GS1 Netherlands' data quality programme is ready for the future

Scalable Data quality program for GS1 Netherlands

GS1 Netherlands is a standardisation organisation. As an independent non-profit, they manage and develop international standards for the identification, recording and sharing of data. In the food and drugs industry, they work on organising and monitoring product information. This is done in the GS1 Data Source. This way, supermarkets, drugstores, consumers and many more companies are assured of complete up-to-date product information.

All this is achieved through the data quality programme. Behind this programme is a monitoring system that ensures that the data is streamlined. That system became a little too complex so HSO was asked to design a new system.

Looking for a stronger backbone

The data quality programme of GS1 Nederland runs for companies within the food and pharmacy industries. They work for and with companies such as Albert Heijn, Heineken and Jumbo. This broad horizon as well as GS1’s constant growth, call for a strong support base when it comes to the underlying system. And a strong backbone behind the endless flow of data. Strengthening the monitoring system was therefore GS1’s wish. And this became the new project of Sebas van Zundert, project manager at GS1.

Sebas: “Over the past five years, our data quality programme has grown organically. Because of this expansive growth, the system became confusing for its participants. And the data performance was no longer optimal. In addition, the stability of the platform was no longer guaranteed. So, things had to change: the data quality programme had to be simpler and more reliable.”

Time to transform

The existing system asked for a more stable redesign. With this question, Sebas approached HSO. “We were looking for an architect to complement our internal project group,” says the project manager. “However, what looked like a relatively minor request for help turned out to be the tip of the iceberg.” Indeed, scalability turned out to be an overlooked key topic in the project. You don’t want to be back at the drawing board again in a few years because the system again cannot cope with our growth ambitions.

“Over the past five years, our data quality programme has grown organically. Because of this expansive growth, the system became confusing for its participants. And the data performance was no longer optimal. In addition, the stability of the platform was no longer guaranteed. So, things had to change: the data quality programme had to be simpler and more reliable. We were looking for a partner who could guarantee the sustainability of the system. Someone who determines what the system landscape looks like and creates an appropriate technical design for it. Everything must be balanced out. And that’s exactly what HSO did.

HSO looks at the broader perspective.

Sebas van Zundert Projectmanager GS1

"Over the past five years, our data quality programme has grown organically. Because of this expansive growth, the system became confusing for its participants. And the data performance was no longer optimal. In addition, the stability of the platform was no longer guaranteed. So, things had to change: the data quality programme had to be simpler and more reliable. We were looking for a partner who could guarantee the sustainability of the system. Someone who determines what the system landscape looks like and creates an appropriate technical design for it. Everything must be balanced out. And that’s exactly what HSO did."

Everything must be balanced out. Exactly what HSO did.

Initially, GS1 started with a small internal team to optimise the existing system. But the project called for a bigger approach. “HSO looked at the broader perspective. HSO architect Wilco Blom advised a future-proof solution right from the start. That was an important turning point in the project.”

GS1 decided to take a structurally different approach. HSO was given the full control. Not only did they play the role of architect, but also expanded the team with its developers. They looked into the technical scalability and the design. And the entire landscape of the new system behind the data quality programme.

HSO also decided to sketch out the complete picture before actually starting to build the system. The outlined path catched possible problems in advance. The duration subsequently came down to one eighteen months of utmost readiness. And a no-less-than-the-best mentality.

“HSO provided skilled team members who went the extra mile. Even in the evening hours before the deadline, the team was ready to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. They did everything to get it finished and go live on time.” – Sebas van Zundert

The communication in the team ran smoothly, according to the project manager: “In a pandemic era in which communication is mainly digital, that’s very impressive.”

The perfect fit

The project resulted in a tailor-made system with the well-known Microsoft Dynamics components. In one and a half years, a scalable, more stable monitoring system for the data quality programme was put in place. One that will stand the test of time and is resistant to changes in the market. And one that gives GS1 Netherlands largely the freedom to manage.

The new system

The new monitoring system is now rock solid. GS1 participants working on data quality find a convenient online environment. The new method of use has been communicated to the market in a crystal-clear manner. This includes explanation via Webinars and videos.

The processing of data is also more reliable thanks to the new monitoring system, Sebas explains. “GS1’s data quality programme is scalable and ready for the future.”

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