GS1 Numbering System Required to Identify Products Online


GS1 is a neutral and global non-profit organization that develops and maintains supply and demand chain standards across multiple sectors. It includes the numbering system that enterprises are now required to use to identify products online. These product identification forms are vital parts of any supply chain. They allow you to uniquely identify your product and manage your inventories.

  • Barcode You are already familiar with a barcode. You recognize this image from most products you see on a daily basis. From grocery stores to department stores, you can see barcodes with your food and clothing. What you do not know is that a barcode identifies products automatically. It has a pattern of dark and light areas that allows a machine to read a number.
  • Global Trade Item Number GTIN can be used to identify all of its trade items uniquely. It is useful in establishing which product corresponds to which product across organizational boundaries. In North America, a GTIN is composed of 12 numbers. The rest of the world uses 13 digits. However, smaller products may use shorter GTINs with 8 numbers.
  • European Article Number EAN is another identifier for trade items. It is a name given to a standard barcode image that represents the GTIN of most products in the UK and around the world. However, it does not represent that of North America. It only signifies 13 digit GTINs. As mentioned above, North America’s GTIN is composed of 12 digits.
  • Universal Product Code The UPC is a specific type of barcode used in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and other countries for tracking trade items. Its most common form is composed of 12 numbers, uniquely assigned to each item. It is mainly used for scanning trade items at point of sale

Currently, over 100 million of products are listed online. The GS1 numbering system makes sure that the numbers you give your products are unique. It allows you to manage your product catalogue and inventories to make sure that your products are numbered correctly. Why is it important for products to have unique trade numbers? Products with the same number causes data conflict and that is what the GS1 numbering system tries to resolve. Sign up for our weekly blog summary and newsletter!  

Charlie Alsmiller

Throughout his career, Charlie Alsmiller has focused on customer problems in difficult industries such as Energy and Telecommunications. Prior to starting Appterra in 2005, Alsmiller was VP of Global Operations for Allegro Development, a leading provider of software for the energy sector. He has also served as president of OmniSpace Technologies, a leading SaaS provider that he founded in 1999. He spent over 10 years in the consulting world with Price Waterhouse and Deloitte Consulting, where he participated in a wide variety of projects for very high profile clients. Mr. Alsmiller holds a BBA from Baylor University in Management and Information Systems and a MBA from the University of Dallas in International Business. Specialties: Technology ventures, Enterprise Software, Contract Negotiation, International Operations, Private Equity, Product Management, Strategic Alliances, Software Implementation, Software Development

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