Content Management & Delivery with 1WorldSync

1WorldSync and SupplierWiki cover content management and delivery. Learn how best-in-class suppliers manage their omnichannel content with ease in this 1-hour webinar.


[00:00:00] Eric: Welcome. Really excited to kick off this webinar today for you guys. We've got a really exciting lineup. I'm joined today by Randy Mercer, Chief Product Officer at 1WorldSync I'm Eric Smith, VP of Product at SupplyPike. so I oversee product strategy and direction here. I've been with SupplyPike for, for quite a while now. So I'm excited to join you guys today. Randy, you want to, introduce yourself? 

[00:00:31] Randy: Sure, yeah. Thanks, Eric. So, Randy Mercer, part of the product team here at One World Sync. So, as you can imagine, we're just, tasked with making sure that our products are doing as much as they can for our customers, have been in the CPG retail space for a long time. So, excited to talk about our topic today and, share some information with everybody. 

[00:00:53] Eric: Perfect. Thanks, Randy. So quick agenda, today we are continuing our series in, content management and a little bit of topics for today, first going to start with an overview of just what is content management and content delivery, the good, better, and best of content management and what that looks like for your business, I'll jump in briefly to talk about, Hey, what happens when things go wrong, you know, why is this so important? 

we'll have a good chunk of time at the end for question and response. So as we go, feel free to throw out questions. but we'll definitely have dedicated time at the end, where we'll roll through some of those questions that have been asked, and want to make sure we bake in a lot of time for that. 

like I mentioned, this is our second in a three part series, partnership between SupplyPike and 1WorldSync last time we talked about content creation. So kind of the setup phase, Randy and Stacy from SupplyPike did an amazing job. So that recording is available over on SupplierWiki if you haven't seen it yet. 

Definitely go check that out. today, like I mentioned, we're going to be talking about content management. And then next time, Wednesday, April 3rd, is going to be content optimization. So don't miss that one. You can sign up now. That's Wednesday, April 3rd at 11 a. m. Central time. Couple housekeeping things before we dive in. 

first question we always get. Will I get a copy of the slide deck? Yes. So our team will definitely be putting together these slides with the recording and they'll be in your inbox. Usually it takes about three to four days. So, for those of you concerned about furiously scribbling down notes, rest easy, you guys can, can just listen and ask questions as we go today. 

speaking of what's the best way to ask a question. So if you're new to Zoom and Zoom webinars. Down on the bottom of your window, you'll notice two places. There's a chat, which some of you were taking advantage of earlier. It's a great place to add comments, that the entire group can see. So if you want to chime into the conversation there. 

If you want to ask a question for Randy or myself to answer, you can use the Q& A button, which has two little chat bubbles, and that will queue up those questions and we will get to those over the course of the webinar or definitely at the very end in the Q& A section. 

Alright, just a little bit real quick as we get rolling about SupplyPike. So like I said, I'm over here at SupplyPike here in Arkansas. We are a software company and we create software to help CPG suppliers, reduce revenue loss. So anywhere that you're losing money to fees, fines, and penalties, our software comes alongside your team and empowers you to get paid everything that you're owed. 

But also get better and become a better supplier in the process. we work with over 500 companies, representing just about every category, category in the box. And, yeah, really exciting stuff that we're doing over here. But Randy, why don't you tell us a little bit about 1WorldSync. 

[00:04:04] Randy: sure, yeah, we are a, we are a platform that sits, between CPGs and retailers, and our role there is to, help the CPGs in all of the facets relative to sharing content that represents their products. 

With retailers, so that retailers can operationalize those products in their internal systems, as well as operate their channels, brick and mortar, e com, and so forth. 

[00:04:34] Eric: Perfect. Yeah, Randy, why don't you, yeah, let's dive into the content for today. I'm excited to hear what we've got. 

[00:04:46] Randy: Sure. Yeah. So, so last time, as, as Eric mentioned a little bit earlier, if you, if you didn't see that webinar, or I guess even if you did, what we covered was the, the concept of creating content. 

Where does it come from? It doesn't just magically appear, right? Meaning we, we take pictures, you know, we, we extract, elements of, of, of data about our products from our internal systems. All of that content has to come from somewhere. So that's really what we talked about. Last time, how do you just optimize the workflow surrounding that and just do a really good, sustainable job of creating content? 

Today, we're going to talk about, all right, you've got content. Now, how do you manage that content, and then get it delivered out to the folks? I mentioned that, you know, we work with CPGs getting their content to retailers. How do you get it to the retailers? And then who are some other folks that you should be delivering that content to, as well, right? 

So, from a management perspective, again, you create content, now you've got it, right? Then what? Well, what we talk about is that it's not a one time activity, you know? Just, just create it, and magically it gets its way out into the marketplace to do its job, and you never have to touch it again. That's just not reality, right? 

We change things about our products, change the packaging, all kinds of things that can change. Update our image carousels, whatever that is, right? So Just pulling all of that together, that content that maybe originates in different places, right? We take images in a studio, we do measurements on Cuba scans in our warehouse, all of those kinds of things. 

So when we think of management, we think of how do you aggregate all of that stuff together? supply chain and logistic type data, as well as the content that's going to represent your product. online, get it into hopefully a single place where you have visibility to all of it in one big package so that you can, you know, then engage in the practice of just making sure that it's updated, making sure that it's getting distributed, in a timely manner to the folks that need it. 

Again, in, in the context of this conversation, you know, we're largely thinking of the retailers. but as part of that, what we always call out is that there's, it's not typical that there's one person at, a CPG organization that is managing all of this stuff, right? There's teams like the logistics team, the marketing folks, data, data management, folks that are all participating in this process. 

So when we think about management, we think about how do you keep all those people involved in this process at the right time? So that their time is used efficiently, but yet you've got them engaged at the right time to make sure that all of this, this practice of sharing content, happens in, in such a good way. 

