguel Lopera,President & CEO GS1 Global, who talked to us all about:

  • the role of GS1 in the growing omni-channel environment
  • EU 1169 and the use of GS1 standard data sharing networks such as the GDSN and GS1 Source
  • the great progress GS1 Global Healthcare Initiative is making by improving patient safety through the use Unique Device Identification (UDI)

So with everyone on a coffee high, round 2 began with a presentation from Steven Van Belleghem, Inspirer – Professor of Marketing Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School. Steven delivered an inspirational, entertaining and thought-provoking vision of what consumers could be expecting in 2020. Sounds like a long way-off but in reality it’s only 5 years away, frightening eh?

GS1 Belgilux Forum 2015 PanelImmediately following this presentation we moved into a panel discussion where conversation began to explore that 2020 vision. The panel was made up of Bernard Deryckere, Alpro, Kris Geeraert, Danone, Wim Swyngedouw,Melitta, Etienne Gossart, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Rudi Petit-Jean, Gamma.

The highly knowledgeable panel discussed how the retail sector is facing a revolution so powerful that nobody can predict how consumers will retail tomorrow. ‘Emotions’ and ‘impatience’ are at centre of many trends, while digital consumerism is perceived as the main time saver in the buying process, giving more free time for entertainment.

To finish the day off, Jan Somers wrapped-up with a review of the presentations, followed by the presentation of the ECR Award. ECR stands for Efficient Consumer Response, and honors supply chain partners whom demonstrate exceptional collaboration.

My next and final post will cover trends and happenings in the DIY and Gardening industry. This was the first dedicated DIY event I have attended personally, and it did not disappoint!


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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