Simple and clear GTIN Management Rules set the foundation for omni-channel commerce


New GS1 GTIN Management Standard makes decisions easier for companies.

On June 30, 2016, the existing GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) Allocation Rules will transition to a new standard. The change will make GTIN management easier and more intuitive for today’s retail marketplace.
For years, businesses across industry and around the world have applied standardised rules to make well-informed decisions about product identification, using GTINs. Over time, however, the GTIN Allocation Rules became difficult to work with, frustrating to use and full of ambiguity. This resulted in a growing lack of industry compliance and unnecessary added costs.

The new GS1 GTIN Management Standard helps address these issues.

10 GTIN rules at the heart of the new standard

Organised around a set of clear business principles and presented in an easy-to-understand format, the standard is simpler for businesses to comply with—and easier to share and explain.

At the heart of the new standard are 10 GTIN rules, simplified from 46 former rules. Though streamlined, there is no major change to the core logic behind GTIN management. The J.M. Smucker Company is proof. The company recently applied the new GTIN management rules when evaluating the identification changes needed for 125 of its products.

“It made it easier to make clear decisions and communicate these decisions across the organisation—saving the company time and money,” says Lori Bigler, Director, Industry Standards at The J.M. Smucker Company. “Using the new rules, we completed the evaluation of all 125 products in minutes instead of days.”

The clarity and consistency of the new standard is particularly critical to companies supporting omni-channel commerce.

Get unique product identification ‘right’ from the start

“The GTIN Management Standard will help industry get unique product identification ‘right’ from the start,” says GS1 CEO and President Miguel Lopera. “It will provide industry with the building blocks needed for future discussions on minor product variations that don’t require a GTIN change but are needed to support omni-channel shopping experiences.”

Members wishing to stay compliant with the GS1 standard for GTIN management will need to begin using the new standard starting 30 June, but the operational transition for businesses should be virtually invisible.