What is GS1/GTIN and Where Is It Impactful?

Posted on

GS1 is an international non-profit association with member organizations in over 100 countries. During the past 40 years, GS1 has developed the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world with close to two million companies doing business across 150 countries. GS1 is dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors.

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) can be used by a company to uniquely identify all of its trade items. The GTIN can be used to identify types of products at any packaging level (e.g., consumer unit, inner pack, case, or pallet). Groups of trade items with similar production and usage characteristics such as production batches can be further identified with the help of the batch / lot number, expiry date, and similar data elements. Individual trade items can be uniquely identified using a GTIN plus serial number. Once a company has assigned a GTIN to a trade item, it provides a common language for all of its entities and trading partners worldwide to uniquely identify the item and easily communicate information about the item.

The GTIN can be encoded in a barcode or an EPC/RFID tag. By scanning the barcode or EPC/RFID tag, companies can efficiently and accurately process products and related information; for example, at check out in a store or when receiving goods in a warehouse. There are four GTIN formats: 8, 12, 13, and 14 digits.

The only technology partner on the board of the GS1 Standards committee, AFS is at the forefront of the produce traceability movement and strategically develops its AFS® Warehouse Management System (WMS), AFS® ERP and AFS™ DATUM solution to align with evolving industry standards and requirements.

The AFS WMS includes integration with GS1 and GTIN to provide single-scan traceability and handles GTIN compliance right out-of-the-box for 3PL companies and distributors. AFS WMS gives companies the ability to scan a GS1 label once to extract multiple data elements including GTIN, lot and quantity and automatically parse all of the embedded data into the AFS WMS solution. This single-scan functionality results in 99 percent plus accurate data and reduces scans by 300 percent, adding value throughout the supply chain as well as downstream for the customer. With this ability, AFS WMS provides an excellent application to support you in product recall and better warehouse space utilization.

Distributers can rely on AFS ERP to manage financials, deals and rebates, production, purchasing, receiving, pricing, order entry, and inventory. By leveraging the GS1/GTIN standards, distributors have an easier time with inventory management. AFS DATUM leverages the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) and supports all attributes of the GS1 US Foodservice initiative including allergens, ingredients, nutrients and images. It also keeps product information consistent across all channels, and allows for publishing to all of your trading partners.