We call out there at the bottom that, you know, the concept of getting this content out to retailers and distributors, right, so that they can ultimately operationalize your items in their systems, and then, you know, sell your products, through a variety of channels. but we would also like to call out, are often internal stakeholders that probably could use visibility to this content in a very efficient way that sometimes you forget about, and you make them go look for this content and all these internal systems that it may originate in, right? 

So we think about how do you leverage that same content that you're pulling together and managing for the benefit of the retailers and distributors and use that to power, the job functions of some of your internal sales folks, marketing folks. Whatever that might be. And then the last thing that we think about is how do you also leverage all of this content, to power a consumer experience that you as a CPG brand are in control of, right? 

So why is that important? every year we do, consumer surveys where we, we reach out to consumers to understand the evolution of how consumers are thinking about content. Meaning when they're looking at a product, either in store. How do they think about additional pieces of content that would help them understand the product a little bit better, and then ultimately, probably make a purchasing decision of that product? 

One of the things that we've learned is that today, in an in store experience, when a consumer is potentially holding a product in his hand that he's never purchased before, and he's thinking, man, do I want to buy this thing, yes or no? We know that they're pulling out their phone and they're googling that product. 

They're trying to find all kinds of information about it. if it's a food product, maybe some nutritionals, maybe some ratings and reviews. We know that more and more that is one of the key things that consumers are relying on to make a purchasing decision. What did the last guy say about his experience, with the product, right? 

So, We know consumers are doing it, looking for more information, right? So we think really hard about how do you make that consumer experience a little bit easier? Don't make the guy use his phone and Google it, right? Give him a very easy access to it. an example of that is the QR code on your package that if the consumer just scans that, out pops all the things that we know they're going to look for as well. 

So we think about, When we help brands get all of this content aggregated within our system, how do we help them repurpose that very simply to power that consumer engagement experience opportunity? That they have today to, you know, just ultimately sell, sell more products. 

[00:09:59] Eric: Great. Yeah. I love that. like you mentioned, normally when I think of that in store online crossover, I think of durable goods. You know, I'm looking at something in sporting goods, for example, and I pull it up on my phone. But what you mentioned with even food products, looking up nutritional information or reviews or recipes, something I hadn't considered as much, but I think you're, you're dead on there. That's awesome. 

[00:10:19] Randy: Yeah. You know, we, we see it. We see it more and more that the concept of offering that QR code on the packaging is a way to just instantly give the consumer access to information. Starting to see that, you know, more pervasive, right? You pick up a, you know, you pick up a PepsiCo product, just as an example, you're going to see that QR code on pretty much every package they have and interestingly, the way that they've, they've begun to evolve that consumer experience to be, you know, informational and helpful, right? So, more deep, you know, deeper nutritional, certification claims, those kinds of things. But we've also recognized this is an opportunity I have to get the consumer to buy my product, versus just informing him about it, really drive it, you know, I get ratings and reviews and those kinds of things. 

So, becoming a very pervasive opportunity for, for brands to take advantage of. outside of that, When you think of the, the CPGs that we work with, it ranges from the, the biggest CPGs on the planet, to, you know, a, a guy that's making a product, at home and selling it through his local, local grocery store, right? 

So, it's from one end of the spectrum to the other. So, we think, really hard about how do we offer a platform of services that can, that can help those guys and what does that mean? From a small guy perspective, the SMB, typical, what we know that they're, they're dealing with the challenges they have is, is very manual, right? 

Their, their, their interest is not in how do I manage data and distribute it through, you know, the different networks that exist across the planet. And ultimately, because that isn't an area of expertise for those folks. it can, in some instances, limit the, the amount of sales that they experience, and then the growth of that sales, over time, and then ultimately that impacts, you know, their, their enterprise, right? 

so those are the types of things that we, that we help, those folks with. At the enterprise level, you know, these are organizations that have typically pretty significant budgets that they can, lend toward the practices of creating content, managing it, keeping it up to date, getting very sophisticated about how they think about that content. 

But the, the, the, net of all of that is, With all of that budget that they have to spend, that includes people that they're spending it on, right? And so you have big teams, often at these enterprise brands, that you have to keep involved at the right time, or it does go a little bit haywire. 

Some of them are better than others, but, we do see that as a challenge in those organizations. Those teams, sometimes they don't even know the other teams exist, right? We call it sideload teams. They're in the, in the, In the, in the text, but it's really true. We find where this team doesn't even know the other one exists. 

So they may know they exist, but they don't know who they are. And so very disjointed, processes is related to that and those big organizations. So again, the challenge they have is how do they just orchestrate that all a lot better, make it work better and get the most out of that budget that they're spending on those practices. 

So for today, we're going to talk about, how you can evolve into the most efficient processes that you can. So we call it good, better, best. What good, better, and best means to one organization is probably different than the next. And what we mean by that is, there's an investment that is required to make sure this stuff happens, right? 

For your organization, the amount of an investment is going to be completely different probably than the next organization down the street, right? Especially from an enterprise versus SMB, brand or CPG, different investment required. So how do you, how do you think about how far you go with that and how sophisticated you get with those practices? 

I'm going to talk about it at three levels of, of, of sophistication in terms of, you know, good, better, and then just really go on bananas with the process and making sure that you're, you're really nailing it from a sustainability perspective, starting with just a single point of truth. And I talked about a few slides ago, but you know, we think of management, the starting point for that is getting it all pulled together. 

Right? Getting it all pulled together can mean a few things, depending on what type of tools you're using to do that, right? So we think of, get it in a tool, so you have visibility to it. So we'll talk a little bit more about that. Now once you've got it, now how do you automate maybe some of the management practices and the delivery of that content and then, and then finally, how do you go a little bit further with the content that you've now pulled together? 

Tightly managing it, getting it out into the marketplace so it can do its job. How do you now open that up to other stakeholders that might need visibility to that content or, or, or deserve visibility to that content? And again, I'm thinking of internal stakeholders, as well as potentially consumers. So with that, just to drill down a little bit more on, on the, the, the concept of a single point of truth. Again, just getting this, knowing that this content starts in a lot of different places, how do you get it in a place where people within your organization can see it all in one place as an aggregated set of content? It means so much more when you can see it all together than in little bits and pieces in different systems. 

So one of the things that you can do is subscribe to what's called a data pool, and a data pool is just a An organization that allows you to collect information in their platform so that they can ultimately deliver it out to, stakeholders out in the marketplace. Again, retailers, the obvious example. 

So, start with that. Very easy way to just instantly have a place, to manage all of that content. The extent that you can service your retail partners, all from one place, very, very important, right? Meaning, if I can send them all roughly the same content, that's easier than If I'm having to use lots of different systems to get to all of them, which usually results in each one of them getting a roughly, inconsistent set of content. 

So certainly something to think about when you look at getting your, your, your, your content in a, in a SaaS platform somewhere, a data pool per se, you know, the more folks you can get it to from there and service those different stakeholders, the better it's going to be. risk, risk content management. 

So we think a lot about. the fact based data that represents your product, and the things that a retailer needs to know just to set it up in their internal system, right? They need to know how big the consumer unit is, very specifically, because they're going to planogram for that, and if the dimensions aren't right, the planogramming doesn't work very well. 

Same goes for shipping and cubing out products. I got to know how big a pallet of this stuff is. In a warehouse, I need to know how big a case is so I can plot it correctly, right? So we think a lot about those practices and how important that data is. but, we kind of, it's, you know, it's easy to forget about because you don't really see that stuff happening often, depending on who you are, and especially as a consumer, they don't even know that stuff's happening. 

So we think a lot about rich content management, that content that really is going to inform a consumer, or lend to the presentation of your product in store or online. All of those things, that, that really start lending itself to conversion, right? Really driving. greater sales and selling more of our stuff, which is what we're all here for. 

And one of the things that you can do to help manage that a little bit better is just the use of scoring, right? So score your content. If you know this retailer is going to ask you for these pieces of content, score that somehow early on in the process so that you don't just send him a batch of content only for the retailer to have to come back and say, well, you missed all this stuff. 

If you're using some kind of a scoring mechanism, that's going to be helpful as a proactive measure to making it work all better downstream. So again, go back to, you know, find a data pool, a place to put this stuff that is going to get you access to as many retailers as possible. Don't forget about the rich content that's going to represent your product online. 

And then finally, get proactive about it. Make sure that you're scoring that content early on so that when you do send it, it's ready to do its job and you don't have to come back and recycle the process. You have to get there, right? So as a, as a, as a good level of maturity, those are the things that we tend to think about as related to our, our CPG customer. 

to just now take that to the, to the second level. There's a process to all of this. You create content, you pull it all together, you keep it updated, you get it put down into the marketplace, and then sometimes you learn about how that content is servicing its job out in the marketplace. Meaning, am I selling as much as I think I could? 

If I'm not, you're going to start over, you're going to use that as a feedback mechanism. Come back, start over, and, and try to just continually, organically improve your content. So we think about that process a lot. What is that process? And if you don't know what it is, you know, it's something that's worth drilling down on. 

There's a process there somewhere. It may not be a good one, but it's there. So learn what that is. Really focus on it. And usually, there's some pretty easy steps you can take to just improve that, make it more consistent and more effective. You can certainly do that manually, but often it's helpful if you use some kind of a system that recognizes those steps and operates potentially some workflows that will engage the right folks in that process at the right time, and maybe even mechanically engage systems at the right time as related to that process. 

A tool that is often used to do that is what's called a product information management system. You'll hear the acronym PIM a lot, at least, at least in working with us, you'll hear it a lot. And again, it's a tool that is specifically designed or purpose, purpose built to support this process of managing your product information. 

That's the name, right? So, you know, again, to continually evolve this process is make it tighter and tighter using a system like that, often a very good way to do that. So we often encourage that, to our brands. And then self serve data transfers. What that means is, when you think about pulling all this data together from different systems, you know, maybe you've got data on spreadsheets. 

Maybe you've got it on sticky notes. Who knows where you've got it, but you've got it in a lot of different places. Think about, how do you transfer that data from where it is today into a tool like a PIM in such a way that it's a sustainable process and you're not having to manually do that. You've got some self serve mechanisms, meaning the processes can operate themselves in many cases, or it's very easy for the, for the person that's involved in that process, to do it. 

We think of protocols like ASQ and SFTP just very predominant in the CPG retail space today. So just, you know, technologies that are going to allow you to distribute or collect content internally. In ways that are very easy to automate. So that's all of those are just ways that you take a process that you've constructed. 

Maybe you're running it manually today. Now, how do I take it to the next level? A little bit better and just do it in a more sustainable way. So now to, to, to, to really get the most out of the investment that you're going to make in those first two steps, Now start thinking about, how do you just really enable very thorough synchronization, between your catalog that you're managing internally, and all of the people that might need visibility to do that content, or, or in many cases, they absolutely need visibility. 

Retailer being one of them, they can't sell your item if they don't know a lot about it. and don't have a lot of content on it. But now start thinking about your internal stakeholders, that if you've got this content aggregated, why would you make them go look other places for it? Just give them access to that aggregated set of content, the same content that the retailer is going to use to operationalize your product. 

Why wouldn't you use that to power some of those internal processes? And again, sales people is just one of those things I always think about. Everybody has a sales team. They're out talking to merchandisers at the retailer. They're out talking to folks at trade shows. Often they, they have printed out materials about their, their product that sometimes just get out of date pretty quickly because of the changes that occur, especially in the CPG space. 

Right. So how do you empower them with maybe digital? Copies of that information on their tablet, right from the same source that goes out to the retailers, just a way that you can ensure consistency across the content that's being, that's representing your product in a lot of different ways, something that's important to think about a lot. 

And when you think about exposing your content to lots of different folks, you've got to think about what can they see about your product, right? A consumer, for example, has. No interest or no need to see things like my case packaging weights and dimensions, right? They just don't care about it. Why would I let them see that? 

It doesn't matter. All I'm doing is probably confusing them, right? Versus maybe somebody internal to my organization absolutely needs to see visibility of that. So think really hard about how you're controlling visibility to not only the data and content itself, but also the areas of your assortment. 

Maybe you sell this area to this retailer and a slightly different cross section of your assortment to a different retailer, right? So think a lot about that. And then again, as soon as you start exposing this content, you got to start thinking about security. In today's world, you know, everybody's thinking about that. 

So think really hard about the measures that you're applying. We, you know, we call out ISO certification just as an example. SOC 2 compliance would be another one of those things that you just need to think about relative to the systems that you're using, to manage this. And then finally, just, to understand the engagement with this content, we call out merchant engagement just as an example of that. 

But engagement across the board, if you're exposing this content to consumers. You're going to want to know how much, you know, how much that's happening, right? Is it, am I actually getting to the consumer with this content? Are they actually leveraging that, that QR code that we talked about on the packets? 

Are they hitting that, right? And if so, how are they engaging with that content? So, always important to just measure the effectiveness of the practices that you're using to expose this content. out into the marketplace. So from a good, better, best perspective, you know, that's just really how we think about it. 

What is that level of maturity that you can get to as an organization and what makes sense for me as an organization in terms of the investment required to, to get to those levels of maturity. I want to just layer one more thing on that and it's the concept of user generated content, right? So up to this point, I've been talking about all of the content that as a CPG, as a CPG brand, You're in control of it, right? 

You can control taking pictures of your product and getting those in great shape. You can control writing copy. You're the one that's going to supply some elements of information that nobody else can. Availability dates, first ship dates, those kinds of things, right? So you're in full control of that content. 

Well, once their products make themselves out into the, into the marketplace, people start buying them. There's an area of content that you're not in control of, but you want to have visibility to it. And it's the user generated content. Specifically, ratings and reviews, right? So today, again, we know that the consumer that's Googling your product on his phone to learn a little bit more, more and more, every consumer survey we do, it inches up the list and it's ratings and reviews. 

They're looking for what did the last guy say about his experience with this product? So that's one of them. couple that with things, consumers today, they'll take unboxing videos when they're opening your product at home, you know, putting it in a place in their home where they're going to put it. 

They're sometimes taking pictures of that. They're taking videos and they're sharing that with their ratings and reviews. And those kinds of things. So, again, it's not something that you're in control of, but it's something that you can facilitate the occurrence of, right? You can facilitate the gathering of those reviews. 

You can also facilitate the syndication of those reviews out to retail, e comm, digital properties, or your own digital property. You can surface those on your, your corporate website if you wanted to. So, again, you're not creating the content, but it's certainly something that you should be thinking about. 

How do I use that? to influence consumers to buy my product more than they don't buy my product, right? So certainly something that we're encouraging folks to think about a lot. In the instance of right there at the bottom left there, we refer to unified commerce. This is one of those elements that's really helping the concept of digital commerce, shopping online, and in store commerce, right? 

We're seeing those things converge, and this is one area of content that really helps that convergence happen, faster and more effectively. So, unified commerce, what do we mean by that? What we mean by that is when you look at a product online, and I just have a kind of a snapshot, on the left hand side, that graphic sort of refers to more of the supply chain elements, right? 

You see some pallets of product in the shipping containers. Again, we can't forget about those practices because without that, nothing else matters. It doesn't matter what you're doing online, if the product can't even get to the distribution center to get, you know, fulfilled and sent to the consumer. so, we never forget about that, but when you do think about that digital experience that we know today based on our consumer surveys is contributing to that in store experience, we think about everything that you can see on a product detail page, as we call it. 

And we've got that snapshot of the one there along the right, kind of small, but if you just start at the top, that's the first thing you see when you drill down on a product on any com website, typically going to see an image carousel. Maybe a little bit of marketing copy, some things like that. That is the consumer's first impression of your product. 

So if you don't have images, they're just going to back out of it. And they probably wouldn't have drilled down on the first place, right? If they get in there and just got one image instead of, you know, three, again, we know the more images, the more the consumer engagement. So take advantage of that as the first impression the consumer has. 

But what we know is the consumer today, they're trained to start scrolling down the page and just looking for more and more stuff, right? So. we think about things like nutritionals for a food product, right? Just absolutely bulletproof, nutritionals are critical today. Everybody is thinking about what they're putting in their mouths and their family's mouths and just the nutritional elements of that you know, allergies and all of that stuff are contributing to that. So, it's something a consumer expects to see. If you're selling a food product and you're not distributing that information, that's a problem. So, we think about that a lot. On most e com sites, you're going to see suggestions. If you're buying this, you're probably going to want to buy this and this to go with it, right? 

So, again, you know, we encourage our brands to think about how do we, how do they power those suggestions, those that are being created on these e com sites, The way you do that is with very thorough product information, because that's what those suggestion engines or those recommendation engines are using to match products up that, you know, probably relate to one another very closely and accurately. 

Again, product detail is what goes into that. Moving on down, we refer to kind of in the lower center there, risk content. What we're talking about there are videos, 360 spins, augmented reality. Recipes, you know, anything that will help the consumer see your product in a really good light. Maybe it's content that just represents your brand. 

Like, why is my brand better than the next brand, right? The way we think about sustainability, maybe, you know, something like that. That's the kind of rich content that brands have the opportunity to create, manage, and ultimately get out into the marketplace. It's something that, in addition to the master data that represents their product, How do you create and leverage that content to ultimately sell more products as well? 

