GS1 Netherlands' data quality programme is ready for the future

Scalable Data quality program for GS1 Netherlands

As a standardization organization, GS1 Netherlands manages and develops international standards for identification, data capture, and data sharing. They work to organize and monitor product information in the food and drug industries using the GS1 Data Source, ensuring that supermarkets, drugstores, consumers, and many other companies have access to complete and up-to-date product information.

The driving force behind this is the data quality program, which uses a monitoring system to streamline data. However, over time, the system became too complex, prompting GS1 to enlist the help of HSO to build a new one.

Looking for a strong backbone

GS1 Netherlands' data quality program serves companies in the food and pharmacy industries, collaborating with companies such as Albert Heijn, Heineken, and Jumbo. This wide range of customers, coupled with GS1's constant growth, necessitates a robust support system for data flow and a sturdy backbone for the endless stream of data. Improving the monitoring system was GS1's goal, and this became the new project for Sebas van Zundert, project manager at GS1.

Sebas explains, “Our data quality program grew organically over the past five years. Due to this rapid growth, the system became unclear for its users, and data performance was no longer optimal. Additionally, the platform's stability was not secure. We needed a change: the data quality program had to be simpler and more reliable.”

A Change of Course

The existing system required a more stable redesign, which is why Sebas contacted HSO. “We wanted an architect to join our internal project group,” says the project manager. “But what seemed like a small request for assistance turned out to be much bigger.” Indeed, scalability was a crucial issue in the project that had not been properly addressed. We didn't want to face the same problem in a few years when the system couldn't handle our growth ambitions.

Everything had to be balanced out, and that's what HSO did

Initially, GS1 started with a small internal team to optimize the current system, but the project required a larger approach. “HSO looked at the bigger picture. HSO architect Wilco Blom proposed a future-proof solution from the start, which was an important shift in the project.”

GS1 decided to take a different approach, giving HSO full responsibility. They not only acted as the architect but also expanded the team with their developers. They examined the technical scalability and design, as well as the entire landscape of the new system behind the data quality program. HSO also decided to draw the complete picture before actually building the system, allowing them to catch potential issues in advance. The duration then came down to eighteen months.

“HSO provided skilled team members who went the extra mile. Even in the evening hours before the deadline, the team was ready to finalize everything. They did everything to finish it and go live on time,” says Sebas van Zundert.

According to the project manager, communication within the team was smooth: “In a pandemic era where communication is mainly digital, that's very impressive.”

The perfect fit

The project resulted in a customized system with familiar Microsoft Dynamics components. In one and a half years, a scalable, more stable monitoring system for the data quality program was created, one that can withstand time and changes in the market and gives GS1 Netherlands a lot of control to manage

The New System

The new monitoring system is now solid. GS1 participants working on data quality find a user-friendly online environment, and the new way of use has been clearly communicated to the market, including explanations via webinars and videos. The processing of data is also more reliable thanks to the new monitoring system, Sebas explains. “GS1's data quality program is scalable and ready for the future.”

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