The Global Language of Business

How ICA is getting ready to benefit from GDSN Major Release 3

ICA migration plan for GDSN Major Release 3

More than 1,300 stores strong, and a market share of around 36%, ICA Sweden is the leading grocery retailer in the country. The business is operated in cooperation with independent ICA retailers that each own and operate their own store. This business structure gives the advantage that concepts and offers are tailored to local demand. It also requires extensive collaboration on things like sourcing, logistics and corporate responsibility. Driven by these needs and the challenge of operating in a sparsely populated country with large distances, ICA Sweden was an early adopter of GDSN (Global Data Synchronisation Network). Reason being that it is a cost effective-solution to run business and share trusted product information with stores, warehouses and suppliers all over the world. 

Understanding that successful implementation of GDSN Major Release 3 is a mission-critical part of their operations, ICA Sweden has been proactive and taken firm steps to ensure a smooth transition to the GDSN update.

In 2014, ICA Sweden participated in a kickoff meeting with GS1 and the Swedish standards community for GDSN Major Release 3 and began a collaborative dialogue with Validoo on how to best align it with their existing GDSN solution.

From this strong start, they were able to better assess and plan for the challenges, decisions and actions required to ensure a successful transition, including:

Understanding the Standard System

  • Insight into the functionality of ICA Sweden chosen standard system and how it can support Major Release and ICA Sweden processes
  • How to merge the GS1 raw trade item information with the ICA-specific added-on information

Understanding Major Release 3

  • Identifying the essential must-haves for successful implementation

Harmonisation with the Global Standard

Understanding Cross-functional Needs

Adapting to Online Needs

  • Understanding what consumer-focused information is a required part of the update
  • Understanding how regulatory requirements are supported through the update

With those challenges and priorities in mind, ICA is currently making preparations for GDSN Major Release 3 in the following ways:

  • Addressing and responding to business challenges for the overall Validoo solution as well as ICA internal business processes
  • Working with GS1 Sweden to align their Validoo design based on Major Release since Q3 of 2014
  • Collaborating with the Swedish community on activities including harmonisation with global standards
  • Working to modify its ERP systems

ICA’s preparations are moving forward and the company is on track to be ready for the launch of GDSN Major Release 3.