And then what I talked about on the previous slide, there in the lower right, I referred to user generated content. Ratings and reviews. Very commonly today, at the bottom of the page, we force everybody to go down to the thing that they're probably looking for the most. So we're thinking about that presentation as well, but again, it's just becoming the first thing that consumers are looking for. 

is that ratings and reviews and user generated content. So, all of that. It's what we know today is helping this concept of unified commerce just really come together so that the in store experience, which is so important to the consumer today, how do you power that, just supercharge that with what they see online and the availability of information that you can give them online to power that concept. 

[00:29:56] Eric: Hey, Randy, you, you talked about a lot of this, you know, content management to drive, especially that initial sale, which I think obviously is huge. Can you talk a little bit about what you guys at 1WorldSync see in relation to, say, brand or product loyalty and repeat sales? So how does doing this well on the front end lead to that loyal customer? 

[00:30:18] Randy: Yeah, that is a, that is a great question. And, and, man, I would, I would also tie that into a phrase that we use a lot, that, you know, we refer to manufacturing returns, right? So selling, getting a consumer to buy the product, that's, you know, as if that's not hard enough, it's even worse when you get them to buy the product, and then they have a bad experience with it, because the content that they use to drive that conversion decision, Wasn't accurate. 

It wasn't informative enough, or it was just, it was just flat out wrong. Right. and that's what, you know, is going to produce number one, brand loyalty, or it's going to damage brand loyalty. You know, they may never come back to your product once they have a bad experience with it. and then worse, they return it. 

and now you're deal, dealing with the expense of managing that return process, often to the extent that you're in a worse position from a commercial perspective than if you just hadn't produced the conversion. In the same place. So it's a great question. And we just, you know, think so much about the best content in the world is really what you need to just make sure that you're producing conversion, but a high quality conversion at the same time that's going to produce that loyalty. 

[00:31:26] Eric: That's huge. Yeah. That kind of long term mindset of, you know, doing what's best, not just for your business, but for the consumer is ultimately going to be what's best for your business, right? Yep. You got it. Love it. Well, Randy, thanks. That was super, super interesting. Educational for me. I love how you presented that as a good, better, best for, you know, businesses that are looking, hey, let's be realistic. 

I can't just snap my fingers and, you know, be best in class. You know, what's my roadmap look like to get there? I think that was a really, just practical, way to lay that out. So, yeah. Thank you for that. Cool, well yeah, here for just a minute, I wanted to talk about pitfalls. So, you know, everything Randy was just talking about. 

Why is this so important? Well, he outlined so much of that, and I wanted to add a little bit of color from our perspective here at SupplyPike of You know, what happens if, you know, number one, this isn't done well, say, we're not good, better, or best, maybe we're, bad, maybe we're, you know, before that even starts to take place, where do things go off the rails? 

so a metaphor that we use a lot is, you know, think of a library book. And the coding system for filing that library book. I had this experience, gosh, just a couple of months ago. I was at the library, here in Arkansas. We've, we've got an excellent public library down where I live, but, I was looking for a very specific book. 

I looked it up in the computer. I got that locator number, went to the shelf, nothing there. And, just, I felt like an idiot. I was frustrated. That's what I was there for. Had to go find somebody. They couldn't find it. Eventually we found it in a totally wrong spot. It was labeled incorrectly. So. Think how frustrating that experience is and, you know, that's just one experience in, like, in this scenario with CPG, then, you know, that can be a lost sale. 

but if you do that, you know, look at that from the perspective of the supplier retailer relationship, you know, that could, you know, maybe it's not a lost sale, but maybe it's a penalty. Maybe it's, you know, a fine, for non compliance and those types of things build up and suddenly we're starting to talk about a strained relationship. 

between supplier and retailer. So a lot of ways this can, can go off the rails, but one example, and this is actually, numbers pulled from a real example, that we were looking at here at SupplyPike very recently with a, with a real supplier, looking at the, supply chain and logistics side of what, Randy was talking about more than the user content side. 

but a really common scenario that we see that leads to deductions and compliance fines. is around that item setup information as it relates to the supply chain. So in this example, we had a mismatch between the retailer's system and their item information. And the supplier system for that same item, where the pack quantity, the vendor pack size was mismatched and, you know, not immediately clear who had it wrong, what we typically see is the supplier updates their system and fails to get that update pushed through, to the retailer, which is exactly what Randy was talking about. 

That's why that automated data exchange for that, that best scenario is so critical. What this led to, however, was a scenario where the retailer thought the pack quantity was six. Supplier thought the pack quantity was 144. Very possible that that was a typo or some kind of manual error, which is again, why automation is huge, but the retailer places an order for three cases, which they thought was going to be 18 items. 

Supplier shipped on three cases, but their system said it was 432 items. They ended up with a deduction because they invoiced for 432 eaches. Retailer said they only got 18. So they got a deduction, even though more than likely the retailer got exactly what they needed. And they got a compliance fine for a mismatch, between the purchase order and their ASN, transmitting what they were going to ship. 

So a good example of mismatched item information, you know, maybe the outcome was the supplier getting the exact three cases they ordered, but because of those mismatches. Retailers are so automated these days that it's kicking off automated fines and penalties. Every single time this item is ordered until you get that issue fixed. 

So, with that issue, it just highlights a common issue that we see at SupplyPike all the time, which is stacking fines and penalties. Again, underscoring the importance of being buttoned up. With this information, you know, one little mismatch, one little issue in your item setup doesn't just lead to, you know, one fine and you're done. 

More often than not, because of the way that retailers are working more and more today with their systems being so automated, You are going to get a deduction or a compliance fine or similar from multiple areas all for the same root issue. so in that example, a deduction off of the invoice payment, a compliance fine through their, item accuracy program. 

