A report published jointly by consultancy Accenture, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Wegmans Food Markets and technology group 1SYNC has shown that accurate global data synchronisation (GDS) brings potential benefits, including improved supply chain efficiency, cost savings and increased revenue, to consumer packaged goods and retail companies.

The report's publishers say the study confirmed the power of GDS, which involves the integration of manufacturers' and retailers' product information, by quantifying the benefits gained by companies.

Researchers interviewed more than 120 personnel in departments such as sales, customer service, logistics and accounting at Wegmans and seven of its major suppliers, between the months of March and April 2006. According to the report, GDS resulted in a 64% improvement in supply chain and operational areas, and a 67% improvement in customer relationship and growth areas.

"The main messages from this study are compelling," said Marianne Timmons, vice president of supply chain and global business to business at Wegmans Food Markets. "We have realised many quantifiable benefits from accurate data synchronisation. Further, it is foundational to next generation business processes for Wegmans and our trading partners."

The study found trading partners can benefit from GDS by minimising disruption across the supply chain through improved accuracy of product weights and measures; better logistics and distribution efficiencies; expediting direct store delivery (DSD); and synchronising data with trading partners.