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How GS1 standards work

GS1 standards create a common foundation for business by uniquely identifying, accurately capturing and automatically sharing vital information about products, locations, assets and more. Businesses can also combine different GS1 standards to streamline business processes such as traceability.

View the GS1 architecture >

Identify

GS1 identification standards include standards that define unique identification codes (called GS1 identification keys) which may be used by an information system to refer unambiguously to a real-world entity such as a:

  • trade item
  • logistics unit
  • physical location
  • document
  • service relationship
  • other entity 

Capture

GS1 data capture standards currently include definitions of bar code and radio-frequency identification (RFID) data carriers which allow GS1 Identification Keys and supplementary data to be affixed directly to a physical object, and standards that specify consistent interfaces to readers, printers, and other hardware and software components that connect the data carriers to business applications. 

Share

GS1 standards for information sharing include data standards for master data, business transaction data, and physical event data, as well as communication standards for sharing this data between applications and trading partners. Other information sharing standards include discovery standards that help locate where relevant data resides across a supply chain and trust standards that help establish the conditions for sharing data with adequate security. 

Use

Businesses can also combine different GS1 standards to streamline business processes such as traceability.