GS1 India’s e-newsletter for subscribers
www.gs1india.org January, 2008
GS1 India is a standards-based not-for-profit organization promoted by the
Ministry of Commerce and Indian Industry to spread awareness and provide
guidance on adoption of global standards in Supply Chain Management by
Indian Industry for the benefit of consumers, Industry, Govt. etc.
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>> From the CEO’s desk
>> Cover Story: Allocating product codes? Keep it simple
>> GS1 Update: News from India and Abroad
Report on standards in Healthcare published
Daimler joins EPCglobal
Industry head honchos underline need for standards
Aditya Birla organises barcode training for suppliers
>> Alerts: Time to take action!
Take an E-learning course
Bar code implementation workshops
From the CEO’s desk
Heartiest New Year greetings from GS1 India!
I am sure that by now most of you would have
implemented GS1 bar codes on your products and
uploaded the information on GS1 India’s GEPIR
website (www.gs1india.org.in). In case you haven’t,
I urge you to do so at the earliest.
Use of bar codes and global product identification standards has
caught up rapidly in the country, with over 80% consumer
products now bearing GS1 bar codes. Just pick up any consumer
item and you will find a bar code with a unique 13-digit human
readable number below it beginning with 890, signifying India as
the country of origin.
Type this 13-digit code in the search web page on GS1 India’s GEPIR
and you’ll have instantaneous access to the contact information of
the manufacturer. As you can see, this service offers you a great
way to multiply exposure to your products at no extra cost.
Besides, adopting GS1 standards can also help you streamline
your own internal stock management, reduce costs and improve
Hope you make the best use of the enormous potential of
Cover Story: Allocating product codes? Keep it simple
BY: MUKESH MANN
A GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is a 13-digit code that gives
every product a unique identity. GTIN begins with a company
prefix (allocated by GS1) and is followed by a product code which
is allocated by the company generating GTINs. In case of GTIN-13,
the company prefix and product code must always add up to 12 digits.
The last digit, called a check digit, is used to ensure that the code is
correctly composed, and is calculated on the basis of the preceding 12
digits. In India, all GTINs begin with ‘890’, signifying the country of origin
8 900900 143567
The company prefix remains the same for all product variants of a
company. However, the product code for each variant has to be
different. Do you know the most convenient way to allocate product
codes? Well, it is to simply assign the numbers serially. Try not to build
in any form of intelligence in the product code since it is an invitation to
This recommendation is based on sound business practice and has
stemmed from Industry’s experiences gained over many years in
different countries throughout the world. The allocation of product
codes in sequential order ensures there are no duplications. It
also makes managing the number allocation process much simpler.
Let us now look at some mistakes companies commonly make while
allocating product codes.
Some companies split their number bank by leaving gaps for
different product ranges or product groups. In such cases,
problems arise when new products are introduced after a range
Problems also arise when companies attach significance to specific
digit positions within the product code to identify the product by
group, category, type, etc. By doing so, you would end up limiting
the numbers available for allocation severely and restrict its usage
to within your own environment which understands and deciphers
the significance behind each digit.
Companies should also avoid using internal product codes within
GTINs, primarily as there is no standard or common approach used
in such internal coding. One company may code at carton level,
another at intermediate or multi-pack level while still another may
code at the consumer item level. In addition, some companies that
code at the carton level use the same internal product code for
cartons containing different configurations of a product, for example:
24 loose, 4 x 6 and 2 x 12. In this instance, what internal code would
be allocated to each of the intermediary units within the GTIN
structure? In such scenarios, use of internal product coding within
GTINs would lead to duplication and conflict.
GS1 standards call for a separate number to be allocated to every
product variant in shape, size, weight, colour, flavour, etc. and also
to each different packaging type and level.
Finally, it should be borne in mind that GTINs would have to be cross
indexed to the internal product code within a company’s system,
which, in any event, negates the purpose of using internal codes
within the GTIN structure.
Report on standards in Healthcare published
Michigan State University School of Packaging has developed "The
Case for Global Data Standards in the Healthcare Supply Chain" for
GS1 global Healthcare User Group.
This report summarizes the benefits and advantages of global standards
for automatic identification for all stakeholders in the worldwide
healthcare supply chain. It provides a brief overview of the complexities
of the current situation, and makes recommendations regarding how
global standards can play a role in ensuring that the healthcare supply
chain is safe and efficient.
The report can be accessed at:
Daimler joins GS1 EPCglobal
Automobile manufacturer Daimler AG
has become the first company in the
automotive sector to join EPCglobal
Inc a subsidiary of GS1 responsible
for the development of the Electronic
Product Code (EPC) for the
inter-sectoral deployment of RFID
across the global supply chains. EPC
will help reduce the number of
different identification systems in the automotive industry, allowing
suppliers and service providers to optimize their complex logistics and
business processes. This includes related economic sectors such as
retail and transportation, where the EPC-compatible GS1 numbering
system is already established.
EPC Gen 2 technology is being implemented in an increasing number
of applications and systems. Its standardized infrastructure enables
reduction of hardware costs and coordination efforts with trading
partners. This is especially significant for the production structure
within the automotive branch, which until now has been unable to
benefit from an industry-wide standard.
“The implementation of RFID technology gives our organization the
potential to increase process quality and reduce costs,” explains
Dr. Michael Gorriz, Chief Information Officer, Mercedes-Benz Cars &
Vans of Daimler AG. “Membership of GS1 EPCglobal allows us to
introduce the requirements of the automotive industry into the
development of RFID standards at an early stage, thereby avoiding
future harmonization costs.”
About EPCglobal Inc:
EPCglobal Inc is a subsidiary of the global not-for-profit standards
organization GS1, and supports the global adoption of the Electronic
Product Code as industry-driven standards to enable accurate,
immediate and cost-effective visibility of information throughout the
supply chain. In the end, the business community is improving its
operations through EPCglobal standards in order to be more efficient,
flexible and responsive to consumer needs. For more information
about EPCglobal please visit www.epcglobalinc.org
Industry head honchos underline need for supply chain
In recognition of the crucial role of
supply chain efficiency, Federation
of Indian Chambers of Commerce and
Industries (FICCI) organised a
convention, 'Winning with Intelligent
Supply Chain 2007' (WISC 07) in New
Delhi on Dec 17-18, 2007. Ravi Mathur,
CEO, GS1 India, delivered a presentation
on “Enabling competitiveness through
standards and technologies adoption”
on the occasion.
Prominent industrialists and bureaucrats
addressed a large audience, comprising
mostly of senior executives from across Industry.
Several speakers, including Ted Huffman, Director-Supply Chain,
Wal-Mart India; Anshuman Singh, CEO, Future Logistics Solutions
Ltd., Dhruva Chanderi, COO, Next Electronic Retail India Ltd.,
Rahul Chadha, Director, SAK Customer Retail Services and
J.S. Shinde, General Secretary, All-India Chemists and Druggists
Association emphasized the need for global and inter-operable
standards to improve supply chain efficiency in various sectors.
GS1 India CEO Ravi Mathur urged business leaders to adopt global
standards in supply chain management. He also explained how
standardization led to improved supply chain efficiency and reduced
costs. Later, he answered queries from members of the audience.
He also participated in a panel discussion on the second day, which
included Rajan Bharti Mittal, MD, Bharti Enterprises; Sanjeev Asthana,
President and Chief Executive, Reliance Retail Limited; R.C. Agrawal,
MD, Vishal Mega Mart Ltd.; Arvind Singhal, Chairman, Technopak
Advisors Limited; Vikram Bakshi, MD, Ms Donald’s, Pinakiranjan Mishra,
Partner, Ernst and Young; Yawar Ali Khan, Chairman, Nestle Pakistan
Limited and Rajiv Srivastava, General Manager – Enterprise and Partner
Group, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd.
Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister of State, Food Processing Industries,
Government of India, Minister of State for Industries, and Raghuvansh
P. Singh, Union Minster for Rural Development, Govt. of India were
present on the first and second day of the event respectively.
The convention was organised as a platform for Industry to share
experiences, learn, network and deliberate on issues related to Supply
Chains, and brainstorm on constraints and strategies for making Indian
Supply Chains more efficient using technology and global standards.
Aditya Birla Retail organises bar code implementation training
Aditya Birla Retail Ltd., one of the major players in India’s expanding
retailing industry, gave a mighty push to its standardization initiative
by inviting GS1 India to train its suppliers in GS1 bar code
implementation. The Company organised a special session on Dec 27,
2007 at the Aditya Birla Retail Centre, Mumbai. About 50 participants
representing approximately 40 supplier organisations attended the
session. The participants eagerly heard the instructor from GS1 India,
and sought clarifications on issues related to bar coding.
The renewal of your GS1 India subscription is due on March 31, 2008.
It has been observed that due to preoccupation with other important
business matters like taxation, annual meetings, etc. during the last
quarter of the Financial Year, many companies fail to renew their
subscription on time. This results in unnecessary hassles and delays.
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