And those deductions and those fines are coming from different parts of that retailer. They have to be disputed individually. You don't necessarily get, you know, one dispute and get both of those paid back. You've got to track down each of those. So, you know, an issue all the way upstream is leading to issues all the way downstream where your AR team is trying to reconcile payments or these penalties that they got and saying, where the heck did these come from and having to go hunt down and fight those deductions. 

So this can come in all shapes and sizes. Like I said, we talked about an example with shortages, damages, substitutions. One thing Randy mentioned that I thought was really, really astute is returns. So you often don't think of returns as necessarily related to an item setup or content management issue. 

But Randy, I thought that was a great call out where an item does not meet expectations. That item is going to get returned and that return is going to get deducted from the supplier. So it's costing you money and you've got an unhappy customer. So these issues just cascade and waterfall all the way down. 

another thing I'd just call out, as retailers can continue to compete against each other. It's critical to them that they've got product on shelf, on time, at the right price, and the way that they're ensuring that this is happening is by ratcheting up their compliance programs. So I'm sure all the suppliers out there are more than familiar with this, but it seems like every week some retailer is dropping a new compliance program. 

Where they're saying you have to do business this way in order to work with us. And if you don't, we are going to fine you until you fix it. And so many of those compliance programs are targeted at exactly these issues around item setup, because they're automating their DCs, they're automating their backrooms and their stores. 

The only way those automated processes work is if every supplier does things the exact same way. So this is becoming, I'd say, a much more important issue and a less important issue just as we go. I saw we had a question in the chat kind of related to this. Jacqueline, you asked, how does a manufacturer handle these pack inconsistencies when a third party changes the pack size or other important information? 

Great question, and Randy, I'd love to hear your take on this as well, and maybe, maybe you want to jump in there first. 

[00:38:53] Randy: Yeah, for sure. I mean, it is, it is certainly something to be aware of, and it comes down to a couple of things. Number one, is, is the third party the vendor of record with the retailer, in which case, You know, if they're repackaging, that's, you know, on them to make sure that they're synchronizing that with the retailer. 

And to some extent, as the brand, you may not have a lot of control over that. But in situations where you do have control, then it comes down to making sure that, you know, Eric used the example of the supplier makes a change in their system and then they just fail to synchronize it out to all the folks that need it. 

So that's the step that it's as close as you can get to making sure that you're informing whoever's sitting in the middle. Distributor, whoever that is that's doing the repackaging, informing them with, you know, how you see that product and how you package it, at least getting, to them. So, it varies from one, instance to the next, but a couple of things that you can be aware of, to make sure that you can control that a little bit. 

[00:39:54] Eric: Yeah, great response, Randy. I don't think I have anything to add to that beyond what you said. All right, so just kind of a checklist that, you know, I would put out there kind of in the spirit of what Randy presented earlier of good, better, best for you guys as you're looking at your business. Hey, how can we make sure that we're putting things, putting processes in place so that my business can grow without me? 

You know, these, these issues eating away at our bottom line. number one, do you have a process to vet if your item information is accurate? So, you know, like Randy mentioned, there's a reason at the best end of that spectrum, that's where we have automated systems in place, software tools that help us, eliminate manual error, eliminate those kinds of inconsistencies. 

if you haven't implemented those kinds of, you know, like an automated Do you have a process in place to regularly check on this information? Items are not static. Information changes over time. Price changes over time. Packaging changes, those types of things. Do you have the process workflows in place internally to make sure that you're staying consistent? 

Number two, and this is a huge one. Do you know the content requirements at the retailers that you serve? And I think this is where so much of the complexity comes to bear. is that every retailer demands that things are done their way, but not every retailer does things the same way. So for brands, especially as you scale, as you're moving from, Randy, like you said, you're moving from, you know, selling item or product that you made in your basement to one store to now I'm selling to, you know, 10 different customers. 

Now I've got national distribution. These are the types of headaches that come with that scale. So keep that in mind as your business is growing, as you're serving more customers, do I really know what they're demanding and do, again, I have those internal processes to make sure that I'm serving my customers as, as they require. 

Number two, do you check for errors and required assets for each of these retailers? Do I have a customer team serving, especially my largest customers, where I am, you know, again, on that theme of keeping up with what this retailer is asking for? Am I paying attention to when issues do arise? Do I know that this shortage deduction that I received from Kroger, do I know if that's due to, hey, we actually didn't ship the product or we thought we shipped the product, but we had our case backs wrong and like that example that we gave, so are we actually looking into what's going on here? 

And kind of on that note, is there inaccurate or outdated data at the root cause of these, of these issues? Do I have people or tools or partners within, you know, my internal teams to make sure that we're getting to the bottom of why these issues are occurring rather than just assuming, I think this is why this happened, or this is just the cost of doing business, or the retailer. 

Is out to get me and these are bogus. Are we actually looking into the root causes of those issues and understanding, you know, where something as simple, seemingly simple as item setup is behind them. 

Awesome. Well, Randy, I learned a ton just from, you know, what you presented today. And it looks like I'm not alone there. We've got several questions that have rolled in. So. We're going to transition into Q& A. as I said at the beginning, if you've got questions, throw them out there in, that two chat bubble button at the bottom that says Q& A. 

And we'll be sure that, we get to those. So, we'll jump into a few of these. first one, Randy, they asked, we have customers that utilize 1WorldSync and Cyndago. For example, some use 1WorldSync for item setup, but they use Cyndago for item maintenance. can you speak to that? How do those solutions differ, overlap? 

we've noticed that we make updates in, Cyndago that may not get reflected in another place. Duplicate entries, any suggestions on how best to utilize these, these kinds of overlapping systems? 

