Barcoding Inc.

December 11th, 2009

GEPIR: Global GS1 Electronic Party Information Registry

GEPIR, or Global Electronic Party Information Register, is a database that holds information for over 1,000,000 companies in over 100 countries throughout the world. On the GS1 website, the GS1 Member Organizations allow you to search by barcode/GTIN, Container Code (SSCC), Location Number (GLN) and company name.

Searching by GTIN
GTIN, or Global Trade Item Number, is an identifier for trade items, ultimately helping the trading process of buying and selling. GTINs are assigned to any product or service that can be priced, ordered or invoiced at any point the supply chain. The GTIN can be used to retrieve pre-defined information about the item.

Searching by SSCC
The SSCC, or Serial Shipping Container Code, is a GS1 Identification Key for any item established for transport and/or storage that needs to be tracked throughout the supply chain. The SSCC remains the same for the life time of the transport container and is a mandatory element in the GS1 Logistic Label using Application Identifier.

Searching by GLN
The GLN, or Global Location Number, is the GS1 Identification Key for Locations and can be used to identify physical locations and legal entities in order to retrieve information that helps to improve the efficiency of communications within the supply-chain.

Searching by Company Name
Through GEPIR, users can also search by company name in order to locate enterprises.

May 18th, 2009

GS1 Terms: GLN and GTIN

What is a Global Location Number?

Global Location Numbers, or GLN’s were designed to improve the efficiency of communication with trading partners, adding detailed information such as the physical location and legal entity of an item. Basically, a GLN is a 13 digit number composed of a GS1 company prefix that identifies the organization, a location reference that is allocated by the company, and a check digit calculated with an algorithm based on the previous numbers. Rather than relying on internal numbers, GLN’s offer a method of identifying locations within and outside their company that are unique, multi-sectoral, and international.

What is a Global Trade Item Number?

A Global Trade Item Number, or GTIN is a unique GS1 System Identification Number used for products and services and can be 8, 12, 13, or 14 digits in length. Their key benefit is that information about the item with a GTIN can be retrieved when it is read in a GS1 Barcode symbol. In addition, the GTIN:

  • Faciliates the flow of products and services and the information associated with them in electronic commerce.
  • Uniquely identifies items at every level of packaging
  • Allows accurate macine reading of items when placed in barcodes
  • Delivers product information in a consistent format
  • Aids and simplifies supply chain management

October 3rd, 2008

Search for Barcode Information Using GEPIR

I’ve had several questions recently about how to find more information about a product based on its barcode.  Several questions mentioned barcode country codes, so I thought it would be helpful to explain what these codes actually identify and give somes tips on finding more information.  Barcode country codes identify the country in which the manufacturers unique ID was assigned.  These codes don’t necessarily indicate the country where the product was made.  This is important to realize if you’re trying to determine where a product you purchased was manufactured.

GS1 provides an online search for those of you that wish to learn more about a product just based on its barcode.  The Global Electronic Party Information Register (GEPIR) is a database that contains basic information for over 1,000,000 companies in over 100 countries.  GEPIR allows you to search by Barcode (GTIN), Container Code (SSCC), Location Number (GLN), or Company Name.  I think this resource is a great first step for those of you that want to know more about a specific product or simply a mystery barcode.

July 12th, 2008

Barcode Reseller or GS1?

I received this question the other day and thought it was perfect for the Question of the Week.  I’m sure this information will come in handy for a lot of people.  These are some of the things you need to think about when you’re trying to choose between a barcode reseller or a unique prefix from GS1.

QUESTION:

I am involved in a small start-up company who intends to sell product through the specialty retail channel. We need to barcode our products (which number 12 at present but will grow in the future). Spending $750 for a unique ID through GS1 seems a bit excessive. So my question is: is there any reason NOT to purchase a barcodes from a “barcode reseller”…ie using their prefix for our products??

ANSWER:

While I’m not going to recommend going with a barcode reseller or purchasing your own unique ID with GS1, I want to give you some things to think about and understand before making your final decision.

When you purchase your barcode through a reseller, you will not “own” your own unique ID number, so there is no way to ensure that the prefix will not be resold again to another company. This could potentially create havoc with the same number identifying different products or different companies. The retail industry has taken a greater interest in this issue and many retail outlets now want to know that the unique ID prefix is “owned” by a particular supplier. This continues to be a gray area and will often vary from retailer to retailer, some will have very strict policies on this, while others many not have any.

Many retails are asking their suppliers to provide a copy of the GS1-US certificate, as well as asking their small and medium size vendors to support Data Synchronization in an effort to register all of their products’ barcodes to ensure they stay up to date. In order to do this, you need to have a global location number, which is part of the benefits you receive when you become part of the GS1-US.

The fact that you have 12 products, with plans to grow, will require that you purchase at least 12 numbers (a re-seller will not just give you the prefix, you will need 12 separate numbers), and if you need more in the future, you may not be able to obtain the same prefix.

One last thing you’ll want to consider is that if your reseller goes out of business, you have no real way of proving ownership of your “unique” barcode ID.

These are some of the main factors you really need to consider when contemplating going with a barcode reseller versus registering yourself.

Hope this information helps!