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Houston Analytics utilizes Synkka product information in optimizing store shelf space

Effective space management with intelligent analytics

GS1 Finland’s Synkka service is the most comprehensive product information service in retail sector, bringing together suppliers and all parties using product information. The service gives easy access to up-to-date information on products and their pictures. In addition to retail chains, also different kinds of service providers use product information: one of these is analytics service provider Houston Analytics.

Houston Analytics is a data consultancy company that offers retail chains and suppliers SaaS solutions (Software as a Service), which apply advanced analytical methods.

For example, a solution built for assortment optimization helps in managing the planning process all the way from locally tailored assortment creation based on demand potential to space management optimization taking into consideration a store’s true available space and demand. The company’s strong retail expertise covers both groceries and consumer goods. In addition, the company produces intelligent solutions for industry IoT projects, marketing and human resources related applications and processes.

” Each time we begin a new customer project, our aim is to gather a vast and rich data base, by combining information from various sources. One important data source is GS1’s Synkka product information service, from which selected data is gathered to enrich a larger data entity”, explains Houston Analytics’ Senior Category Specialist Vilja Kumpusalo-Sanna.

Accurate product information plays a key role

For the company to be able to produce services that truly benefit customers, it is important that the information gathered from different sources is reliable. Thus, also Synkka product information needs to be comprehensive and correct, so that the optimization models conducted in the service give precise results to stores.

”We have taken in use an API interface to Synkka, through which we fetch product information, and the data is updated every week. The most important information for us is the transport package and product package measures of sold goods, weight, and brand information. Yes, and pictures are also very important, even though some suppliers are still lacking these in the system”, Vilja says.  

Measure information is emphasized and plays a key role for Houston Analytics to be able to create accurate space allocations for stores. Vilja’s special wish for information providers is to get comprehensive information, so that optimization can work as well as possible in planogram creation, thus creating instructions for stores that work in practise.

”Sometimes we modify noticed incorrect measures ourselves, if GS1’s instructions for giving product height, width or depth information for example have not been followed”, Vilja reminds.

Importance of product category and product family information growing

”All of our clients do not have a maintained product categorization, in which case the Synkka category information rises to an important role. In order to be able to update product information, it is also vital that product substitutability is marked correctly, for example in cases when a product’s package size changes and a substituting product is brought to market” Vilja says and hopes that the suppliers remember to give substitution information, so that the product information receivers stay better on top of the updates.

Also, product family information can be utilized from Synkka. Product family information can be used for example in pricing, when creating optimized pricing models for product families inside a brand. In this way the products in a product family are given a unified price structure.  

”Analytics in its different forms is a very interesting field that helps in various business problems. It is important that the information gathered and joined from different sources is correct and comprehensive, so that the recommendations made by analytics also work in practise”, Vilja sums up.

Houston Analytics

Houston analytics is a leading European provider of advanced analytics skills and solutions. In its services, Houston does not just excel in data science, but at delivering the results of analysis as fully operational, automated solutions. Their vertical solutions embed analytics seamlessly into their customers’ business processes, delivering improved outcomes and increased returns, one decision point at the time.