June 12, 2003, 12:00 AM

Why Campbell Soup is embracing web-based data synchronization

Streamlining how it communicates pricing and product promotion changes to retailers worldwide is the chief reason Campbell Soup is embracing global data synchronization, the company told Retail Systems attendees this week.

Streamlining how it communicates pricing and product promotion changes to its retailers worldwide is the chief reason Campbell Soup Co. is phasing out its outdated supply chain information management program and embracing global data synchronization.

Today, Camden, NJ-based Campbell still uses a variety of paper forms and EDI formats to exchange product and other procurement information with retailers.

But the process can be inefficient, increases the possibility of communicating outdated or inaccurate product data to retailers and slows new product launches, Mark Engle, Campbell’s director of IT, electronic commerce, told attendees Wednesday at the Retail Systems 2003 Conference and Exposition in Chicago.

To initiate change, Campbell is utilizing new technology from IBM Global Services and Velosel Corp., a Mountain View, CA, e-commerce software developer, to send retailers cleaner supply chain information based on universal standards and a global data registry developed by UCCnet.

So far, Campbell’s new data synchronization program is live with seven retailers and implementation costs are in line with other retailing initiatives, Engle said.

Engle says global data synchronization–-which requires Campbell to standardize and cleanse data from multiple back-end systems and communicate with suppliers and retailers using the web-based UCCnet – is the beginning of a larger collaborative commerce effort the company will implement over time.

Eventually, Campbell wants all of its supply chain information housed in a central data repository and universal electronic catalogs. “Data synchronization streamlines the order and replenishment process for retailers,” Engle says. “This is part of our program to become more customer-centric.”


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