GS1 MHD magazine numbers data digital

Join the Network – from MHD magazine

As commerce, in general, has become more competitive and advances in technology continue at breakneck speed, an efficient supply chain is crucial for the survival and success of your business.
With Industry 4.0, the suite of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, sensor technology and data analytics are transforming how businesses operate with their trading partners and consumers. Australian businesses can make their supply chains more efficient by reducing costs and boosting their competitiveness. Many of these technologies are underpinned by GS1 standards, the most widely used supply chain standards in the world.
While most companies are aware that ‘supply chain improvements’ are needed to drive efficiencies across the whole of their business operation, managers and business owners often don’t have enough expertise to start implementing practical steps.
GS1 Australia’s extensive Network of Solution Providers is available to help member businesses implement GS1 standards quickly and accurately, from barcode labelling through to data warehousing.

“GS1 partners have expertise in helping companies improve visibility across their supply chain as implementing traceability and anti-counterfeit measures is a key challenge facing manufacturers and their suppliers.”

One-stop supply chain solutions provider network

Introduced more than ten years ago, GS1 created the Alliance Partner program to connect business members with solution providers that have a thorough knowledge of the GS1 system and to share its vision of delivering tangible supply chain benefits for its members.
Today, around 20,000 business members from more than 20 industry sectors can take advantage of the pool of knowledge and expertise within the Alliance Partner community. All partners in the network are trained in GS1 standards and implementation across a range of industry sectors including retail (apparel, general merchandise and food & beverage), healthcare, freight and logistics, and rail.
The GS1 community offers businesses a complete suite of products and solutions to help them build efficient and effective supply chains, from barcoding of products (printers and labels), software like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) messaging for purchase orders and invoices and Enterprise Resource Planning for procurement of goods, through to data warehousing and warehouse management systems (WMS).
Some further benefits that the GS1 Alliance Partner community can bring to a business include:

  • Value-added tools and resources to complement and enhance the GS1 system.
  • Access to the latest information on supply chain products and services, some of which is global by nature.
  • Ongoing support to help businesses continue to innovate and extend their supply chain efficiencies.

Additionally, GS1 partners have expertise in helping companies improve visibility across their supply chain as implementing traceability and anti-counterfeit measures is a key challenge facing manufacturers and their suppliers.

Finding a solution provider

Businesses have many opportunities to connect with the Alliance Partner community and find the right solution provider for their needs. To help businesses readily find GS1 partners, the Solution Providers Directory is available at www.gs1au.org/what-we-do/solution-providers/find-a-solution-provider. Visitors can search for a provider and contact them directly by submitting the short request form. From the directory you can view a description of the solutions offered by each of the Alliance Partners, together with their contact details and a link to the company website.
Business members can also meet face-to-face with many of the Alliance Partners exhibiting at events and training sessions hosted by GS1 Australia across the country. One of the key networking opportunities for businesses to connect with the Alliance Partner community is at GS1’s premier conference, NEXUS, which is held every two years and brings together supply chain leaders from industry, government trade associations and the GS1 business member community. Additionally, the popular one-day Barcode Basics for Your Business is held regularly and is available for GS1 business members and non-members.
With the pace of change in business showing no signs of slowing, connecting and consulting with a GS1 Alliance Partner can help improve your business efficiency, profitability, safety and security.
For more information about GS1 Solution Providers or if you’re interested in becoming an Alliance Partner, email alliances@gs1au.org or visit https://www.gs1au.org/what-we-do/solution-providers/.
 

Digital transformation – from MHD magazine

Sue Schmid

Standards in the digital era are evolving just as fast as new digital technologies on a local and global basis. We have seen GS1 standards evolve over the last 25 years to meet industry needs.
GS1 standards have always adapted and transformed to align with new technologies and to support new industries and processes that did not even exist when GS1 was created. Industries such as online marketplaces are driving the development of new standards to build smarter supply chains and enable the connection between business and consumer in the physical and digital world.
The rise of and success of GS1 standards
GS1’s work with barcodes has been one of the most successful examples of international adoption of standards for business. Why are the GS1 standards are so successful and why does the GS1 system remain the most widely used identification system and supply chain standard in the world? The answer is in the common language that GS1 standards provide to make it easier to do business with trading partners and customers.
GS1 has been established for over forty years. The first GS1 barcode was scanned in 1974 at a checkout in the US with the purpose of getting shoppers (consumers) through the checkout faster, giving them better service. This first scan reshaped the supply chain forever and established the foundation that facilitates business today.
The GS1 barcode is the most well-known component of the GS1 system and most people associate us as just the barcode people, but what we provide is a global identification system – and that’s what our members subscribe to when they join GS1.

