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    Who Should Own GDSN Tasks at Your Organization?

    3 minute read
    by: Kelsey O'Brien
    Who Should Own GDSN Tasks at Your Organization?

    Who should manage Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) projects within your organization?

    Given the logistics-centric origins of the GDSN, it’s not surprising that IT or supply chain teams — not ecommerce teams — own most of this responsibility.

    However, the GDSN is not limited to logistics data: It transmits image URLs and marketing feature bullets as efficiently as it can share weights and packaging hierarchy.

    While it may be long before a critical mass of retailers accept all of the rich content required for omnichannel item setup with the GDSN, retailers can currently leverage some of the submitted attributes.

    Since these GS1 Global Data Dictionary (GDD) attributes may ultimately flow through to customer-facing applications, such as website product pages, ecommerce teams must understand how the data flows and implement a proactive strategy to take full advantage of the opportunity.

    How To Break Up GDSN Organizational Responsibility

    The most agile brands break down this problem by divvying up organizational responsibility. Here are some tips for breaking it up successfully at your organization.

    Create and Maintain Logistics-Oriented Content

    This responsibility should continue to live with the supply chain team and be mastered within your existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management systems.

    The digital content hubs used by sales, marketing, and ecommerce teams must be flexible enough to seamlessly pull this information in without sacrificing any of the existing investments in data governance already made by IT.

    Create and Maintain Non-Logistics Content

    This responsibility includes a wide variety of content, including romance copy, feature bullets, digital imagery, videos, and product specifications used to drive faceted browsing and comparison on retailer websites.

    Some of this content can and should be mapped to GDD attributes and transmitted via GDSN.

    At a minimum, you need to ensure your digital content hub is extensible enough to easily drive the collection and maintenance of this content via integrations, workflows, and end-user editing. It must also cleanly map these attributes where possible to the GDSN.

    This step can be a potential minefield because what each retailer can leverage is evolving rapidly (and often in a poorly documented fashion). Working with a partner with experience with some of the esoteric details can help make this process easier.

    Map Internal Content Using GDSN Retailer Requirements

    This responsibility must be a joint activity across ecommerce, sales, and logistics teams. There is often a lack of consistency in where ultimate ownership and sign-off live: In most organizations, it tends to be owned by logistics teams. However, there has been an increase in ecommerce team ownership — or those responsible for item setup sheets and other ecommerce retailer setups.

    Publish Content

    The best practice for this responsibility is leveraging a machine-to-machine solution for GDSN publication and not relying on spreadsheet downloads and uploads. Your digital content hub should have native GDSN publication capabilities built-in to support this requirement, as well as any other content reuse initiatives.

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    Written by: Kelsey O'Brien

    Kelsey is a customer champion at Salsify. Her particular area of focus is with customers and partners using GDSN. Kelsey loves loud music, dogs, and Jeeps - preferably all at the same time.

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