gs1 standards and supply chain

[Blog] How do GS1 standards transform the supply chain?

GS1 Standards created the common language and enable visibility in the supply chain, transforming the whole traceability process







The main idea behind GS1 standards is to “make it possible for companies to speak the common language and enable visibility in the supply chain”. And it is a fact that they successfully transform the exchange of data between different participants, developing an efficient supply chain. GS1 Barcodes are the leading actor in this process, enabling the encoding of information (key identifiers and attributes) and allowing the track and trace through the whole supply chain.



1. What is the key role of GS1 barcodes?


The key role of the GS1 Barcode comes from the fact that once data is encoded, the barcode enables the traceability of information. Simple and secure. This easy and genuine tracking could happen with laser or image-based technology by all parties (manufacturers, retailers, subcontractors, distributors) at every moment when needed.


In other words, GS1 Barcodes enable straightforward communication and quick sharing of data, ensuring the transparency of information and 360-degree visibility.




 2. GS1 identification keys – access and share information through the whole supply chain


Defined by GS1 standards, GS1 Identification keys provide an efficient information exchange. On the one hand, they allow  companies to access item information such as product data, logistics unit, physical location and etc. On the other hand, they enable trading partners to share this information, creating a transparent “environment”.


The defined ID keys are:


  • Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) – used to identify products and services (drug, clothing)
  • Global Location Number (GLN) – used to identify parties and locations (companies, warehouses, factories, stores)
  • Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) – used to identify logistics units (pallets, parcels)
  • Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI) – used to identify returnable assets (cases, pallets)
  • Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI) – used to identify assets (medical, manufacturing, transport and IT equipment)
  • Global Service Relation Number (GSRN) – used to identify service provider and recipient relationships
  • Global Document Type Identifier (GDTI) – used to identify documents (taxes / shipments documents)
  • Global Identification Number for Consignment (GINC) – used to identify consignments
  • Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN) – used to identify shipments (delivered logistics units)
  • Global Coupon Number (GCN) – used to identify coupons
  • Component/Part Identifier (CPID) – used to identify components and parts
  • Global Model Number (GMN) – used to identify a product model (medical device)




 3. Which business areas are impacted?


It`s crystal clear that the GS1 standards benefit the supply chain in various ways.  Their significant impact comes from the great opportunities that unlock for the supply chain participants such as opening up to new markets, seamless product distribution, and enhancement of brand protection and consumer trust. It is essential to mark that the common standards help rationalize business processes, increase speed, reduce paperwork, and cut costs.


The tremendous potential impact could be seen in:

  • Enterprise Trade Services – Enable a connected and sustainable trading community by facilitating trading activities with partners
  • Smart Business Solutions – Digitalization of business processes with a data-driven approach
  • Brand Protection – Enhancement of product authenticity protection and consumer trust




Traceability is crucial for your business and operational management.