Digital images are increasingly important in the marketing and sale of most products. Food and grocery companies need ready access to high quality “digital assets” – still pictures, video clips and related data – for use in printed collateral, websites, point-of-sale displays, planograms, mobile apps and more. At the request of retailers and suppliers who wanted a high quality, affordable service, supply chain standards organisation GS1 New Zealand has launched its service for capturing and sharing the digital images and assets so increasingly in demand.
GS1 captures product photography to a high (global) standard, either as a separate service to all-comers or as part of its ProductFlow and bar code verification services.
To support the sharing and use of those photographs – indeed, all forms of digital assets – GS1 has launched SmartMedia with an eye particularly to the needs of the food and grocery sector. SmartMedia is an electronic repository of valid, up-to-date and authenticated digital and multimedia files for sharing between trading partners in either New Zealand or Australia. On this side of the Tasman, Foodstuffs and Countdown now use SmartMedia increasingly as a key, reliable source of digital images uploaded by, or on behalf of, their product supplier companies.
Some organisations also put SmartMedia to work as their own central internal repository of digital assets. It enables easy access by individuals and groups within the company, without images being lost or misused!
Digital assets can be uploaded to SmartMedia by any authorised user – a product manufacturer, third-party photography provider, communications agency or other relevant supplier – along with GS1 New Zealand and GS1 Australia. It complements other GS1 services for ensuring standardisation, decreased duplication and increased savings. These include the GS1net™ repository for sharing up-to-date master data on products – another service of increasing importance in food and grocery supply chains.
Photographs taken by GS1 can be automatically uploaded to SmartMedia from which users and their customers can access them as required. By relying on GS1 for this service, members can be assured that their images meet SmartMedia specifications without revision and delay. Companies not using SmartMedia receive their images by email.
SmartMedia is available to any company for a fixed annual fee, with no limitations thereafter on the numbers of digital assets uploaded and downloaded, and with no additional costs such as licensing. GS1 has a special subscription offer for its members. Usage of GS1’s photography studios and the SmartMedia repository is expected to grow quickly as food and grocery companies recognise the cost-effectiveness, versatility and ease-of-use these services offer in meeting their own digital asset needs and those of their key customers.