Magazine Article | October 1, 2003

Sunrise 2005: Who Needs To Be Ready?

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

To realize the full value promised by Sunrise 2005 compliance, all participants in the value chain must participate.

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, October 2003

Since 1997, the UCC (Uniform Code Council) has been promoting the Sunrise 2005 initiative. Many companies have been watching it grow on the horizon as we draw closer to the compliance date. Now the discussion is moving from the concept of expanding the bar code to the reality of data remediation, global data synchronization, and ePCs (electronic product codes). No one wants to agonize through data remediation. What the industry wants are the results of global data synchronization. And to get those results, all participants in the value chain must participate. What kind of results are we talking about? For manufacturers, benefits range from $800,000 to $1.2 million EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) for every $1 billion in sales. For retailers, benefits range from $700,000 to $1 million EBIT for every $1 billion in sales. As more of the industry gets on board with this initiative, the benefits will manifest themselves.

How Will Smaller Businesses Make The Deadline?
Many of the large retailers and suppliers are looking at the small- and medium-sized players and wondering how to get everyone to the same level. As the largest companies in the world raise the bar, how can companies achieve Sunrise 2005 benefits in a timely and cost-effective manner?

The first step is to focus internally - analyzing internal systems and cleansing data.

Then companies should focus externally - determining how to publish data to a single external industry registry and collaborating with trading partners.

So why is this important? The Global Data Sync Network will follow quickly on the heels of Sunrise 2005, and the next wave of compliance will be ePC, which will pave the way for RFID (radio frequency identification). Many companies have invested in catalogs and exchanges. The return on these investments comes from the collaboration made possible via the Global Data Sync Network and the benefits of using GTINs (global trade item numbers) and GLNs (global location numbers).

Every Part Of Value Chain Affected By Sunrise 2005
The wheels of commerce cannot grind to a halt. New products introduced each week number more than 7,000, and changes to existing products occur 35,000 times per week. How will these products enter the marketplace without Sunrise 2005? The old codes may remain the same - right justified, left zero filled - but the new products that drive innovation, consumer value, and retail excitement must become the fuel for continued electronic commerce. The EDI (electronic data interchange) "pipes" of the industry cannot run dry. The relationships built upon trust and reliability demand trading partners reach compliance - not just to fulfill the mandates from large retailers, but also to meet the needs of the entire marketplace. Item data is pervasive in the enterprise all the way through to supply chain management, and even more so among enterprises.

How soon will all of this happen? Beginning January 2005, some manufacturers will be required to have RFID capability at the case and pallet level. Sunrise 2005 is the catalyst on the eminent path toward ePCs. Adopting these technologies is not just about being compliant, however; it's about transforming your business and providing higher returns to shareholders.