Danone DACH unifies product content management with Bayard

In April 2022, Danone operationally bundled four previously independent business units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in a move to further boost efficiency in these markets. One important area in which the group was able to increase its efficiency very quickly through consolidation, was the consistent supply of retailers with product content from the different divisions. This was made possible by Bayard’s specialists.

In order to provide retailers with their product content, Danone’s divisions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland had previously relied on different service providers for the compilation of the data and the connection to the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) prior to the project. Process complexity was correspondingly high. Optimisation through a technical connection of the food manufacturer’s in-house systems would have been extremely costly due to the large number of service providers.


Master data consistently edited in one place

After Danone had integrated its business units in the DACH region, the group aimed to leverage synergies and reduce complexity as quickly as possible. Thus, the task of supplying the retailers with its product content in high quality via the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) was centralised in one place.

Danone’s Dairy business unit had already switched to Bayard in June 2021. Since then, the experts from Cologne have been capturing the product content of the dairy division known for brands such as Actimel, Activia, Dany and FruchtZwerge in Bayard’s Byrd platform and making it available to retailers in a quality-checked manner via the certified GDSN master data pool b-synced, which is integrated into the platform.

Competence in system integration

“With Bayard, we not only got the service at a lower price, we have since also benefited from the high-quality expert advice that we did not have before,” reports Saki El-Gogo, Head of Master Data Management, Danone DACH. The decision to transfer the DACH region’s other business units to Bayard was therefore not a difficult one for Danone. Especially since, according to Saki El-Gogo, the Bayard team has a better understanding of how the attributes for the GDSN need to be maintained compared to other service providers.

According to Saki El-Gogo, another important reason for choosing Bayard as service provider for all divisions was the high level of competence of the Cologne-based specialists in connecting the various in-house systems and thus automating the master data supply. Even though Danone has not yet launched a project for system integration in terms of product content, it was very relevant to have the right service provider on board for such possible steps.

Retailers receive quality-checked data via GDSN

The aim of the project for the DACH region was to also migrate the other business areas to Bayard as service provider for the GDSN data. With Bayard, the project was implemented at record speed: In less than three months. Consistently, the Cologne-based specialists now capture the product content for all divisions in the Byrd platform and make it available to retailers in a quality-checked manner via their own master data pool, b-synced. A total of around 5,000 SKUs that Danone sells across the German-speaking countries are now maintained by Bayard for the GDSN and distributed to retailers.

To capture the data, Bayard’s team receives all packaging artwork from the three Danone business divisions as pdf documents, together with Excel sheets with product specifications and logistical information such as sizes and weights. The data is entered into the Byrd platform by Bayard employees according to the country-specific GDSN rules. In the process, the quality of the data is ensured by the implemented check mechanisms before it is sent to the trading companies via GDSN using b-synced.

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Björn Weber

Björn Weber has been a journalist, analyst and consultant specialising in the retail and consumer goods industry for over 20 years. Prior to founding Fourspot, which is publishing The Retail Optimiser, Björn Weber headed the international analyst group LZ Retailytics. Previously, he was Research Director Retail Technology and Head of Planet Retail in Germany. Before that, Björn Weber was editor for IT & logistics topics at Lebensmittel Zeitung for eight years. Björn Weber is a member of the jury of the Retail Technology Award (Reta Europe) of the EHI. He is a regular speaker at events of the EHI, the NRF, industry media and the Consumer Goods Forum.

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