GS1 Standards: A Better Trail of Breadcrumbs for Supply Chain Management

May 02, 2018

Posted by Jack Payne

Food & Beverage, GS1, SCM

 

Those who remember the tale of Hansel and Gretel probably recall that they left a trail of breadcrumbs through the woods to help them find their way home. But do you remember what happened to those breadcrumbs? That’s right: Birds ate them and the brother and sister ended up lost.

Less-than-optimal supply chain management can have the same impact on a manufacturer’s inventory. But just as Hansel and Gretel cleverly delivered themselves from the wicked witch, manufacturers can help their own cause by adopting established GS1 standards for inventory management.

Warehousing technology has evolved to meet the challenges of the on-demand economy, helping employees better track inventory through the receiving and put-away processes. However, while those advancements address concerns within individual warehouses, they don’t provide a solution for tracking inventory throughout the supply chain.

That’s why manufacturers in industries such as food and beverage turned to GS1 standards. GS1’s leadership in barcode innovation stretches back more than 40 years, but manufacturers have not yet universally adopted GS1 standards. And even some warehouses that work with those standards maintain redundant barcoding processes.

Greater adoption of GS1 standards could transform the way we work with barcodes and help warehouse managers achieve maximum efficiency. They offer a triple threat: Improving inventory processes and accuracy, eliminating redundancy and furthering traceability – a hot topic among supply chain innovators.

If you receive and/or ship GS1-labeled inventory, but maintain an internal redundant barcoding system, it’s time to consider dropping the internal process. If you don’t currently work with GS1 barcodes, consider moving to a system that improves inventory validity and traceability across your supply chain – offering a better trail of virtual breadcrumbs than your current solution.

Want to learn more? Read Jack’s recent article on the topic, Supply Chain Insight: Improve Accuracy and Visibility with GS1 Standards, published in Inbound Logistics.