A number of actions are vital to ensure that GTINs are accurately communicated within the Supply Chain. These ensure that the data associated with any scanned barcode can be associated with accurate, up to date, data. This is particularly essential for items scanned at the Point of Sale where the absence of accurate data may have legal implications.
The GTIN provides a Supply Chain solution for the identification of any item that is traded (priced or invoiced or ordered). Overall Supply Chain costs are minimised by all partners in the Supply Chain adhering to identical allocation rules.
The following Best Practices are proposed for all items. It has been developed by manufacturers, distributors and retailers to help eliminate any confusion between product identification and product listing in the Retailers Database in the Supply Chain.
- GTIN Allocation, and the barcoding of the GTIN, is a technical process the rules for which are laid down in the GS1 General Specifications. Product listing is the act of adopting a new product in an assortment by a commercial organisation. Product listing is the result of commercial negotiations between purchaser and seller.
Example: GTIN Allocation should be independent from Product Listing.
- For management reasons, or to ensure that correct information is communicated to the final consumer, changes to an item may require a new GTIN. A new GTIN does not automatically imply a new listing.
Example: If a change requiring a new GTIN is made to a listed product, this should not be an automatic trigger for a new Product Listing.
- GTIN Allocation and database listing are to be considered as two entirely autonomous decisions: GTIN Allocation is not an object of negotiation.
- The Brand Owner makes available to their client all information regarding the listed items, ideally with an EDI message or in an e-product catalogue no later than at the time of item listing. In case of time limited promotions or a product evolution, this information will be communicated largely beforehand, thus allowing the retailer to validate this information and to circulate it internally.