GS1 eCom Overview
- What is eCom
- What eCom is NOT?
- What is the GS1 role in eCom?
- What are the benefits of using eCom?
- What are the benefits of using the GS1 eCom standards?
- GS1 eCom standards
GS1 eCom stands for electronic communication using standard business messaging.
GS1 eCom is the GS1 term for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): the interchange of structured data according to agreed message standards, by electronic means.
eCom DOES NOT stand for e-commerce that refers to the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks, e.g. internet shops, internet auctions.
eCom standards can be used by the e-commerce companies to support their operations, but do not constitute the electronic commerce.
The GS1 standards provide the common language used in eCom:
- Structured data (e.g. identification keys)
- Message standards (GS1 EANCOM®, GS1 XML)
- Technical guidelines facilitating eCom implementation
The business documents can be exchanged in traditional form: sent by post, fax, email attachment, etc. Use of eCom standards allows computer applications exchange them directly, bringing a number of benefits:
- Increase of speed
- Lower administration and processing cost
- Increase of accuracy
- Reduced lead time and inventory
- Minimise out of stock situations
- Increase of customer satisfaction
- Automatic reconciliation of business documents
- Use of standards provides a predictable structure of the electronic business messages, enabling business partners communicate business data in an automated way, efficiently and accurately, irrespective of their internal hardware or software types.
- Business partners do not have to align the format and structure of messages - they can use the standard, readily-available format instead.
- GS1 eCom is part of the wide portfolio of standards and solutions that form the GS1 System. It is not a stand-alone standard, but is integrated with other supply chain management tools offered by GS1.
GS1 Identification Keys are used in all GS1 standards, both in physical flow of goods and in information flow of business data and also in XML messages for the identification of:
- products (GTIN)
- parties (buyer, seller, and any third parties involved in the transaction) and locations (GLN)
- logistic units (SSCC)
The same identification keys are bar coded on the product packaging in the retail (at the trade item or case level) and on logistic units. Bar code scanning provides direct access to information received in electronic messages (e.g. Order or Despatch Advice) in the data base, without any additional mapping and complex cross-referencing.
The GLNs of all trading partners can be validated in GEPIR (Global Electronic Party Information Registry) - an internet-based service that gives access to basic contact information for companies that are members of GS1.
- GS1 eCom messages can be used in conjunction with the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN). GDSN connects business partners and allows them to share product, price and party information in an automated manner. It enables master data alignment, making the transactional information slimmer and their exchange more efficient and less costly.
- GS1 eCom standards are widely used globally.
GS1 has currently two sets of complementary eCom standards:
Both of them are being used in parallel by different users, although XML is better adapted to exchange information using the internet based technologies.