Launch of GS1 UK sets new standards for global commerce

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e.centre, the UK authority for cross-sector supply chain standards, re-launched today as GS1 UK. This is part of a worldwide initiative that will bring together over one hundred EAN member organisations in a cohesive body, under a single name and with a common goal - to develop and, through new services, help implement global standards for the supply chain, facilitating collaborative commerce in multiple industries and business sectors across 140 countries worldwide.

The launch of GS1 UK marks the introduction of a series of new products, services and solutions. The Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN), supported by the worlds top consumer packaged goods companies, creates synergy within the supply chain, making standards-compliant country data pools possible. The EPCglobal Network combines RFID, the Internet, and the Electronic Product Code (EPC) to enable accurate, cost-efficient visibility of information in the supply chain.

These ground-breaking products and services, teamed up with bar codes and business messaging, enable organisations to meet the traceability requirements of the recent European food law, as well as increasing visibility within day-to-day operations.

"As an international retailer, METRO AG is working towards a consistent set of data across all of its operating formats. GS1 standards give us a global platform on which to build. In the UK, our MAKRO stores can utilise the GS1 UK data pool to capture data from local UK suppliers, this data can then be transferred to our home data pool in a standards-compliant way. Small UK suppliers can use the same standard system to reach other UK retailers. With the support of GS1 this model can be the same in all countries where we operate, serving both local and global needs," said Zygmunt Mierdorf for METRO AG.

Steve Coussins, GS1 UK Chief Executive said, The GS1 UK launch represents a major milestone for our members. Our new GS1 brand not only reflects the global marketplace we operate in, it also identifies us clearly as the worldwide organisation responsible for supply chain standards. Whats more, it makes us a stronger entity to drive standards and promote next-generation services and technologies, such as the GDSN compliant UK Data Pool and RFID.

The GS1 UK Data Pool successfully passed the GDSN Interoperability Certification test in December last year and will be launched imminently. The UK Data Pool will enable clean product and company information between trading partners to be synchronised, thus minimising the chance of simple errors that may have a compounded impact further down the supply chain.

"Kraft supplies not only to major customers across the world but also many local customers. Breaking the country barriers and ensuring there is a single, standardised and internationally recognised process for the supply chain, whether that be through bar codes, RFID or electronic business messaging, is critical. Doing it in any other way is not an option. The role that GS1 plays in this is of paramount importance as it provides a platform for consistency that enables companies of all sizes to benefit from a truly global system," said Peter Jordan, Director International B2B Strategy for Kraft Foods.

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