“We are at a very exciting time of change and we are looking forward to supporting our members and assisting them on their own evolution of improvement and implementation of digital technologies.”

The GS1 system is an authenticated, valid and verified system that is globally recognised and has become embedded in so many companies’ operations and processes. And with the internet world transforming the way we live, the GS1 system is a fundamental component to support the millions of transactions that happen each day. The humble, yet incredibly powerful barcode, is well entrenched in our daily lives and we don’t even realise it.
Evolving technology provides more scope for the use of standards
Standards have always been an integral part of the international business world and supply chain, and will continue to do so in the interconnected world of today and into the future. As changes in technology continue to accelerate, the evolving role of standardisation in technological innovation is changing, too.
As we evolve the GS1 standards in the business-to-business space, the business-to-consumer layer continues to emerge and the GS1 standards are uniquely placed to support and connect these two together. Businesses have been responsible for evolving the GS1 standards over the past 40 years, and the consumers of today are now also impacting how the standards are leveraged because they want more information to help them make better purchasing decisions, and they are using barcodes on a product to gain access to this information.
Although there are various mobile apps available for this that draw information from the many places via the web, consumers are putting pressure on organisations for accurate and real-time information. This is where the GS1 standards connect and facilitate the physical and online supply chain, along with providing a means to ensure accurate data and information for the consumer.
GS1 standards connect the consumer and business
Ms Schmid explained why the power of the GS1 barcode and the information behind it is becoming much more important to consumers beyond the familiar beep at the checkout.
“The GS1 barcode is a bit like the Intel chip in a computer. It runs the computer and does everything you want the computer to do, seamlessly. The GS1 identification used in barcodes or in the exchange of data is just like an Intel chip, seamlessly integrating supply chains between businesses and consumers across the world. It integrates and connects the consumer with the information they want to know. Industry has a part to play in making sure the information is trustworthy in a collaborative world where information is more visible and more accessible.
As a consumer, I recently had to get a part replaced for my refrigerator. Having called the service centre, they requested I provide them with the date of purchase, where I had purchased and when, none of which I had. They asked me to find a serial number for the item, it was on the inside of the door printed in the smallest writing possible that I had to twist my head to be able to read it! At that point I was imagining being able to scan a barcode on the inside of the door that in an app, would identify my refrigerator uniquely. This can be done today with a GS1 number, called the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), and a serial number, all possible in today’s GS1 system. All I would then have to do is scan it into the app and all the information they wanted would be provided, easy and simple.
The GS1 system facilitates the connection of all the information at our finger tips in our world today, with more simplified access, making our daily lives easier.
Most consumers today also want detailed information before they purchase a food item including allergy information, gluten free, sugar free, provenance, organically certified and much more. We need to have a system that enables the consumer to be able access this information and feel confident that the information is trustworthy. This is where GS1 standards fit perfectly connecting unique product identification and organisations to provide trustworthy information about the product through the supply chain.
Data accuracy is crucial
New and emerging technology is important for any size of business today with the rise of the digital era, however, the accuracy of data is the number one issue that seems to be overlooked.
GS1 has data quality frameworks for various processes such as data synchronisation but ultimately, it’s important to help GS1 members have the right things in place in the systems including access to technologies to help them make that journey of ensuring their data is accurate and remains accurate. GS1 provides members with tools and support for data accuracy which is becoming more achievable with newer technologies.
Implementing new standards in the digital era to embrace quality data is an important foundation for the transition from old to new.
There will always be new standards being developed and enhancements to the existing ones, depending on the needs of industry. The GS1 product identification standards certainly sit in the digital age already today. The only real change that needs to happen is in the world of the internet. We are heading towards integrating our identifiers on the internet, so the consumer can leverage this quality data and information beyond the point of sale.
Data accuracy is also crucial in healthcare. In-home patient care is increasing, so what a wonderful way to validate that the patient is taking the right medicine at the right time by a simple scan of a GS1 barcode that is underpinned by GS1 identifiers.
These types of evolutions for creating standards are happening all the time – we don’t create standards for the sake of creating standards.
“We are also seeing a change in the profile of our members. Our corporate members, who are often at the leading edge of technology, may have challenges moving from a legacy system to a new system and new standards. In contrast, there is an opportunity for our smaller members who aren’t constrained by legacy systems, to leverage the GS1 system’s flexibility. They can have an authentic GS1 numbering system and adopt new standards, because as the future evolves and the internet synchronises with the use of our identifiers, the opportunities for small business are enormous with less barriers.”
Vision for GS1 members
The priority for GS1 Australia is to make sure all members, particularly small to medium size businesses, understand the value and the opportunity the GS1 system can bring to them in both the physical and digital world.
We are at a very exciting time of change and we are looking forward to supporting our members and assisting them on their own evolution of improvement and implementation of digital technologies.
Sue Schmid is the head of customer relations and standards office at GS1 Australia. For more information on GS1 standards please contact Sue Schmid at sue.schmid@gs1au.org.