[00:44:09] Randy: Yeah, no, it is, it is a, a circumstance that exists in the industry today. for a variety of reasons, some of them are very valid reasons, others, maybe not quite so much, but at the end of the day, as two organizations, both organizations have some different value propositions in terms of how they help brands with different areas of their content, ultimately how they deliver it out into the network and the ways in which they do that. 

And again, for one circumstance, maybe one of them is a little bit more effective, other circumstances, the other one. So again, it is a thing today. and I liken it a little bit to if I'm flying to Bentonville, I can fly, you know, the airline that I like to fly, but then if I fly to somewhere else, they don't go there, so I've got to use a different airline that maybe is the one that works for getting me there. 

So it's a little bit like that in terms of how you can navigate that, you know, to just be fully aware of, of why you're using one versus the other in this condition. or that condition is important just to start with and we find a lot of organizations they don't really know they just know well I just I'm using both but I'm not sure why right maybe that's the nature of this question so internally to somebody there's a reason why you're you're using those and sometimes it's a very valid reason if you find that there's not a very valid reason well then you got a decision to make is there some way I can collapse that and just get to a little bit more efficient way to do that but again it does go back to their You know, some capabilities on one side that just simply do not exist on the other and vice versa. 

So, are those capabilities critical to what you're doing? Yes or no, and if the answer is yes, then you know, you may have a very valid reason to use both 

[00:45:47] Eric: awesome. Thanks, Randy Next question that we had it was talking about that automated flow of information Really, I think in that best tier that you were speaking to Randy And it kind of highlights what we were talking about right there at the end So this question says I have run into this several times Where we make updates in our own data pools, but those don't get reflected in the retailer's system. 

so our sales managers or our coordinators having to make manual updates all the time in the retailer's portals. To make sure that, item information is consistent. What advice do you have to make the information share as smooth as possible and prevent errors? As you mentioned, retailers, they all want things done their way, but they all do things differently. So any best practices or suggestions for automating that data flow with specific retailer customers? 

[00:46:37] Randy: Yeah. You know, first is just be very intimate with. How that, how the retailer operates, right? Because some of them do take updates in different ways, for different reasons. And we know it's frustrating, but they, they simply do. 

What we tell our brands is that when you run across situations like that, you have to tell us, because sometimes we may not know that that's happening. And if we know we can get with the retailer and we can work with them on how those updates are getting delivered, make sure they're getting delivered at the right time and to the right place. 

Some of them have multiple routes in. So you just have that, you know, best practices, recap, let us know if you're one of our customers, that's what we tell our brands is we can't help if we don't know about it. And often if we do know, we can help, right? We can get to get that taken care of. So that's probably the best thing outside of just, you know, as good of understanding as you can, you can have about how that retailer behaves. With the data that they get via whatever channel, that's going to be the best place to start. 

[00:47:36] Eric: Awesome. One thing that I'll add just from our perspective here at SupplyPike, something I see, or I have seen with, let's take Walmart as an example. it's really critical to understand even, you know, yes, the automated data flow, on a consistent go forward basis is important, but just understanding the basics of how each of your customers process works is really important. 

So as an example, with Walmart, as item information gets pushed to them into their, their tool, for, you know, that information update, it goes through a review process with your merchant. And that process is critical because I've often seen suppliers make changes in their system. Think, Hey, this is automatically going to flow to the retailer, which is true. 

However, it won't take effect until their buyer approves it in the system. And so I've seen issues with deductions or fines occur where they did push the update, the buyer had not approved it yet. And, you know, there's a period of a day or two, where it was updated in one system and not in the other. 

So being aware of what those approval processes look like and the timing for those can help you internally as you're planning for, Hey, we made this change. But we need to verify that they've accepted this change. Alright, one other question that I'm seeing, said, does 1WorldSync offer a template for a PIM? 

[00:49:01] Randy: I'll take a crack at it. If I, if I miss the, miss the question, feel free to, to re ask it, er, re ask that. We, we have a PIM. So, we have a, a product information management system that we use for testing. or that's been used by a lot of our brands. and in there we do from a, from a template perspective, we, we do employ a lot of that in that, serving suggestions for the brand meeting when they're going in and sending their data, we're, we're being very specific about this is how you start with that data. 

This is what you have to have. And for this retailer, it's this and different retailers, something else, right? We're trying to give a template or a pattern for how that stuff is managed. But then also from a workflow perspective. You know, we've been, you know, doing this for a long time so we've recognized what are these processes that every brand goes through in terms of introducing a new item. 

Well, what, what goes into that internally before I finally kick that thing out to the retailer versus a change to an item that I already have out in the marketplace and now I'm changing something. Maybe what I'm changing is really critical to make sure that it's absolutely correct before it goes out because we know it's super impactful to the retailer. 

You know, maybe not so much. I changed a word in my copy. And if, you know, if it translates a little bit, a bit odd, maybe it's not going to damage anything too bad. So understand the differentiation between those different processes and then apply a template to how you manage those processes are all things that, that we do, from a, from a product information management perspective, 

[00:50:32] Eric: perfect. So now the question is related to that user generated content, that you were talking about as kind of that bonus to really complete the picture. Can you talk a little bit about what you've seen from your perspective? So with user generated content, what's some, what's some stuff that brands need to keep in mind related to authenticity and just that trust factor as they're leveraging user generated content? 

[00:50:58] Randy: Yeah, it's very important. And when you look at reviews today on most e com sites, you're going to see an indication of whether that was a verified buyer, or not. Right. And so when it comes to authenticity, I mean, there's all kinds of rules and regulations, in the industry that, you know, are meant to keep, keep things as authentic as they possibly can be. 

Right. So as a consumer, you have some trust relative to that, but you will see indicators that as a brand, there are ways that you can influence that, There are programs that you can operate to make sure, that the reviews that you're collecting are as authentic as they possibly can be, right? So loyalty programs where you know this guy bought this product, ask him for a review, designate it as such so that as a consumer I see that and I'm satisfied. 

