Intro To GS1 Standards

What Are GS1 Standards?

The GS in GS1 stands for Global Standards. Global Standards is a not-for-profit organization that works to standardized business information globally to improve efficiency and communication for companies across the world. There are many different standards that can be adopted by companies.

GS1 specifically relates to global standards for barcodes and it is widely adopted for most CPG, retail, and life sciences companies. A GS1 UPC is a unique product code that is used to identify a product from any location with a scan.

Why do GS1 Barcodes Matter?

Before GS1 and barcodes, delivering products through the supply chain to consumers was a manual, time-consuming process. There wasn’t much visibility into what materials were used to create products, and there wasn’t a good way to track the packaging. It was difficult to efficiently manage warehouses, track deliveries, and even check out at the register.

With GS1, barcodes can be generated to uniquely identify products. The barcode on the physical packaging can be scanned into a digital system. With GS1 standards, a barcode can be scanned anywhere in the world with visibility for retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, and even end consumers.

Now, companies can understand information like what materials are in a product, when the product expires, the price, the location, and more; all with a simple electronic scan. This makes it easier to track and trace products through the supply chain, more efficiently manage warehouse space, and offer products for sale to consumers both in physical stores and online.

The industries that use barcodes include retail, CPG, food and beverage, beauty, pharmaceutical, life sciences, healthcare, and almost any industry with a physical product or packaging.

There are also different formats for bar codes, they can be 1D, 2D, and more. The important thing is that they can be read by scanners in order to match up digital information with the physical product.

What Tools are Available to Help Companies Using GS1?

There are many digital tools that can helps companies who are using GS1 for their barcodes. An efficient workflow tool for packaging can help make sure the proper barcode is used right from the beginning. An advanced workflow tool supports packaging specification that is attached to a project. Because this specification happens from the start and continues throughout the process, the barcode that gets used in the packaging creation is correct.

A proper packaging workflow tool will also pull other relevant information automatically into the packaging task, which helps eliminate the risk of copy and paste errors when there isn’t an automatic process in place. For example, WebCenter is a workflow tool that allows packaging companies to attach automatically generated barcodes, symbols, ingredients, and other pieces of information, text, or graphics that need to be included in the packaging.

To learn more about WebCenter, the customizable workflow tool from Esko that works well with GS1 barcodes and other packaging information, request a demo.

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