Alcohol industry signs up with NPC

GS1 Australia and the Drinks Association have announced a new strategic partnership to drive industry standards development and adoption to improve business and supply chain efficiency in the drinks industry.
Executive director and chief executive officer of GS1 Australia Maria Palazzolo said: “We are delighted to be working with the Drinks Association for the benefit of members, many of whom have membership in both organisations. Through this partnership we have a much better opportunity to engage with the drinks industry to support and help strengthen supply chain operations through the adoption of GS1 standards and services.”
An NPC Advisory Group will be formed in late 2018 amongst manufacturers, brand owners and distributors. Improving the quality of product data being shared across the drinks sector will be one of the key objectives of the NPC Advisory Group.
The two-year partnership will also seek to develop new services as well as embed existing services more fully into the drinks supply chain to streamline the identification and movement of goods for the benefit of all stakeholders
“The Drinks Association is pleased to partner with GS1 to drive industry standards and services for the betterment of our members and the industry overall. We are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with GS1 on the development of innovative solutions and support our members to create business efficiencies,” said CEO of the Drinks Association Georgia Lennon.
The partnership will actively collaborate with industry to enhance inventory accuracy and visibility, improve digital capability, leverage new technologies and support regulatory compliance.
 

Digital Link to connect brands and consumers online

Global supply chain standards organisation GS1 has announced a new global web standard to help industry optimise online shopping for the consumer.
In an age where the shopping activity can happen anytime, anywhere – and product data and transparency are in demand – this new GS1 standard will empower consumers and businesses alike to move seamlessly through the world of physical and digital commerce, bringing mobile phone scanning into the 21st century.
Head of customer relations and standards office at GS1 Australia Sue Schmid said: “The GS1 Digital Link is a new generation GS1 global standard that is the foundational bridge between physical products and their digital twins.”
Developed by a group of retailers, brand owners, software providers and technology experts, together with GS1, the GS1 Digital Link standard will complement the traditional, ubiquitous GS1 barcode, which is expected to remain the universal standard for product identification for many years to come. It opens the door, however, for a potential opportunity to migrate to a single web-enabled barcode in the future.
Resembling a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or web address, the GS1 Digital Link can enable connections to all types of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) information.
Retailers and brands deploying GS1 Digital Link will benefit from the simplification of product packaging and the ability to connect with their customers. By linking the physical world of commerce with its digital counterpart, customers will be able to be alerted on discounts and price matching while they are still inside the physical store.
“As businesses begin to develop systems using the new GS1 Digital Link standard, consumers will be able to access a variety of brand-authorised product information by simply scanning a web-enabled barcode. The product information available will be everything from dimensions and images to expiration dates, nutritional data, warranty registration, troubleshooting instructions, discount offers and even social media links,” added Ms Schmid.
GS1 senior vice president solutions & innovation Robert Beideman said: “The GS1 Digital Link standard will ensure that product data, information about inventory and digital assets for a particular product are linked to each other through a common identity that also links to the actual physical product, which is essential to serving the needs of consumers today.”
Pilot projects are now underway in several countries and some solution providers and brands are already cooperating to upgrade their platforms to support this new GS1 Digital Link standard. Other GS1 standards will also continue to improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels.
The GS1 Digital Link was developed through the Global Standards Management Process (GSMP), the community-based forum, facilitated by GS1, where businesses facing common problems work together and develop standards-based solutions.
For more information about the GS1 Digital Link contact the GS1 Customer Support team or call 1300 22 263.

From MHD magazine: Recall

Management of product recalls in a supply chain

Faster recalls and improved consumer safety should be part of any organisation’s traceability capability and product recall management plan.
Retailers, manufacturers and consumers are growing increasingly concerned about the number of products being recalled or withdrawn.
The challenge
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), there were 593 products (excluding therapeutic goods) recalled in Australia in 2017, 66 of those from the food and grocery sector alone.
As supply chains continue to span the globe, these product recall events have shown that delivery of timely and accurate information to trading partners and regulatory agencies is paramount in the protection and safety of the consumer, the company and the brand.
The way to total recall 
In recognition of the need to build consumer safety into the supply chain, the GS1 Australia Recall service was developed in collaboration with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), the ACCC, national retailers and a number of Australian and international food and grocery manufacturers.
Launched in partnership with the AFGC in August 2011 for the food and beverage industry, Recall has assisted over 300 Australian food and beverage companies with the development and implementation of their product recall and withdrawal management process. In 2013, a healthcare sector portal was launched, followed by one for the general merchandise and apparel industries in 2014. Total Recall service subscriptions now approach 700, demonstrating a growing Recall community.
The Recall service is a web-based portal that enables manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to efficiently, accurately and securely communicate product recalls to customers and regulators. Where relevant, these trading partners can advise via the portal their updates and status for each recall advice.
Based on GS1 standards and global best practice, the service is designed to increase the speed and accuracy in the removal of unsafe or unsuitable products from the supply chain.
Industry continues its involvement with the development and support of the Recall service through an advisory group consisting of associations, retailers / recipients, distributors and manufacturers. The advisory group ensures the Recall service meets the ongoing requirements of industry to properly create, exchange and manage recalls and non-recall notices.
Recall – part of an organisation’s traceability capability
GS1 Australia’s head of supply chain improvement Peter Chambers said the increasing demands for product safety for consumers and an effective product recall management process is a fundamental building block in today’s supply chain pyramid.
“GS1 Recall should be part of every organisation’s traceability capability. The service uses global GS1 standards and ISO standards and is clearly supported by industry and regulators including FSANZ and ACCC,” said Mr Chambers.
In the event of a product recall or withdrawal, Recall ensures affected products are correctly identified and expressly removed or quarantined, targeting all affected parties with the right information to allow them to remove only the items identified in the notice.

“Ensuring your company is trained and ready to execute a recall effectively and accurately in a highly stressful situation minimises consumer harm and business interruption.”

Managing director at Drury Orchards Rick Drury said: “If we have to notify our customers of a recall, we know we will be able to do so quickly. With GS1 Recall, we can be sure that the notification will reach the people it needs to, when it needs to, so they can act quickly.”
GS1 Australia provides complete training and ongoing support for both Recall sponsors and recipients so users can be reassured they will be adequately prepared to action a recall or withdrawal notice, safely and securely online.
“Recall is the only product recall notification system that is documented in the FSANZ Food Industry Recall Protocol. Therefore, companies using the Recall portal to communicate a notice can be assured they are meeting their regulatory requirements,” Mr Chambers said.
“The ability of Recall to assemble, exchange and receive information from and between trading partners enables companies to record and report on the progress of a product recall.”
With current subscribers including major retailers such as Coles, Woolworths, Metcash, Costco, Priceline and Harris Farm Markets, Recall is the key to a more effective product recall management process.
Nestlé eBusiness manager Mandeep Sodhi said: “Nestlé has integrated GS1 Recall within our own product recall and withdrawal processes as it provides far greater speed, accuracy and control over such a critical event.”
Recall has also been certified by HACCP Australia as being effective and suitable for businesses operating a HACCP food safety program and is also mentioned in the FSANZ Food Industry Recall Protocol.
‘Mock recalls’ get you ready for the real thing
Recall is also helping organisations with a critical part of product recall preparation – undertaking ‘mock recalls’.
In the Recall portal, a mock recall is required twice a year for all businesses that manufacture, import, distribute or wholesale food products as part of their recall procedure in line with the Food Industry Recall Protocol set by FSANZ for annual mock events. Mock recalls are an essential part of HACCP, ISO and many other quality certification programs.
“Ensuring your company is trained and ready to execute a recall effectively and accurately in a highly stressful situation minimises consumer harm and business interruption. It is of critical importance for businesses of any size to put recall plans and procedures into practice with mock recalls,” Mr Chambers said.
Effective mock recall drills provide valuable insights into handling the real thing when it happens. The ‘mock recall’ function in Recall is designed to be part of a full mock recall process in a secure environment, helping organisations find and bridge any gaps before they encounter a real-life recall situation.
For more information contact GS1 Australia on 1300 BARCODE or visit www.gs1au.org/our-services/recall.
 
 

GS1 boosts anti-counterfeiting armoury

Brand protection and consumer connection company YPB Systems has joined GS1 Australia’s Alliance Partner Program as a Strategic Alliance Partner to combat counterfeiting.
GS1 is a not-for-profit organisation that provides GS1 standards and services to improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in 25 sectors.
The YPB platform enables clients to protect their brands and vital documents from the risks of counterfeiting, product diversion and theft, while providing tools to connect directly with their customers.
CEO and executive chairman at YPB Group Ltd John Houston said: “Becoming a Strategic Alliance Partner signifies our commitment to GS1 compliance and alignment with GS1 initiatives across multiple industries. We are looking forward to bringing certainty of authenticity to brands to GS1 members in the Australian marketplace through our leading brand protection and customer engagement solutions.”
YPB works in partnership with customers to create and tailor security products to protect their brands against counterfeiting, preserve the integrity of products to verify its authenticity through the supply chain, and connect them with their customers to safeguard them from counterfeit products.
GS1 Australia’s manager – business development and partnerships Sean Sloan said: “YPB’s announcement to sign-up as a Strategic Alliance Partner is a significant local commitment to GS1 standards in association with its anti-counterfeiting technology. Brand protection is, now more than ever, a paramount issue, and any company that supports brands in this space is a welcome addition to the GS1 Alliance Partner Program.”
YPB customised security caters for governments, financial institutions and brands, preventing forgery, counterfeit and even theft.
“We look forward to working in partnership with YPB in the Australian marketplace, given their expertise in protecting brands using GS1 standards,” added Mr Sloan.
 

