The Impact GS1 and GDSN is having on global supply chain management

Global supply chain standards have reached a new high thanks in no small part to the GS1 operation, and international not-for-profit association that claims member organisations in more than 100 countries across the world.

Improving the efficiency of global supply chain technology

GS1’s mission is to design and implement a set of standards and solutions that can be applied globally in order to improve the efficiency and the transparency of supply and demand chains encompassing all sectors worldwide. Their standards systems are more widely used within the global supply chain arena than any other systems in the world today.

The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN)

GS1’s Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) was established over 10 years ago in order to help companies within the global supply chain to synchronise the data of a range of standardised products. Over the past 10 years it has grown from a small number of companies sharing data relating to 74,000 items in 13 countries to the current level of more than 25,000 companies sharing data relating to 15,000,000 line items in 150 countries across the world.

Enabling globally productive synergies

As additional data continues to flood into the supply chain via the GDSN, more and more companies are able to find productive synergies. A good example is the recent upsurge in the number of medical devices being added to the registry. This now outstrips the initiative recently taken by the US Food and Drug Administration in creating its Unique Device Identification rule.

Minimizing global supply chain disruptions

As the amount of accuracy and data continues to accumulate, companies are able to access greater efficiencies and economies, thereby helping to minimise supply chain disruptions and maximise on the shelf availability.

The impact GDSN has had on McCain

The CIO (Chief Information Officer) of McCain foods, Roman Coba, commented that one of the main reasons for McCain adopting the GDSN data was to increase their speed of reaction within the supply chain and to enable them to create more efficiency. He maintains that GS one has given them the quality of data to enable them to achieve their goals.

The GS one organisation is prophesying a self perpetuating situation whereby consumer demand will grow and grow. The needs for standards will increase in demand, consuming more data on how products are delivered to the various marketplaces, how they are handled, denoting complete traceability, enhancing nutritional information, and how products fit compliance and classifications criteria across rigorous food industry standards.

The market sectors GDSN already influences

GS1’s GDSN of safety standards is now engaged across many sectors in the global supply chain arena, including:

  • The retail sector
  • The health care sector
  • The transport and logistics sector
  • The automotive sector
  • The financial services sector
  • The defence sector

An important step forward in global supply chain management

Having a globally accepted standards system in as many sectors as possible is an important step forward in improving supply chain management. Member organisations of GS1 around the world are responsible for allocating a unique numbering system and providing training and support for:

  • Bar-coding
  • Electronic data interchange (eCom)
  • GDSN data synchronisation is
  • Radio frequency identification (EPCglobal)

Liaising with official bodies such as the United Nations and the European commission, GS1 and GDSN technology is making significant strides towards helping organisations to manage global supply chain processes with a far greater degree of efficiency.


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