A GS1® collaboration with retail industry leaders offers a simplified path forward for the unique identification of products to better support commerce initiatives. On June 30, 2016, GS1, the global standards organization, approved the Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®) Management Standard, a change that supports a more intuitive product identification management process for today’s retail marketplace. GTINs are the series of numbers indicated under a U.P.C. barcode symbol and are used by brands to uniquely identify trade items in the supply chain and online.
Presented in an easy-to-understand format, the GTIN Management Standard simplifies a set of business principles previously outlined in its predecessor, the GTIN Allocation Rules, which has been industry’s adopted method for making decisions about changing GTINs for product identification. At the heart of the new standard are 10 unique product identification rules, condensed from 46, designed to help companies make faster and better-informed business decisions about when to change a GTIN. The GTIN Management Standard is part of a larger industry initiative that is dedicated to making the rules for GTIN management—and the sharing of data about minor product changes—simpler and more effective. Senior-level business, e-commerce and IT decision-makers from around the world, representing retailers, manufacturers, selling platforms and solution providers, have voiced their support.
“The new standard made it easier to make clear decisions and communicate these decisions across the organization—saving the company time and money,” says Lori Bigler, director, industry initiatives and standards at The J.M. Smucker Company. “Using the new rules, we completed the evaluation of all 125 products in minutes instead of days.”
“The collaboration around the GTIN Management Standard is the first step in a series of efforts that will help make unique product identification standards better suited to faster and more agile brick-and-mortar and e-commerce business environments,” said Carrie Wilkie, vice president, standards management, GS1 US®. “With the unprecedented support and enthusiasm from executives at major brands and retailers, GS1 US is committed to facilitating these important steps to enable future innovation and move at the speed the industry needs to succeed now.”
Industry can begin using the new GTIN Management Standard immediately. However, there is no expected need to change processes or systems already in place that were based on the former rules.