Information for K-12 Distributors

Every stakeholder wins when standardized data is shared across the supply chain and made accessible on a timely and efficient basis. GDSN Connect provides and supports those links across the K-12 marketplace.  Utilizing GTINs as the “common language” for product data dramatically reduces errors attributable manual data entry and outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete data.

Equally important is GDSN Connect’s ability to update changes electronically as they occur. Data exchanges with locally installed back of the house software inform GDSN Connect algorithms with the actual serving sizes and preparation methods to calculate edible portions. Standardized GDSN sourced values must be recalculated to be useful and accurate.

Consolidating data from national and regional suppliers forms the core of GDSN Connect. Connecting to smaller locally based suppliers of produce, dairy, and bakery is handled with user friendly catalog editing tools. Defining and updating attributes that apply locally through distributors is a commonly used best practice.

Distributors have been very responsive to customer requests for data that can be uploaded electronically into GDSN Connect. This is most often in the form of a spreadsheet or CSV output file. When catalogs and velocity reports are uploaded, items are matched with more comprehensive data and flagged for missing or incomplete data by quality control algorithms requiring corrective action by the user.

Some distributors have fully automated the process with regularly scheduled data feeds for catalog updates. This data supplements contracted items available for customer contract adjustments in each local market . Data flows directly into GDSN Connect where it is enhanced and relayed to customers.

A New Paradigm for School Bids & RFPs

Routine functions like forecasting, menu planning, inventory management  and procurement will operate more efficiently by reducing errors and their economic consequences. With support from USDA, SNA, and ACDA, “bidding by GTIN” is becoming a more common practice. When vendors suggest equivalent products that were not pre-approved (and provide the required GTIN data), objective side by side comparisons of published attributes can be made.

Distributor Administrative Features & Pricing

inTEAM welcomes deeper engagement and integration that can be achieved by jointly co-marketing the data services. This includes interactive catalogue management functionality directly linked to client systems as described here.

  • Access full product specifications from GDSN for products including nutrients, allergens, ingredients, and meal pattern credits.
  • Standardize product specifications around the use of UPC codes and GTINs.
  • Compare product specifications for customer specified items against proposed alternative items with side-by-side views of key attributes.
  • Support tools to highlight USDA Foods (Direct Delivered and processed end products).
  • Support tools to highlight Farm to School local products based on grower location.
  • A Menu Sandbox to develop shared recipes and five-day menu plans with full pre-cost capability.
  • Communicate awarded vendor catalogs to members through GDSN Connect’s district portal.
  • Data quality tools to review and update product specifications on behalf of members.
  • Automatically share product and pricing updates to members.
  • Administrative module subscriptions start at $5,000 for a small distributor and are scaled by number of participating districts.

Optional Upgrades for School Districts 

Optional upgrades to additional GDSN Connect features at discounted prices reflecting  the economies of scale for customers with the same or similar supply chain relationships.  Small district prices start at less than $3,000 per year and are scaled based on enrollment.  Refer to School District Edition for additional information about features and pricing for affiliated group members.

Enhanced “Smart” Catalogs & Global Searches for Your Customers

The GDSN Connect customer portal identifies Farm to School grant eligible products based on the GDSN attributes of the grower/processor and the school customer.

Catalog searches also display USDA processed end products side by side with commercial products to assist operators in making the best selections considering available raw materials at the processor site.

GDSN Connect Global Searches display special icons to indicate which products are contracted, which are adopted into local databases, and available to supplement or substitute from current contracted suppliers.

Contact Us for additional information and a demonstration.