GS1 Australia buys DLibrary

GS1 Australia has acquired DLibrary, a digital product photography, online hosting and distribution services company from PMP Digital Pty Ltd.
GS1 Australia’s executive director and chief executive officer Maria Palazzolo said: “The acquisition is aligned with GS1 Australia’s mission to provide suppliers, retailers and industry with a state of the art solution to manage and share high quality product images and accurate consumer facing product data with trading partners.
“Our strategic mission statement also reflects the vision of GS1 Global to establish the GS1 Cloud as the largest source of trusted product data in the world, making it possible for businesses to meet the expectations of today’s digital world.”
The DLibrary customer base and digital asset library will be merged into GS1 Australia’s Smart Media platform, providing retailers and many other Smart Media subscribers with a wider range of data and digital content at one central location.
Ms Palazzolo added: “The acquisition of DLibrary also complements the recent Smart Media enhancements to meet Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) requirements, as well as the expanded Smart Media Content Creation service powered by Brandbank, a Nielsen Group company, to bring local legal compliance and international best practice within the Smart Media service.
“An enhanced Smart Media is for the benefit of GS1 Australia members of all sizes, from the small local brand owner right up to large multi-nationals. We believe that the acquisition of DLibrary, together with the other enhancements, will position Smart Media as the leading solution for providing digital content to Australian industry.”
For many years GS1 Australia and DLibrary have worked collaboratively to drive industry standards in digital photography, and beyond the acquisition both companies will continue to work in partnership on digital content projects. This collaboration will provide GS1 Australia members and Smart Media customers with a range of value-added services around creative content and production including stylised photography, CGI, video, social, digital and print.
General manager of PMP Digital Stephen Cuthbert said: “We are excited about the sale of DLibrary to GS1 Australia and will work with GS1 to transition all of our customers to the Smart Media service over the coming months. We also look forward to continuing our strong relationship with GS1 Australia and combining our expertise to deliver expanded digital solutions for the Australian industry.”
Smart Media information: view the video, register to attend a free webinar, call the Smart Media team on +61 3 8581 5959, visit the website or email SmartMedia@gs1au.org.
 

GS1 partners with Foodbank to help address hunger in Aus

GS1 Australia has formed a partnership with Foodbank aiming to help tackle Australia’s food insecurity crisis through the GS1 Australia Recall portal, with Foodbank subscribing to receive timely product recall and withdrawal notices.
Foodbank, Australia’s largest food relief organisation, can now receive communication from manufacturers and suppliers about a product recall or withdrawal using the Recall service – an online portal to significantly streamline and improve the product recall and withdrawal process.
GS1 Australia’s head of supply chain improvement services Peter Chambers said: “GS1 Australia’s Recall portal now offers Foodbank the functionality to manage product recalls and remove the items from the Foodbank distribution system accurately and effectively. Food safety today is high on the menu with a need for an unequivocal standard practice across the entire food sector. Issuing a recall or withdrawal notification using Recall is simple, fast, and inexpensive.”
General manager national supply chain at Foodbank Australia Michael Davidson said: “Subscribing to Recall now gives us the reassurance that we will immediately be notified by our suppliers in the event of a food item being recalled or withdrawn from the supply chain. It also gives manufacturers and suppliers the opportunity to donate product withdrawals as an alternative to that product going into landfill. Instead, we will re-direct it across our national network of front-line charities to provide food and grocery items to vulnerable Australians who are doing it tough.”
Foodbank works collaboratively with the entire Australian food and retail sector and throughout the supply chain to source and distribute food to front line charities around the country.
The organisation receives donations of stock that is out of specification, close to expiry, surplus to requirement, or has incorrect, or faulty packaging. As long as the products are safe for human consumption and not part of a product recall, then Foodbank can gratefully accept them.
“We rely on food donations from a variety of suppliers including farmers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to help us reach the 3.6 million Australians who are suffering with food insecurity each year. With our vision being an Australia free from hunger and food waste, we are encouraging all suppliers that kindly donate surplus product to also notify us about a product withdrawal as soon as possible,” added Mr Davidson.
“GS1 Australia is excited that Foodbank has selected Recall, the first online recall portal to be certified by HACCP, to manage a recall or withdrawal of a food item that has been donated to them for the safety of the consumer,” said Mr Chambers.
For more information about Recall call 1300 227 263 or email recall@gs1au.org.
 

Enterprise blockchain collaboration launched

 
GS1 has announced a collaboration with IBM and Microsoft to leverage GS1 standards in their enterprise blockchain applications for supply chain clients.
GS1’s global standards for identification and structured data enable blockchain network users to scale enterprise adoption and maintain a single, shared version of the truth about supply chain and logistics events — increasing data integrity and trust between parties, and reducing data duplication and reconciliation.
GS1 Australia’s executive director and chief executive officer Maria Palazzolo said: “Blockchain, like any other technology designed to exchange data across organisations, must be established on strong foundations. At its core, any supply chain implementation needs to be based on all involved parties agreeing on a common way to uniquely identify any item, location, shipment, consignment, asset or any other ‘thing’ to which blockchain transactions relate.
“Trading partners must also adhere to common data definitions to ensure all parties in the chain can correctly interpret, and integrate, the ‘meaning’ of data in the blockchain. This is what GS1 has been doing for over 40 years across the globe.”
Data stored or referenced by blockchain networks can be structured for shared communications and interoperability through the use of standards. For example, the GS1 and ISO open standards of Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) and Core Business Vocabulary (CBV) enable standardised exchange of data and item-level tracking.
Peter Carter from Data61 (CSIRO) said: “A blockchain is a generic technology platform. The data we store in the blockchain still needs to follow supply chain data standards, and integrate with existing systems that use those standards. We have already started research into the use of GS1 EPCIS standards on blockchain, and we are exploring how we can integrate smart sensors and packaging into the supply chain on blockchain.”
Global businesses use standards in the supply chain
GS1 standards offer global businesses like Walmart the ability to expand blockchain networks to suppliers, distributors and other ecosystem partners, unlocking the business value of data sharing, transparency, visibility and trust. IBM and Walmart have successfully used blockchain technology in a pilot test to enhance the traceability of two food commodities in two different countries: mangoes in the US and pork in China.
“Our pilot projects in the US and China demonstrated that blockchain can strengthen existing food system safeguards by improving traceability. Using blockchain, we were able to track a product from retail shelf back through every stage of the supply chain, right to the farm gate, in seconds instead of days or weeks,” said Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Walmart. “Building blockchain traceability on a common set of standards can help us scale across our complex, global supply chain and build networks based on transparency and trust.”
“One of the key benefits to blockchain in the enterprise is the trust it delivers, which enables more efficient and complete sharing of the critical data that drives enterprise transactions. By removing the barriers that can be caused from disparate entry systems, that trust is solidified even further,” said Brigid McDermott, vice president, blockchain business development, IBM. “That’s why we are working with clients like Walmart and collaborating with other industry leaders to implement GS1 open standards into the work that we do.”
“Leveraging existing GS1 standards to structure event information will enable blockchain-based supply chain implementations to be more interoperable and will simplify the capture and description of events that are written against smart contracts,” said Yorke Rhodes III, global business strategist, Blockchain, Microsoft. “Collaborating with partners to implement solutions on blockchain using standards already in place for item-level tracking is the quickest path to production.”
 

Stibo Systems software certified by GS1

Master Data Management (MDM) solutions provider Stibo Systems recently announced that its STEP Trailblazer product has been officially certified by GS1 Australia. It enables suppliers and brand owners to load and maintain the National Product Catalogue in order to provide item and price synchronisation to trading partners.
STEP Trailblazer is a B2B platform that facilitates product data management and B2B transactions between trading partners across the supply-chain process for organisations in the retail, food, manufacturing, CPG, healthcare, agribusiness, transport and automotive industries.
The National Product Catalogue is GS1 Australia’s data synchronisation solution for the Australian and New Zealand markets, allowing trading partners to exchange product details, pricing, trade and marketing-related information across all product categories. The National Product Catalogue Certification Program is conducted by GS1 Australia and is designed to certify a product’s ability to meet the local National Product Catalogue supplier and data source requirements by all engaged industry sectors. The program certifies a product’s ability to meet local requirements.
“Organisations often struggle to trade and transport goods because of inaccurate and incomplete supply-chain data,” said Willem van Dijk, Managing Director, Stibo Systems. “This diminishes agility and impacts the ability to set up new products. Stibo Systems’ STEP Trailblazer solution helps suppliers and brand owners to quickly and easily connect to the NPC, and improves the data exchange throughout the entire supply chain. This reduces errors and creates accurate, up-to-date and compliant information.”
John Hearn, Head of Data & Digital Content Services, GS1 Australia, added, “The certification program is only available to GS1 Australia Alliance Partners. These partners need to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the components of the GS1 system, forming the basis for data synchronisation.
“We are delighted to have successfully completed the National Product Catalogue Certification Program with Stibo Systems. We look forward to working with them and their clients to ensure the data synchronisation functionality is a smart and secure way to share product data between trading partners.”

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