You know, pretty confident it was a real guy and not just a bot or something like that that created that review. Sampling Programs is another one. If you're introducing a new product, not out in the marketplace, so you really haven't had the opportunity to get reviews on it, so operate Sampling Programs, whereby you send down a thousand samples of that thing and you ask those folks to write a review as a proactive measure to ultimately launching this thing, so that when it hits online, it actually does have reviews with it. 

That's a few things that you can do to not only just make sure you've got as many reviews as possible, but also is that that they're as authentic as they possibly can be.  

[00:52:18] Eric: Yeah, I love that. So this one looks like we've got a brand who's maybe looking at moving up into that kind of best tier that you described, Randy, and looking at, you know, open source catalog management. 

Can you talk about, just transparently, what are some of the challenges and limitations that they need to keep in mind or, you know, hurdles they're going to have to clear to really move into that upper echelon of being best in class here? 

[00:52:44] Randy: Yeah, you know, just for starters, you've got, you have to have your arms around the content, right? 

Because the more, you know, when you're sending it to a retailer, they're going to run it through the mill. They're going to check a lot of stuff. They're often going to catch something that maybe you missed or They see that it doesn't like, you know, look quite right or whatever. So you've got a protective mechanism there. 

When you start thinking about just really opening this content up, and there's a million reasons why you want to do it, right? Consistency and, you know, transparency and all of those kinds of things. That's where the consumer, he's the next guy that's going to see it, right? Or maybe your sales guy is the next guy going to see it, and he's going to go hold a conversation on it. 

So, It's ensuring that you really do have your hands around your content. Number one, you got to start there. Number two, then the mechanics of actually opening up that content to a consumer experience or through your internal stakeholders, the mechanisms that we use to get this stuff to retailers, many of them have been in place for a long time. 

So in, in most cases, you know, kind of a well oiled machine, or at least well, if not well oiled, but, you know, kind of a known quantity versus when you start thinking about what are the mechanisms I'm going to use to expose this content. to additional stakeholders. You can spend a ton of money assembling that from lots of different pieces and parts to produce a consumer experience that's compelling, or there are solutions that you can use to do that in a very spurn key way, right? 

So do your homework, you know, look for those as spurn key as possible that really leverage that single point of truth, so that you're not having to, you know, go back and reassemble it from a bunch of different places, right? So Make sure you got your content right, and then get as efficient as you possibly can relative to how you produce those experiences when you open up that content. 

[00:54:26] Eric: Perfect. Well, thank you, Randy. I think we're about getting to time, so let's land this plane. Just a reminder, you've got a wealth of information here in Randy Mercer, CPO at One World Sync. Don't want to speak for you, Randy, but I know you'd love to hear from folks with answers to your questions. For myself, the same goes. 

You can reach me there. My contact information, happy to talk. Any details about what we discussed today, SupplyPike in general. And just as a reminder, quick overview of SupplyPike here on this next slide. Here at SupplyPike, you know, we step in, like I said, where a lot of these things have gone wrong. 

We're helping identify the root cause of issues that stem from the types of things we discussed today. So our software really gives you incredible visibility into penalties, fines, deductions. And that's critical because those are data points that tell you how your business is functioning. So we're going to help you automate the visibility into those, the validation of what happened and the root cause of why. 

And if it's something that really you, that money is yours, you, you are owed that money back. We automate the disputing recovery piece as well. So our software is so, so much more than just a recovery engine. It's a big part of what we do, but really we're a tool that gives your team superpowers to make sure that you're, has buttoned up, from a, you know, internal processes from supply chain all the way to finance, to be the best supplier that you can be. 

[00:56:00] Randy: Yeah, Eric. And then just, just closing up from a 1WorldSync perspective. It won't read the slide for you. If you look across the bottom, it just references a lot of the things that we do to help our brands improve the concepts of getting content, managing it, ultimately getting it out. To the far right, you'll see a reference to Ecom Analytics. 

That is, you know, functionality is aimed at just helping you understand how is your content doing for you, right? What are some things that maybe you can improve, out in the, in the retail marketplace that ultimately are going to help? Sell more on those digital properties, sell more in store, and and so forth. 

So as Eric mentioned, you saw my contact. Always happy to hear from if you happen to be an existing customer. Anything you want to clear, good, bad, or otherwise, always happy to hear that. so I can make sure that folks are taken care of or if you're not a, a customer, you want to hear more about this stuff, reach out to either me or hello at and we can get you hooked up. 

[00:56:53] Eric: Awesome. Well, Randy, appreciate your time. Really appreciate your expertise. Everyone, thank you for joining us today. like we said, this is part two in a three part series. Head over to SupplierWiki. Make sure you sign up for the third and final section. And I saw a few questions still trickling in there at the end. 

We'll do our best to get answers to you offline after the webinar concludes, but thank you everyone for joining us and have a great day. 

[00:57:18] Randy: Bye everybody. Thank you, Eric. 


  • Randy Mercer

    Randy Mercer

    Chief Product Officer

    Randy has fifteen years in the product information management space. He manages a product platform that syncs the shared information between CPG manufacturers and retailers.

    Read More
  • Eric Smith

    Eric Smith

    VP of Product

    Eric directs the strategy and product development for our SupplyPike products. These software products are built to help suppliers manage retailer deductions.

    Read More



Content Management & Delivery with 1WorldSync

Download the Content Management & Delivery with 1WorldSync slide deck to learn how suppliers can manage their omnichannel content with ease.

Related Resources

Sponsored by SupplyPike

About SupplyPike

Grow your retail business without frustration. Fight deductions, meet OTIF goals, and maximize cash flow in the built-for-you platform, powered by machine learning.




SupplyPike helps you fight deductions, increase in-stocks, and meet OTIF goals in the built-for-you platform, powered by machine learning.