Home > With 6,000,000,000 beeps a day the GS1 Barcode turns 40 years old

With 6,000,000,000 beeps a day the GS1 Barcode turns 40 years old

Supplier News

GS1, the not-for-profit organisation that facilitates collaboration amongst trading partners with global standards across 150 countries is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

GS1 (Global Standards One) introduced the barcode to business and revolutionised the way they do business. On April 3rd 1973, industry leaders selected a single standard for product identification that the world now knows as the GS1 Barcode. The decision created a global language of business that allows visibility in the entire supply chain across all industry sectors.

A pack of Wrigley’s gum became the first product to be scanned with a GS1 Barcode. Today, over five billion products are scanned every day, all over the world.

Still the most widely used identification system and supply chain standard in the world, the GS1 barcode (GS1 System of Standards) enables two million companies in over 150 countries to identify, capture and share information about products, cartons, pallets, documents, locations, assets and more. 

GS1 Australia CEO Maria Palazzolo explains that GS1 has played a major role in shaping the landscape of the global market during the last 40 years because the organisation's visionary leaders saw the huge potential of collaboration in the area of standards made possible by the barcode for the entire supply chain.

During the past four decades, GS1 identification solutions have become a foundation to over two million businesses processes, allowing trading partners to speak a common language across geographical and cultural boundaries.

According to John LaVacca, Vice President, IBM – Global Business Services and GS1 Australia Council Member, barcodes continue to make a positive contribution to supply chain efficiency, global trade and consumers’ lives even 40 years after their invention. GS1 plays a critical role in developing and maintaining global standards, systems and training to extend these benefits across industry segments and the consumer value chain.

Ian Dunn, Senior Business Manager, Woolworths and member of the GS1 Australia Board commented that the last 40 years of GS1 Barcodes in the retail, food and grocery sectors have established the foundation of efficiency and accuracy in the supply chain from manufacturing and distribution through to the seamless delivery of product to consumers on supermarket shelves.

Mr Dunn believes the next 40 years will be a great opportunity for other sectors to get involved to realise the many benefits and potential of GS1 standards.

Tim Piper, Director Victoria, Australian Industry Group and GS1 Australia Board Member observes that the last 40 years have witnessed and experienced the enormous positive impact and many benefits of GS1 standards in the global supply chain arena. Given the current focus on barcode technologies of the future, business activities need to be harnessed in parallel with barcode technology and alignments made to improve productivity and increase effectiveness to assist with business profitability.

The GS1 Barcode benefits consumers by reducing data entry errors and waiting time at POS points while benefiting business owners through increased sales, better customer service delivery and efficient tracking of stocks and store flows.

GS1 brings full visibility solutions by providing a single traceability process to meet all quality and regulatory requirements. The GS1 standards help ensure food safety, which allows food and food ingredients to be traced on a global scale no matter how many companies or contract growers are involved or how many borders are crossed as items travel from the beginning of the supply chain all the way to the consumer.

GS1 is also making a positive impact in various segments including healthcare and transport and logistics.

GS1 is already looking ahead to its next 40 years of innovative leadership as the Global Language of Business.

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