GS1 has 114 local member organisations and 1.5 million user companies.
GS1 standards are designed to improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in 25 sectors. They form a business language that identifies, captures and shares key information about products, locations, assets and more.
In 1969, the retail industry in the US was searching for a way to speed up the check-out process in shops. The Ad Hoc Committee for a Uniform Grocery Product Identification Code was established to find a solution.
In 1973, the Universal Product Code (UPC) was selected by this group as the first single standard for unique product identification, and in 1974, the Uniform Code Council (UCC) was founded to administer the standard. On 26 June 1974, a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum became the first ever product with a barcode to be scanned in a shop.
By 2005, the organisation was present in over 90 countries which started to use the name GS1 on a worldwide basis. Whilst "GS1" is not an acronym it refers to the organisation offering one global system of standards.
Aug 2018 - GS1 Web URI Structure Standard is ratified allowing unique ID's to be added to products by storing a URI (a webpage-like address) as a QR code.
Barcodes allow for greater safety, reliability, speed and efficiency of supply chains. They have a crucial role in the retail industry, moving beyond just faster checkout to improved inventory and delivery management and the opportunity to sell online on a global scale. In the UK alone, the introduction of the barcode in the retail industry has resulted in savings of 10.5 billion pounds per year.
The most important GS1 standard is the GTIN. It identifies products uniquely around the world and forms the base of the GS1 system.
Main GS1 standards are as follows:
GS1 standards are developed and maintained through the GS1 Global Standards Management Process (GSMP), a community-based forum that brings together representatives from different industries and businesses. Together they find and implement standards-based solutions to address common supply chain challenges.
As consumers continue to switch between in-store and e-commerce shopping channels, a consistent shopping experience, efficiency, safety and speed are expected. GS1 has developed standards that uniquely identify products for the benefit of consumers and for search engines, providing accurate and complete product information digitally.
For many years, GS1 has operated in Healthcare with the primary objective to increase patient safety and drive supply chain efficiency.
Usage of GS1 standards in Healthcare support trace-ability of products from the manufacturer to the patient, contribute to detect counterfeit products, help to prevent medication errors, enable effective recalls and supports clinical processes.
Regulatory bodies across the world are mandating the implementation of GS1 standards for the above reasons as well for medicines as medical devices.
GS1 has over 1.5 million members worldwide. Companies can become members by joining a local GS1 Member Organisation.
GS1’s governance has three levels:
There are also two other boards at global level:
GS1 Member Organisations around the world are funded by their local members through annual membership fees and sales of services.
GS1 partners with other international organisations. Some of GS1’s partners are: