From the CEO's desk


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From the CEO's desk

  1. 1. GS1 India’s e-newsletter for subscribers Standards@Work 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. This e-newsletter is meant for GS1 India subscribers. You are receiving this e-newsletter either because you are a GS1 subscriber, or have asked to be included in our mailing list, or attended a GS1 India workshop or requested information. If you do not wish to receive this e-newsletter, or have been sent this communication in error, please scroll to the bottom for information on how to unsubscribe. We respect your privacy. ========================================== CONTENTS: >> 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!  Subscription renewal  Take an E-learning course  Bar code implementation workshops ========================================== From the CEO’s desk ========================================== Dear Subscriber, 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 ( 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
  2. 2. 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 website ( 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 productivity. Hope you make the best use of the enormous potential of GS1 standards. Regards, Ravi Mathur ^TOP ========================================== 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 as India. 8 900900 143567 Check Digit Company Prefix Product Code 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 problems later.
  3. 3. 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 is exhausted.  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. ^TOP ========================================== GS1 Update ========================================== International News 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.
  4. 4. 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: ^TOP 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
  5. 5. 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 ^TOP National News Industry head honchos underline need for supply chain standardization 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.
  6. 6. 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. ^TOP Aditya Birla Retail organises bar code implementation training for suppliers 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. ^TOP ========================================== Alert ========================================== Subscription Renewal 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. We have therefore decided to accept Renewal requests with immediate effect. You are requested to kindly send in the Subscription Fee well in advance, preferably by January 2008. If you do not look after subscription renewals, please pass on this message to the person concerned in your organisation. For more information or clarification, please write to ^TOP
  7. 7. Take an E-learn course in GS1 standards If you're involved in implementing GS1 standards, including 13-digit GS1 product coding on consumer items, and want to know how you can benefit by adopting GS1 Standards, then GS1’s e-learn courses are the right opportunity for you. You can now e-learn from the comfort of your home or office, and at your own time & pace. Our world class multi-media learning material is easy to understand and apply. You can also take online tests to check your understanding. These courses take learners through programmes such as GS1 Bar Code Applications in consumer items, cartons (trade items) and containers (logistic units); Developing and implementing EANCOM; Basics of GPC (Global Product Classification); GS1 Application Identifiers & ID Keys, etc. The courses will be of interest to professionals engaged in packaging, logistics, procurement, IT, etc. For more information, email ^TOP Events: Bar code implementation workshop Bar code implementation workshops are held at GS1 India’s New Delhi Office premises. In January 2008, workshops will be held on 10 and 31. Seats are limited, and are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. There are no charges. To register, email Register early to avoid last-minute rush. ========================================== GS1: The global language of business ========================================== © 2008 GS1 India 330, 2nd Floor, ‘C’ Wing, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi - 110066 Telephone: +91-11-26168720/721 Fax: +91-11-26168730 Web site: ========================================== ^TOP
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