Every manufacturer is required to have anti-counterfeit protocols and brand protection strategies. Whether you are selling in stores, online, or both, you’ll need to identify your company and your products correctly.
This starts with a Company Prefix issued by GS1 US. GS1 US is the not-for-profit company that pioneered the use of the U.P.C. barcode over 40 years ago.
GS1 US assigns Unique Identification keys that support various industries with globally unique identification of objects including physical goods, logistics units such as pallets and containers, returnable assets, physical locations, services etc.
Upon registration with GS1, a company is assigned a globally unique Company Prefix (GCP), which allows you to create a Global Location Number (GLN) that uniquely identifies your company globally and Global Trading Item Numbers (GTINs) to uniquely identify each of your products.
Retailers, distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers, suppliers rely on GS1 identifiers (GLN and GTIN) to run their business more efficiently, ingest accurate product content and drive supply chain cost down.
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A company prefix that complies with GS1 Standards (a “GS1 Company Prefix”) is a unique identification number that is assigned to just your company by GS1 US. It’s the foundation of GS1 Standards and can be found in all of the GS1 Identification Numbers.
A GTIN® (pronounced Gee-Tin) is the acronym for Global Trade Item Number® It’s a number that uniquely identifies a product and can be found below a U.P.C. barcode symbol. GTINs are used as the global standard to identify products.
U.P.C. is the acronym for Universal Product Code. It is the most used barcode in the world and is seen on just about every product in physical stores and online. You may find that your customers will ask you to place a U.P.C. barcode on your products or packages.
GTINs, U.P.C.s, and other types of barcodes are often confused as the same thing – but they are different. A GTIN is a number that identifies the product itself and the U.P.C. is the barcode that allows the GTIN to be scanned by a barcode reader, like the ones at the checkout counter of a physical store or the distribution center of online retailers. GTINs by themselves are typically used in online retail, in databases, and in electronic transactions, such as GDSN.
GLN is an acronym for “Global Location Number”. A GLN is a GS1 Identification Number and is used primarily in electronic messages to identify legal and physical locations.