The GDSN Major Release 3 (MjR3) in May 2016 is going to initiate significant business impacts. As we outlined in part one of this blog series, the MjR3 will bring flexibility to increase efficiency and support regulatory requirements allowing companies to react more quickly to business events that can differentiate them from their competitors. In order to be Major Release 3 ready, you must prepare for organizational, process, and technical business impacts. Progressive organizations recognize the competitive value here and are capitalizing on this opportunity to advance their e-publication capabilities to sell more products.
1. Organizational Impacts:
The most progressive organizations have begun to develop distinct organizational components that separate the Strategic and Operational focuses for GDS.
- Strategic components focus on the evaluation and prioritization of ‘new’ capabilities, which includes the evaluation of emerging markets, additional attributes, and technology options.
- Operational components focus on the execution of the GDS process, including organizational management of resources, tactical execution, managing demand, and maintaining customer/data pool relationships.
In preparation, most organizations are not conducting drastic reorganizational efforts, but rather developing (or improving) a core organizational component and then invoking a ‘lift & shift’ philosophy over time – most of these operational organizations are expanding beyond traditional GDS and becoming more ‘e-capability’ focused (e.g. product catalogs).
2. Process Impacts:
Many organizations are already optimizing their data maintenance processes to ensure that GDS-relevant information is captured as part of an integrated process. This integrated process ensures that the right people capture relevant product information at the right time and applying the right level of governance.
As such, most have either implemented, revised, or are evaluating new automation (workflow) tools that are enabling them to apply business rules at point of entry – when the most knowledgeable resources can ensure true data integrity.
Predictive (or Passive) data governance is being progressively applied to eliminate synchronization failures prior to submission to the data pools. The ability to effectively govern with process-based controls is becoming increasingly difficult and will only get harder as the volume and complexity of information increases after Major Release 3.
3. Technology Impacts:
Best-in-Class organizations are either using or implementing a single, consolidated system to centrally maintain a common “Book of Record” for GDS attributes and other e-capability information. The architecture follows a “HUB and SPOKE” model whereby information can be gathered from multiple source systems into a centralized system and then distributed as required (satisfying current and future needs).
These systems are typically ‘operational’ data hubs, meaning they don’t simply consolidate information, but also allow for an adequate level of data quality checks, as well as providing the ability to maintain some information directly (portal capability) if it cannot,or doesn’t make sense to, interface it directly from a source system.
Specific technologies vary and range from platform solutions (e.g. SAP MDM-GDS) to custom developed solutions, but mostly are leveraging some sort of Operational Data Hub or PIM solution as long as the XML messaging format requirements can be met.
Focusing on the 3 main impact areas of Major Release 3 will help drive success by improving flexibility, increasing efficiency and supporting regulatory requirements (such as EU Commission and U.S. FDA). With many other benefits also included this will be the best GDSN Major Release to date.