Overview

The GS1 system of standards is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world.

GS1 is a leading global organization 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 sectors. The GS1 system of standards is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world.

  • GS1 is a fully integrated global organisation with over 30 years experience in global standards.
  • GS1 offers a range of products, services, and solutions to fundamentally improve efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains.
  • GS1 operates in multiple sectors and industries.

The most common usage of GS1 standards is the Global Trade Item number (GTIN). This set of standards is commonly seen on bar codes that are scanned at the point of sale in retail outlets.

The Global Trade Item Number is part of the GS1 standards. It is commonly used to identify individual trade items worldwide. A trade item is any item (product or service) upon which there is a need to retrieve pre-defined information and that may be priced, or ordered, or invoiced at any point in any supply chain. This includes individual items as well as all their different configurations in different types of packaging.

Through the use of randomized numbers of up to fourteen (14) digits, an organization can mark its products with bar codes. This bar code can be scanned and linked to databases in order to uniquely identify individual trade items. When linked to the appropriate database, the GTIN will usually provide at least three pieces of information about any product:  manufacturer, product, and packaging level.

Example of a GTIN at Covidien:
Organization Product Reorder Code ANSI X12 UOM Quantity of Measure GTIN 
Covidien (Medical Supplies) 9255 EA 1 10884521021914
Covidien (Medical Supplies) 9255 CT 25 20884521021911
Covidien (Medical Supplies) 9255 CA 100 30884521021918
In the example above, "EA" = "each," "CT" = "Carton," and "CA" = "Case."