WERCSmart is currently undergoing efforts to eliminate duplicate Uniform Product Codes (or UPCs). Previously, a supplier (brand, manufacturer and/or distributor) has been able to enter a UPC, even when the UPC is already in the system for another supplier. This created duplicate UPC’s resulting in data discrepancies, because the input and output for that UPC are different. Although this practice supported the complex supply chains within the retail market, it has also created issues related to the data quality that is then passed onto Retailers.
Duplicate UPCs in the WERCSmart database cause issues for Assessments in that slight variations of any data entered can impact the Assessment result. For example, a variation in an ingredient that is entered from one source as 1.1% and another source as 1.09% may result in a different classification for storage. For the retailer, this is an issue when preparing to transport, or store, items in their possession.
In order to support these efforts moving forward, changes have been made to the WERCSmart platform. Duplicate UPC codes are no longer allowed to be included with existing or new product registrations.
> Your actions needed to resolve duplicate UPCs
If you encounter a UPC message indicating the UPC is already active within the system,
- a new UPC must be requested from the Product Manufacturer and can be accomplished by selecting "Request a UPC from a Manufacturer" within your product registration box.
- In order to complete the new UPC request, it will also be required to provide the:
- Product’s name for reference (the Product Name does not need to match the Manufacturer's registration name, but will be the name of the product registration within the Distributor's account),
- Requested UPC, and the
- Manufacturer’s contact email (the Manufacturer must be registered with WERCSmart).
Please note: No details (i.e. ingredients and other data) of the Manufacturer's registration are visible, or available, to the Distributor. In essence, the Manufacturer is forwarding the item, via the Distributor's WERCSmart account, to another retailer.
Failure to resolve any duplicate UPCs will result an incomplete product registration.
To see this option in your registration process, you must have a Distributor account. This is available in your “Company Information” settings within “My Account” as shown below:
For Product Manufacturers
Product Manufacturers should expect to see an increase in UPC requests from Distributors taking action in order to meet their registration requirements. Your participation will be greatly appreciated.
> Your participation includes:
- Approval or rejection of a Distributor’s request should be responded via email.
- After your approval, the Distributor will be able resume their registration for the UPC and retailer.
Note: If a Distributor UPC is active on the registration, the Product Manufacturer cannot delete the registration from their account until the Distributor deletes the UPC Registration from their Distributor's account.
Impact on your Subscription – for Distributors
If a number of UPC requests are considered Articles, an upgrade may be required to your existing Subscription Plan. If this is the case, you will be notified and provided instructions on specific Subscription adjustment requirements.
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