GS1 data standard: what is it and when is it used?

More industries and organizations work with data standards to process data more efficiently. An example of this is the data standard GS1.

In the Netherlands, GS1 is the most used standard as the food-, pharmacy-, do it yourself (DIY)-, healthcare- and fashion industries use it. Each industry has made agreements about which information is exchanged and how it needs to be processed. But what is GS1 exactly and when do you need to use it? This blog explains more about the GS1 data standard and why more and more industries are using it.

What is the GS1 data standard?

GS1 stands for Global Standard and is an independent, non-profit organization. GS1 develops uniform international standards for the identification, capturing and sharing of data.

Within for example the Netherlands, the food-, pharmacy-, do it yourself (DIY)-, healthcare- and fashion industry all use the GS1 data standard. Each industry has drawn up agreements on which product data to exchange and how this should be done.

GS1 offers several data pools for sharing product information (the food-, pharmacy- and do it yourself industries use web interfaces). A datapool is a central database where product data is stored and exchanged. Suppliers can use the GS1 data pools to import and save their data in a standardized way so retailers can use this data.

The benefit of working with the GS1 data standard is that organizations all speak ‘one language.’ This means organizations don’t need to discuss how data needs to be processed and published. Working with GS1 ensures that everyone uses product data in the same manner. 

When do you need to use GS1?

The use of GS1 is not obligated. However, some large retailers are less likely to do business with suppliers who don’t publish their data according to GS1. As a result, most suppliers don’t have a choice and have to process and publish their data according to GS1.

But how do you process and publish data according to the standards defined by GS1? You can do this manually through a web portal of GS1 – Via a web login you can fill in all required fields and publish your data to your retailers.

However, to avoid the manual import of data to the GS1 datapool, more and more suppliers make use of a PIM-system. With a PIM-system you optimize all internal processes by collecting, enriching and publishing product data to all relevant channels, including the GS1 data pools.

Several PIM systems enable you to publish data to GS1. However, SRC-PIM is the only PIM-system in the Netherlands that is fully integrated with GS1 and its data pools. With SRC-PIM you can manage, enrich and publish your data according to GS1. With the build-in validation functionality, you have real-time insight into your data and if it meets the defined requirements.

Curious how this works? Read our free whitepaper and discover how you can manage and publish your data according to the GS1 standard.