Since the time the first barcode on a pack of Wrigley's chewing gum was scanned at a supermarket in Ohio in 1974, GS1 has made significant contribution to the efficiency of the retail Supply Chain and the overall growth of the retail industry.
Manufacturers and retailers established GS1 to enable them to agree to mutually beneficial standards.
Over 5 billion GS1 barcodes get scanned each day at Point Of Sale outlets worldwide and the use of GS1 standards has spread far beyond it to encompass the entire Supply Chain starting from the manufacturer's plant, through the distribution network and till the POS.
Today, GS1 standards used in Retail & Consumer Goods sector mean much more than the barcode and include standards for electronic business messaging, data synchronisation and RFID-based identification and solutions to a range of business issues.This has resulted in uniform and universal identification of products, consignments by all trading partners which in turn has speeded up movement of physical supplies through their journey from point of manufacture to point of sale/dispensation.The GS1 Standards provide visibility in the retail value chain, enabling trading partners to collaborate and build a more efficient, safe and sustainable supply chain.
Many core business applications have become enabled by use of GS1 standards and solutions in the Retail sector which include greater efficiency in inventory management by monitoring of stocks and their freshness on retail shelves and more timely replenishment, seamless product visibility and ease of tracking & tracing in the Supply Chain. Additionally, it has become possible now to authenticate products, recall them with accuracy, speed and ease when required and build correct correlation between physical supplies and information. Reliable master data management by improving data quality has also become possible through use of GS1 data synchronisation standards.
In India, despite the low share of modern retail to overall retail size, the adoption of GS1 standards has been very encouraging, particularly across key product categories like Grocery, FMCG, Apparel and General Merchandise. It is rapidly expanding to cover all other categories as well including pharmaceuticals.
Delhi State Excise Department has mandated GS1 standards for efficient Supply Chain management and product authentication of alcoholic beverages.
To study product data quality and bring out its impact on business processes in the Retail sector, a data crunch study was undertaken through IBM by the CII National Retail Committee, under the guidance of GS1 India. This study would build a strong business case for launch of data synchronization services in the country.
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