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    October 22, 2019
    2 minute read

    How Does the GDSN Work?

    by: Salsify

    What Is the GDSN: Salsify Infographic Explains the GDSN as Being Similar to a Cellphone Network

    Brands, retailers, and distributors rely on the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) to exchange product data securely and efficiently. This product data powers the global supply chain, managing the flow of goods, optimizing shipping and receiving, enabling product traceability, and improving visibility into product movement.

    How GDSN data pools connect

    The GDSN consists of a global network of 44 data pools, which use a common language, also called a standard, to communicate. This connection means a brand can join one data pool and synchronize its data with another network trading partner.

    A brand can belong to one data pool, such as the Salsify-native GDSN data pool, and its retailer can belong to another data pool, but because of this network, these data pools can seamlessly share information.

    Cellular networks mirror the GDSN

    Cellphone owners already understand how this network functions. Telecommunication companies like Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T all use the same standard, which allows them to connect.

    This network model is how someone with a Sprint cellphone plan can still call his friend with an AT&T cellphone plan. Even though they use different networks, the standard connects them.

    Real-world GDSN data synchronization

    The real-world process is simple: A retailer purchases a product from a brand, and the brand ships the product to the retailer. The GDSN is the link in this process. It connects brands and retailers, allowing for the exchange of operational product data, such as dimensions, UPC barcodes, and packaging information. Retailers then use this information to ready their systems and distribution centers to receive and store the product.

    While simple, the GDSN is powerful. Its network of interoperable data pools and connection to the GS1 Global Registry allows any brand to connect to any retailer around the world to continuously exchange product data.


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