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Data sharing platform granted NZ$15m to improve e-commerce data

Product data sharing platform Vesta-Central has received a Callaghan Innovation R&D Growth Grant of up to NZ$15 million, or AU $13.7 million, over three years in an effort to improve the quality of data that underpins e-commerce.

Initially developed for timber and building materials, Vesta-Central is now being implemented in industries such as FMCG, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, with a focus on automating the moving of products of a traditional bricks-and-mortar store online – supplying pictures, pricing, descriptions and consumer information sourced directly from suppliers.

“High quality, error free product data is a source of competitive advantage in the digital economy and Vesta-Central enables even the smaller suppliers and retailers to effectively collect, manage and share their data,” Vesta-Central chief executive Charles Nicolson said.

“Our investment in R&D is unlocking verticals in New Zealand and Australia as bricks-and-mortar stores rush to move their inventory online and suppliers meet new global standards for data quality.”

Global standards body GS1 and international marketplaces are advocating for the adoption of a single, consistent data standard in order to reduce costs and delays that arise from poor quality data, such as inconsistencies between the descriptions of an item in its physical and digital offerings, and causes extra costs to reconcile.

Vesta-Central and GS1 have forged an alliance partnership in an effort to collaborate around the use of GS1’s national product catalogue to streamline the sharing of accurate product data between suppliers and trading partners.

“Having the supplier and retailer community align on industry agreed, structured product master data based on global standards reduces unnecessary complexity, cost, time to market and duplication of effort throughout the entire supply chain,” GS1 New Zealand general manager – customer Gary Hartley said.

“Both sides of the trading relationship benefit because of it.”

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