Data Pool Vendor Ignored Calls from a F100 Food Manufacturer? What the #!%&
The Director of Foodservice Sales for a Fortune 100 manufacturer – one we all know and love, but shall remain nameless for now – was frustrated.
Her products were not showing up in search results within one of their distributor’s online shopping tools. The distributor’s system was not receiving images, nutritional information, and marketing detail, so products were being penalized in search results.
The data should have flowed from their GS1 Certified Data Pool, into the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), and ultimately land on the other side for their distributor partner to consume – but it did not.
“I called my data pool provider three times last month and have not gotten a single return phone call.”
Unfortunately, I find myself having this conversation a lot. My contact had been abandoned in support-line purgatory, even though she represented one of the largest foodservice companies in the world!
These conversations have brought me to three basic things everyone should expect from their data pool. Check them out and let me know what you think.
1. A Modern Intuitive Interface That Makes Your Job Easier
Some of the most common questions I hear include: “has it been synchronized?” or “Why is it synchronized with one distributor but not another?” or “Where do I load images?” and “Is there a report that tells me where to focus?”
For most, just getting the data into their data pool can be time consuming and costly. I’ve watched a number of suppliers navigate their data pool’s portals and it is painful. Many times there is an upcharge for having the privilege of automating the feed.
These issues are solved with a modern and intuitive user interface (referred to as ‘UI’ in geek-speak). You need click-through menus, dashboard reporting, and downloadable reports so that you know where the work needs to be done! Furthermore, there is no need to pay extra for automation. It’s actually cheaper for the data pool or service provider to do automation because there is less support needed over time.
2. An Actual Human Point-of-Contact with Foodservice knowledge
GS1 service providers have adopted customer support practices similar to utility or other web-based services. However, as an industry, Foodservice is just not there yet! When it comes to doing data pool right in foodservice, there are still a lot of questions that people need help with. Where do I find the attributes that are important to a particular trading partner? What kind of images do foodservice customers need? Is this different from retail?
At Attribytes, we have more 100 years of combined Foodservice experience and have been at the forefront of GS1 conversations since the Foodservice Initiative’s inception 10 years ago! Is it too much to ask of your service provider to offer a direct line to an actual human with the industry acumen and hold them accountable to call you back? We think not!
3. Ongoing Customized Education. And, No, Not Just Webinars
Most companies hold a webinar here and there, but what are they doing to really educate you? There are some evergreen questions that can be answered through a generic broadcast that will likely answer 50-to-75% of questions. However, if you’re like me, you might have specific questions or special circumstance that you need support on, but feel uncomfortable bringing up in those public settings.
Each data pool engagement is unique, and the path to success depends on how comfortable and sophisticated subscribers are with the overall process. Tailored support that outlines a clear pathway to success is critical.
This is a major reason we focus on providing content-first educational webinars. Sure, we’ll sometimes plug products too – we have keep the lights on! But we genuinely care about our industry (remember the 100 years of experience thing?) and want to help us get better at “data.”
Answering the call
Whether you are a data pool customer or not, we are here to help. If you are ready for a brief intro to our Easy Data Pool™ or just like funny videos, visit us here! You can also call me directly: 602-206-6313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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