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Table of Contents

  1. What is the Global Data Synchronization Network?
  2. Processes covered by GDSN
  3. Advantages of adopting GDSN
  4. How does one join the global data network?
    1. PIM: the key to managing global data

What is the Global Data Synchronization Network?

The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is an online system for exchanging B2B product information between manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers.

Through GDSN, any participating agent in a product supply chain can share and access, through a secure digital exchange system, product information that’s validated to global quality standards.

The network employs global standards that the catalogs of all participants must meet, to ensure uniformity of shared data. These standards, called GS1, allow all agents to use the same language in their product information and to enable products to be identified and located in a completely accurate, fast and reliable manner. GS1 standards include barcodes and Electronic Product Code (EPC) radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.

The Global Data Synchronization Network is essential for suppliers and distributors around the world to share their catalog information efficiently in a validated professional environment.

Take a look: The 10 best marketplaces for selling in Europe

Processes covered by the GDSN

The agents who share their product catalogues on the network (manufacturers and suppliers) publish this information automatically and in real time. The rest of the participating agents can access it both to consult and use it in their respective processes.

This means that the Global Data Synchronization Network is based on three parallel processes:

  • Data synchronization: all participants in the product supply chain share exactly the same data, avoiding different or outdated versions.
  • Global standards: The network ensures that all such data complies with GS1 rules, for better global understanding.
  • Network connection: Accessing the data is very easy and instantaneous, since through GDSN, any agent can subscribe to a supplier's product information and keep up to date.

In short, the GDSN system is the most important reference guide for any product or article, and it is vital in sectors where the uniformity and quality of product information is an essential factor and legal requirement, such as the healthcare industry.

 Read more: How to manage product information in big companies

Advantages of adopting GDSN

  • Faster and more reliable access to product data from any supplier or manufacturer.
  • Complete product information, avoiding the need to make additional queries to the supplier or track missing data.
  • It prevents erroneous or inaccurate information that can negatively affect inventory management, warehousing and transportation logistics, and billing.
  • Availability of product information that’s constantly updated in real time.
  • More security in business processes, as data is standardized according to global requirements.
  • Savings on time and administrative resources, as automatic management replaces manual processes and reduces the number of errors that need correcting.
  • The data distribution chain of new products is cheaper and more agile, and allows you to comply with launch deadlines and international plans.

How does one join the global data network?

For a product information provider (agent) to participate in the international GDSN network, they must upload a GS1-approved catalog.

When preparing a catalog for the GDSN environment, the supplier or manufacturer must ensure their product data complies with GS1 standards. This process can be done manually, which can lead to errors and omissions, or by means of an automated system.

The best solution is to use a software tool that will serve as the retailer’s or manufacturer's central database, in which all revised and enriched product data is gathered ready to be distributed across any channel or system, including the Global Data Synchronization Network.

PIM: the key to managing global data

A Product Information Management (PIM) system automates the uploading of product data and guarantees that its export will be in real time and updated in all channels. PIM software can collect information from a variety of sources, including a company's ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), and detect errors and omissions, that will facilitate compliance with GS1 standards.

Gathering all the product information that makes up the data files of a catalog is a complex task, which can become a much longer and heavier task for management teams if entrusted to manual recording and synchronization. Both to speed up this work and to ensure that their entire catalog meets the required quality standards, automation by using a PIM is key for manufacturers.

The PIM functions as the company's single source of truth and reference for both external and internal agents (sales team and sales reps, departments of inventory and shipping, design, marketing...).

 Related content: Why PIM is the future of ecommerce for marketers


The Global Data Synchronization Network opens many opportunities for suppliers and manufacturers to share their product data securely, quickly and reliably with thousands of agents around the world.

Good quality product information is already known to be the fundamental standard for selling products efficiently and internationally. And PIM software has become the most advanced technology for reducing the costs and time involved in this process, thus gaining more exposure for catalogs and achieving faster product launches.

Start with a free 30-day trial of Sales Layer's PIM to learn about all its features at first hand, including complementary services and extras that will facilitate the standardization of your data and its connection on all the platforms you can imagine.


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