GS1 EANCOM Overview
- What is GS1 EANCOM®
- GS1 EANCOM® messages
- What are the benefits of using GS1 EANCOM® subset instead of UN/EDIFACT?
EANCOM® is a GS1 subset of the UN/EDIFACT standard (United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport), which comprises a set of internationally agreed standards, directories and guidelines for the electronic interchange of data.
EANCOM is fully compliant to UN/EDIFACT. It provides the collection of only those message elements which are needed by the business application and required by the syntax (mandatory elements). Omitted are optional elements covering very specific business requirements not relevant for GS1 users.
EANCOM incorporates into the electronic messages the GS1 standards of physical identification of trade items, logistics units and the Global Location Numbers identifying the trading partners. It allows integrating the physical flow of goods with related information sent by electronic means.
The EANCOM® messages are equivalent of traditional paper business documents. EANCOM® messages can be divided into the following categories:
- Master data alignment, messages used to exchange master data related to relevant parties and products between trading partners. The master data is stored in computer systems for reference in subsequent transactions or interchanges.
- Transactions, messages used to order goods or services, arrange for transport of the goods, and realise payment for the goods or services supplied.
- Reporting and planning, messages used to supply the trading partner with relevant information or future requirements. The acknowledgement of receipt of an interchange and experienced errors is also provided for.
- Miscellaneous, messages used for various purposes. They allow the exchange of general application support information and the administration of the exchange of an external object.
Note: The full specification of the GS1 EANCOM® messages, together with the implementation notes is contained in the GS1 EANCOM® Manual, available via the GS1 Member Organisations.
For the overview of the main group of messages, click here.
- GS1 EANCOM® subset has been agreed between trading partners world-wide, initially by the FMCG retailers and their suppliers, and GS1 has a lot of experience in supporting their business processes (and also is in touch with their latest process innovations).
- By using EANCOM®, business partners can avoid a lot of work involved in creating their own EDIFACT subset. It significantly speeds up the implementation and facilitates cross-references in the internal data bases.
- EANCOM® uses the GS1 identification system applying GS1 Keys to identify:
- products / trade items: GTIN
- logistic units: SSCC
- parties / physical locations: GLN
- Using the GS1 ID Keys allows for master data alignment (synchronisation) between trading partners before any trading transaction takes place. This ensures data quality, eliminates errors and allows to avoid sending redundant information in the electronic messages (like product specifications, party addresses, etc.)
- Any EDIFACT components can be added to the EANCOM® subset at any time, at the justified request of the user companies. The development and maintenance of EANCOM® as well as other GS1 standards is based on a well organised process –called GSMP (Global Standard Maintenance Process)
- Any changes in EANCOM® requested by the GS1 users are submitted to UN/CEFACT and included in the UN/EDIFACT standard. GS1 is represented in the UN/CEFACT both in its management and the development teams, making sure that the needs of GS1 users are well represented.
- GS1 EANCOM® is an international standard, used by over 100 000 companies worldwide. The international network of GS1 Member Organisations (including GS1 China), covering more than 150 countries, provides support, documentation and training in local languages.
In contrary, UN/CEFACT does not offer any support for their standards, since it is an organization focused on development and finding consensus between different types of businesses, rather than on implementation.