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How a UPC matching service can streamline supplier-retailer communication

Does your company have an effective way to communicate product information to retailers? From product merchandizing to managing logistics, providing detailed, accurate, and up-to-date product information is a must in today’s competitive retail environment. Read on to learn how a UPC matching service can help you easily and seamlessly relay product information to your retailers.


What is a UPC?

A UPC (universal product code) is a unique numeric identifier for an individual product. Suppliers and retailers use these codes to identify the products they carry and to access information about those products. Retailers use product information from a supplier’s catalogue for marketing purposes—for example, to create detailed product descriptions for e-commerce websites—and logistical purposes: to understand a product’s dimensions, to know how many products are included per case, or to see the number of cases delivered per pallet.


The challenge

Large retailers may have hundreds of thousands of individual products; accordingly, they need a simple and effective way to gather product information for each code, both initially and on an ongoing basis. Because products may be added, discontinued, or changed over time—for example, when new colour or size options are offered for a product, or if product volumes change—suppliers need a seamless way to update retailers about these changes. Additionally, product codes may differ between suppliers and retailers, causing mismatches that must be manually reviewed and corrected.


The solution

A UPC matching service facilitates communication between retailers and suppliers. It not only provides retailers with up-to-date product information, but also notifies suppliers when a request is made for an item that’s not listed in their catalogue.


How a UPC matching service works

When a retailer wants to gather product information about either an individual product or a group of products, they send a request using a UPC matching service, prompting the system to search for the requested items. If the product information is found, the system sends it back to the retailer. If the product information is not found, the supplier is notified and the information request is rescheduled for a later time, to allow the supplier to update their catalogue. (As a supplier, once you receive notification of a missing entry, you can either update your e-catalogue or contact the retailer to let them know that the product has, for instance, been discontinued.)


InterTrade’s UPC matching service

InterTrade’s UPC matching service benefits both suppliers and retailers: it allows retailers to quickly gather the product information they’re searching for and notifies suppliers about any gaps in their catalogue. What’s more, the retailer only needs to make a single request to return all information about a product: this intelligent “fire-and-forget” system reschedules unanswered requests and returns the information once the supplier has updated it.


If you’re a supplier and product information for a particular UPC in your catalogue is missing when a retailer requests it, not only will you be notified, but once you’ve updated the information in your catalogue, it will be automatically delivered to the retailer.


All information requests sent to suppliers from retailers receive a response based on a set schedule (whether the request is successful, pending, or invalid) to ensure that no requests get lost in the system. InterTrade’s one-file response system also simplifies data integration, allowing the retailer to incorporate product information from multiple UPCs at once.


Improve supplier-retailer communication

Contact InterTrade today to find out how UPC matching can help your business avoid the pitfalls of inaccurate product information and improve communication with your retail customers.


Find out how you can tackle your supply chain integration challenges by speaking with one of our experts at InterTrade. Test our supply chain integration or EDI software demo today.


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