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Industry standard for information and visibility of products in supply chain

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EPCgIobaI is a subsidiary of the global not-for-profit standards organisation GS1, and supports the global adoption of the Electronic Product Code as a global standard to enable accurate information and visibility about products in the supply chain.

EPCglobal has introduced an industry standard providing the capability for visibility into the movement, location and disposition of assets, goods and services throughout the world. Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) allows for the seamless, secure exchange of data at every point in the lifecycle of goods and services.

The EPCIS, by providing a standard set of interfaces for EPC data, enables a single way to capture and share information, while still allowing the flexibility for industry and organisation-specific implementations. The EPCIS supports powerful business cases and consumer benefits such as container tracking, product authentication, promotions management, baggage tracking, electronic proof of delivery, chain of custody, returns management and operations management.

According to EPCglobal Inc, with the EPCIS industry standard, the technology supporting visibility into the movement and whereabouts of goods and services is coming of age. In terms of industry significance, the EPCIS standard may have much more of a transformational impact on the industry.
Capturing EPC data has proven, well-defined advantages for businesses and consumers, but the technology’s true potential will be realized when enterprises begin to share that data about products using the EPCIS standard to improve efficiencies in a controlled setting throughout the supply chain.

In October 2006, EPCglobal completed interoperability testing of EPCIS along with 12 other large and small solution providers from Japan, Korea and North America, including Auto-ID Labs, Avicon, BEA Systems, Bent Systems, IBM, Globe Ranger, IIJ, NEC, Oracle, Polaris Systems, Samsung and T3Ci.

The interoperability test marked a significant milestone in the development of EPCIS, which is the result of years of effort by more than 150 companies and organisations participating in the EPCIS working group. The positive results of this EPCIS have led to the ratification of this standard.

According to EPCglobal EPCIS Software Action Group, the EPCIS standard is a major step in the greater adoption of RFID and sensors that can help to protect from counterfeit drugs, secure ports and provide food traceability. The EPCIS standard has already been deployed in real business scenarios around the world and will facilitate revenue-enhancing and cost-saving collaboration among supply chain trading partners.

EPCIS is the foundational specification for capturing granular event information across and within organisations. It is anticipated that EPCIS will be built upon, with additional end user and community use cases serving as the driver for enhanced data sharing models.

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