Photo Source: GS1 UAE
Spread the news

Businesses in Africa continue in the trail of constantly striving towards a streamlined system highlighting what matters for the entity. This challenge is driven by the ever-changing landscape of the global market. Digital transformation followed by customer behaviour, change in buying and selling patterns, cutting-edge technology, and incessant competition encompasses the business market adding to the challenge. 

To meet this omnichannel commerce task, Global Standard (GS1), considered the single global language for all businesses, comes to the rescue. With a plethora of applications, GS1 uniquely offers a common platform to businesses where they can connect transparently.

GS1 can identify, capture and automatically share information across different domains, which is what makes it a globally recognised standard. To cater to the online and physical space enterprises, GS1 not only uniquely identifies the products, assets, physical locations but also ensures their data quality.

The standards Africa is undertaking under GS1 to maintain a streamlined flow of data across businesses include-

1. Identification Standards: The basis of GS1 is set on the system of identification standards which is used for recognising or identifying the item internationally at any step of the supply chain across industries. This GS1 ID key is unique to every product, asset, or even location and can be easily encoded for its information. 

This foundation considers the technology of barcode and Radiofrequency identification tags to streamline the automatic identification of items smoothly and efficiently. 

2. Data Capture Standards: To capture the uniqueness and data associated with the item across the supply chain, GS1 uses barcodes and RFID tags. These are data carriers that hold the required data of the item for different processes and are further attached to a physical object like a printer.

This unique number or barcode which when scanned is encoded to the product’s unique identification number. It makes it easier for products, documents, assets and even locations to be tracked globally. 

This bridges the gap between the offline and online business world and saves on time while increasing the efficiency and visibility of the items in the supply chain. Barcode also minimises defects or abnormalities that are otherwise generated due to human error.

3. Data Exchange Standards: While the information is encoded for different processes, its smooth exchange across businesses is vital to meet the omnichannel challenge. The GS1 Data exchange standard facilitates this information sharing with adequate security.

GS1 standard allows the sharing of master data that defines the product promptly which benefits the consumers. It is done through GDSN (Global Data Synchronisation Network) which is the world’s largest data network. It uploads high-quality product content and ensures the exchange reliably across the globe. 

GS1 standards enable the exchange of transactional data which includes invoices, orders, etc. timely and efficiently. GS1 standards of data exchange also allow the sharing of physical event records like shipping date and information, pick-up, receiving. This information can be seamlessly shared with the traders using GS1 standards.

The key industries where GS1 operates seamlessly in Africa are growing to be retail, healthcare, transport & logistics, technical and food services both online and offline. To address the omnichannel commerce challenge in the business world, GS1 standards enable a plethora of applications across industries.

One such industry is inventory management is not just associated with stocking up the material for sale but also implies space optimization. It demands a planned stock at every stage of the supply chain to maintain the product flow and cause no shortage or excess of inventory w.r.t the norms.

Inventory is directly proportional to cost and with the GS1 system, the enterprise maintains the inventory flow at every stage of the supply chain in an efficient manner.

GS1 offers real-time visibility of products across the supply chain globally which makes it easier for traders to track the items and respond to any changes in a timely fashion. It also helps to identify the current location of the product.

For any spike, fall in demand, or the case of a withdrawal of the product, traceability through GS1 meets the challenges and helps take immediate action. This helps in stock management, prevents counterfeit of any product, and reduces waste thus minimising cost on an item. 

Subscribe to The Times Of Africa

Subscribe to our email newsletter for useful tips and valuable resources, sent out every Tuesday.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *