GS1 Standards: Global Business Language


Whenever I run into people in the industry, I often ask them if they are aware of the GS1 standards organization and the answer is an almost overwhelming “no”. The fact that they are using the standards supported by GS1 is the main reason why they need to be aware of them. So, I take the pleasure of explaining to them what the organization does. Then, they understand that these standards make it easy to do business around the world.

GS1 is a non-profit association that designs and implements universal standards and solutions to improve the visibility and efficiency of supply and demand chain. The GS1 standards are widely used all around the world – healthcare, fresh foods, business-to-consumer, recall, traceability, transport & logistics, and upstream. These standards bind various companies to see one vision, speak one voice and act as one organization.

There are 9 standards designed and implemented by GS1 to foster collaboration, sustainability, supply chain visibility, efficiency and safety.

  • BarCode. Providing benefits to consumers around the world for over 30 years, bar codes and ID keys have changed the world for the better. They are used to automatically identify trade items, assets, logistics units and locations.
  • Data Accuracy Standards. These standards make sure that all master data is complete, accurate, on-time and industry standards-based.
  • eCom Standards. eCom provides a standardized structure of electronic business messages. This enables you and your partners to communicate rapidly, accurately and efficiently.
  • EPC Standards. EPCglobal framework is a set of standards for software, hardware and data interface to enhance the supply chain. Using EPCs (Electronic Product Codes), GS1 aims to provide end-users and technology-sellers architectural guidance.
  • GDSN Standards. Built around the GS1 Global Registry, GDSN standards provide a powerful environment for secure management of accurate data.
  • GS1 General Specifications. These describe how barcodes and identification keys should be used.
  • Global Data Dictionary. The Global Data Dictionary is the repository of data elements across GS1 standards. This includes business messages, business information entities, business data types, code lists, context values and business validation rules.
  • GPC Standards. GPC standards give buyers and sellers a common language of grouping products in the same manner.
  • XML Standards. XML Implementation Guidelines guide the clients of Transport and Logistics companies in passing product information to partners.

The GS1 System is an integrated organization of global standards. It provides accurate identification and communication regarding assets, locations, products and services. As the most implemented supply chain standards systems in the world, it has a wide range of efficiency-building supply chain applications and solutions.

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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