GS1 Bar Code, Explained
When you decide to start your own business or perhaps broaden the reach of your product it is always a good idea to get in early with a bar code for your product, the procedures for this can be found on website entrepreneurinfo.co.za You have done your research and you are now ready to buy one for your product or perhaps for your in house distribution, shipping and dispatching of goods and often when purchasing, you will notice that a requirement of retail stores is that it be a GS1 registered bar code. There are many companies from which you can purchase your own unique GS1 registered bar code, but most people have the question of what or who are GS1?
To answer the question, they are the worldwide distributor of bar codes. In order to have your product placed into retail to be sold you will be required to purchase your own GS1 registered bar code numbers, this ultimately prevents duplication in stores as you need to own the numbers in order for them to be accepted by retailers. You can imagine the disaster it would cause if vendors were able to choose their own numbers, and the stores were receiving duplicates into their stores, their administration team would be run off their feet constantly. In the early 1970’s the European Article Number Association and the United States Bar Code Organisation, the Uniform Code Council were merged to form GS1. Their purpose is to enable companies in any industry to be able to identify, share and capture information, this is to have a streamlined process that works throughout the supply chain. Although they were originally intended solely to provide to the retail sector, they have been modernised and expanded on so many levels, that the industries in which they are now being utilized is inspiring, from Healthcare to wildlife endangerment. In the retail sector there is a live global database that retailers can access, they can scan any bar code on a product, and it will reflect all the needed details. This is also used for retailers to confirm ownership as when purchasing directly from GS1 South Africa your company details will be linked in their database. It is an absolute necessity for your code to either be assigned to you on this database or for you to provide a certificate of ownership, either or.
They also offer a GLN, which is short for Global Location Number. A GLN is a thirteen-digit number, much the same as an EAN. The number begins with a company prefix, a location reference, and a check digit. A GLN number allows companies to use these numbers to represent information or locations, such as different branches of their company or healthcare sectors. It can also be used to identify the company as a corporate entity. It can be used to identify the destination of pallets of goods being shipped form a company as well as the location of goods in storage warehouses via a GLN extension component. These numbers can also be embedded into tags. The company prefix will be provided by GS1 which will be unique to your company, the location reference can be provided by the company itself and the check digit is the last digit of a barcode that is calculated using the other twelve numbers in the barcode. GLN numbers can only be acquired directly from GS1 themselves as it needs to be a part of the live global database due to them being tracking numbers. The GLN is fully compatible with ISO/IEC 6523 Information technology Structure for the identification of organizations and organization parts.
They also play a major role in the Logistics industry. Whether it be road freight, courier, rail, port, imports or exports they are able to provide you with options on keeping real time track of your goods. The new procedures that are being put in place in Great Britain and Europe for rail transport is phenomenal. This can be read about in detail at Transport and Logisitics.
They are bringing about ways in which to keep a close track of their cargo trains at all times, to prevent delays caused by miscommunication and manual labour. The trains will be fitted with RFID Tags which is short for Radio-Frequency Identification Tags which is a bar code format. One will be placed at the front and one at the back of each train. This will help in many ways such as the direction in which the train is travelling as you can read about at Transcore. When a train arrives at a yard the direction that the train will be coming in is very important to know beforehand as the vehicles with single sided loading doors will need to be available at a certain point and location of the yard to off load the trains. These tags also allow for the travel direction, axle count, speed, and length all to be monitored. If there is a fault with the train and it perhaps comes to a standstill on the tracks then this can be picked up immediately instead of causing a delay but the necessary people being unaware and hence causing a complete delay on that track for all trains. This data is able to be shared live at all times between carriers and saves a great deal of time and money for all concerned. The same applies for a system to allow for accurate asset management on ships carrying cargo. Nothing happens without everything being recorded in real time.
There are many functions that GS1 offer to businesses and we hope we have been able to show you by writing this short article some of the options that are available to you to incorporate a barcoding system into your operations. And a reminder to have a look at our website at Entrepreneur Info for loads of informative articles on the barcoding world.