When selling products that are classified as dangerous goods compliance becomes an issue, you need to think of a lot different aspects. Also, the quality of the data needs be high. Fortunately, there is Quintens! Quintens is a company that offers different kind of services which can be integrated to increase the quality of your product information including dangerous goods. It offers a service called ISA that makes data management of dangerous goods much easier. In this part (1) of the blog, I’ll explain why we’ve chosen ISA and what benefits we’ve got from the integration of the ISA service in our SAP Commerce implementation. Outsourcing of the dangerous goods data became no hassle anymore!
It’s very important for data management that all product information which is classified as dangerous goods to be correct, up-to-date and clearly linked to the most recent legal guidelines. From a legal perspective there was a challenge because in some countries you need to know these specifications to store or transport your products. For some products there was already a GS1 integration but the data was not complete and sometimes not even correct. To have complete and reliable information we had to seek for a third party that provides this data. Because ISA Quintens is one of the parties that supplies this data with a high quality, we’ve chosen to integrate the SAP Commerce system with it. This integration allows us to collect reliable dangerous goods data and enrich our product information.
What is ISA Quintens?
ISA is one of the services that Quintens provides. ISA is a webservice which provides a nice API to retrieve dangerous goods product information. What makes this API powerful, is the fact that consumers also can share their data with Quintens.ISA does a good job when it comes to data quality checks (the data inside the Safety Data Sheet also known as SDS). This requires a lot of computing power, memory, responsiveness and complex calculations.
It was quite a challenge to get started with this implementation for our client, because nobody in the company had ownership over the dangerous goods data, and nobody knew the ins-and-outs of GS1 implementation of the dangerous goods.
We’ve first started investigating how the current implementation from GS1 was built. And what to do with the information that was already retrieved from GS1 and processed in the internal systems.
The process of the ISA integration:
- Investigate current situation (GS1 integration)
- Investigate future situation (what does ISA API provide and what can we use?)
- Create a proof of concept
- Implementation: retrieve dangerous goods information from Quintens using ISA API
- Roll-out (phase 1): override GS1 data by data from ISA Quintens
- Initial load job: update all dangerous goods of current products with data from ISA Quintens
- Refresh job: create a daily job to get updates from ISA Quintens
- Roll-out new fields (phase 2): add more important fields (known in ISA but not in GS1)
Our client now has a higher quality dangerous good data. From now on a lot of time will be saved because the client doesn’t need to check GS1 updates or the dangerous goods data that is published by the suppliers. In the next coming weeks, we will add more fields to get better quality data about transport and storage. This way all dangerous goods data in the system will be conform all recent legal guidelines.
In the next blog (part 2), I’ll explain how we’ve implemented the integration with ISA Quintens and will share some lessons learned and tips.