Leading Trading Exchanges Link Together

News and trends from across the food supply chain.

First, GNX and WWRE, now Transora and UCC.

Within a few weeks of each other, four of the leading trading exchanges became two. In April, GlobalNetXchange (GNX) and the World--Wide Retail Exchange (WWRE) joined forces to combine their technology solutions into a single platform that promises to connect retailers, manufacturers and their trading partners to better share information and manage work processes.

The organization, which will unveil its new name in July, says it will leverage the greater scale economies to reduce unit costs and drive adoption of industry standards, and will operate the definitive forum for retail best practices. Christopher Sellers, the current CEO of WWRE, will serve as the executive chairman, while Joe Laughlin, current CEO of GNX, will serve as CEO of the new company.

On the heels of that announcement, the Uniform Code Council Inc. (UCC) said that UUCnet and Transora are forming a single organization to help retailers and their trading partners achieve the benefits of data synchronization. The new company, which has yet to be named, will be a subsidiary of UCC. Bob Noe, Transora's current chief executive officer, will serve as the CEO of the organization.

UCC, which is based in lawrenceville, NJ, will change its name to GS1 US. GS1 US is a member of GS1, formerly known as EAN International, the global standards body.

Neither merger was a surprise to experts, who've been predicting consolidation among the trading exchanges. "This merger will go a long way to eliminate some of the confusion by consolidating the vendor landscape and hopefully spurring GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network) adoption--something the industry needs," says AMR Research Inc.'s Karen Romanov of the Transora/UCCnet merger.

UCCnet was founded in 1999 to help retailers and suppliers more easily share information about products. Transora was founded the following year by leading consumer products goods manufacturers. Formation of the new company is subject to approval by the boards of directors of both companies and the shareholders of Transora.

The new organization will bring together an array of services for data implementation as well as a technology platform for data synchronization services, representing more than 4,500 CPG companies.

"The planned unification of these two organizations opens up many exciting opportunities for our industry," says Noe. "By joining forces we would make it even easier for retailers and manufacturers to establish a common approach for data synchronization that benefits all parties."

Next Up: GNX, WWRE

With more than 8,000 retailer and manufacturer users to date between GNX and WWRE, the new company will bring together a critical mass of the world's largest retailers on a single platform. The resulting entity is expected to accelerate adoption of best practices in trading partner collaboration and relationship management for the entire retail industry.

"Since GNX and the WWRE were founded more than five years ago, the industry has sought a partnership be--tween the two organizations to create a definitive exchange and voice for the retail industry," says Sellers. "We share the same vision, have some overlapping solutions whose cost will decrease after consolidation, and where our solutions do not overlap we are perfectly complementary and aligned."

"The industry will benefit as we drive de--facto standards that will be adopted. We will utilize secure networks and the latest proven technology in order to reduce costs of goods and cost to serve, and ultimately in consumers reaping the benefits of improved product availability and pricing."

The new company, which will have the secure backing of multiple year subscription agreements across its retailer members, will leverage the best of both GNX’s and WWRE's value propositions to more quickly make their shared visions a reality. Of note:

  • GNX and WWRE will consolidate operations and rationalize their solution portfolio, to lower the price and the cost of delivering these solutions to encourage their wider adoption across the retail industry;
  • The new company will operate the same product lines that GNX and WWRE each currently offer: sourcing, supply chain collaboration, supplier performance management and private label product development;
  • Retailers will operate on a single service platform for Global Data Syn--chronization, based on GS1 standards, interoperable with the Global Registry and compatible for EPC/RFID;
  • With the combined size and adoption rates of GNX and WWRE, the new company will be a strong, stable financial entity, ideally positioned to drive collaborative standards and create a unified forum for the retail industry worldwide.
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