FIR-compliant Product Information Management on EDEKA's "abholen.de"
Save time when shopping
On "abholen.de", customers order and pay for their purchases conveniently from any Internet-enabled device. Just a short time later, they can collect their ordered product baskets from one of the pick-up stations on their way. The benefits – especially for working people – are obvious.
To offer a service such as abholen.de, it not only takes logistics and storage capacities, but also an advanced IT solution to support the interaction between ERP, shop, and product data management. abholen.de has been conceived as a flexibly growing platform for a market with a huge growth potential.
Screenshot: abolen.de offers a large range of product.
A platform like this requires a dynamically adaptable data management solution that is tailored to these requirements. In this case, the project owner opted for Alterra PIM for four reasons:
1. Existing reference projects in the online grocery store business.
2. Proven technological market leadership of the software in the PIM universe.
3. Simple customization of data storage to legal requirements imposed by food regulation.
4. Flexible interfaces – in this case to four different subsystems.
Save time during product maintenance
abholen.de benefits from extensive product information from multiple data sources. These include own manually entered data, vendor data, source systems of EDEKA as, for example, the EDEKA Südwest FIR Portal or the ERP system of each dealer. The PIM system guarantees the correct assignment of supplier data to existing data records. In addition, important legal information on the product is automatically used and assigned. Users must also be able to quickly and easily import and export data into/from the system in different formats. Particularly important since early 2015: product descriptions in accordance with the European Union's Food Information Regulation (FIR) – without the required description, food may not be sold online.
Software solution for capturing data pursuant to FIR
The new regulation contains many fundamental rules for the labeling of foodstuffs. There are provisions for the readability of information and stricter requirements to prevent misleading information on the packaging or in the product description in the online shop. The regulation shall make it easier for consumers to make choices thanks to several practical rules: Additional information shall, for example, be given for substances that can trigger allergies or intolerances. There are also new provisions concerning information about the nutritional value of foods.
Screenshot: Data acquisition of foodstuffs pursuant to FIR using Alterra PIM at abholen.de by EDEKA.
For pre-packaged food, the FIR rules that the following information is mandatory:
- the name of the food;
- the list of ingredients;
- any ingredient or processing aid as well as their derivatives that trigger allergies and intolerances;
- the name of the food business operator;
- with respect to beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol, the actual alcoholic strength by volume;
- a nutrition declaration;
- the quantity of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients;
- the net quantity of the food;
- the country of origin or place of provenance;
- instructions for use where it would be difficult to make appropriate use of the food in the absence of such instructions;
- the date of minimum durability or the ‘use by’ date;
- any special storage conditions and/or conditions of use.
In addition, there are a number of annexes to the FIR that contain specifications concerning the formats, quantities and units to be used for the descriptions.
So, the collection of all this information is anything but effortless and the configuration of software for the correct recording of that information is anything but trivial.
Sepia's experts have used their long-standing experience in implementing standards and legal requirements to optimize Alterra PIM for the storage of data pursuant to FIR – and portals such as abholen.de by EDEKA are the beneficiaries.
Satisfied operators & satisfied customers
The quick and easy rollout and the rapid integration of the PIM system into the given software landscape laid the foundation for the success of abholen.de. The results speak for themselves: an attractive product offer of the EDEKA group and a convenient shop system combine with the services and logistics of local merchants to ensure satisfied customers – and these are only the first steps to tap the huge potential that the Internet offers also to the food retail sector.