GS1 UK Selects IBM for Data Inaccuracies Probe into the Grocery Industry

Analysis project aims to reduce costs and help retailers and suppliers build smarter supply chains

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 17 Jun 2009: IBM (NYSE: IBM)  has today announced an agreement with GS1 UK, the independent global supply chain data standards and solutions organization, to provide analytical services and technology services for the UK Grocery Industry Data Crunch Project ("Data Crunch Project"), which aims to assess the business impact of supply chain data inaccuracies.

In an increasingly competitive environment, demand is growing for improved business insight which can help companies build smarter business systems and drive improved decision-making. The Data Crunch Project plans to address a knowledge gap that currently exists in the grocery industry as retailers and suppliers generally do not have a complete view of the accuracy of their data. This can lead to hidden costs within their supply chain and a lack of awareness of the business opportunities that could be available if they addressed data issues.

The Data Crunch Project is supported by the four top grocery retailers in the UK and three top suppliers who are all providing a snapshot of their supply chain master data for analysis. Over one million records are being provided by the supporting organisations, ensuring the project is one of the most in-depth supply chain data analysis studies of this type.

"This is an important project for the grocery industry as there is a significant amount of hidden cost in the supply chain from inaccurate data that has not been addressed," commented Justin Suter, Retail Supply Chain Leader, IBM UK Global Business Services. "The Data Crunch Project aims to help the grocery industry assess its own data and should provide ideas to kick-start initiatives and help the industry build smarter supply chains."

IBM is providing software and related services to assist GS1 UK with the detailed analysis of product data provided by the participating grocery retailers and suppliers. IBM is also providing business consulting services to assist GS1 UK with the development of an industry business impact assessment which will be used to develop an industry White Paper.

"This is the first time that such an exercise has been carried out on this scale. We are delighted to work with IBM to analyse the data records we are being provided with. The combination of their leading data analysis software and their unrivalled industry experience made the choice of IBM an easy one," commented Malcolm Bowden, Business Development Director, GS1 UK.

As the world becomes more interconnected and intelligent, companies across many industries are discovering they have access to more real time data than ever before, however they lack the tools to use the data effectively. To help companies gain a greater understanding of their business and harness the power of this data, IBM Global Business Services recently launched a Business Analytics and Optimisation service. The new service combines the strengths of IBM's analytic methods and techniques with the knowledge of the research and consulting teams to help companies make more intelligent business decisions. This potentially increased insight into data can help managers predict and respond to opportunities and threats while helping to optimise operations to capitalise on new sources of revenue.

The Data Crunch industry White Paper will be published Summer 2009.

About IBM

For more information on IBM log onto www.ibm.com

Stay tuned for an upcoming report by IBM and the Global Commerce Initiative that focuses on all aspects of information sharing among vertical trading partners and provides recommendations of ways to create a more effective and efficient value chain that ultimately benefits the consumer.

The IBM home page can be found at ibm.com.

About GS1 UK

GS1 UK has driven innovation in the supply chain for over thirty years. It is part of the global GS1 organisation, dedicated to the development and implementation of global data standards and solutions for the supply chain. The GS1 System is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world. GS1 UK helps industry to implement these data standards through the use of bar codes, RFID, Global Data Synchronisation (GDS) and electronic business messaging.

For more information on GS1 log onto www.gs1uk.org

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