GS1 identification numbers are used to uniquely distinguish all products, commercial items, logistical units, locations, assets and supply chain relationships, from the manufacturer to the consumer. The following are the GS1 identification systems used in different kinds of applications:
Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN): form the basis of the GS1 system. They identify all “commercial items”, including products and services sold, delivered and charged at any given point of the supply chain. GTINs are typically used at the point of sale (coded in the bar code) and in boxes and product pallets in a distribution center. They can be printed in various types of GS1 bar codes and in radiofrequency tags.
Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC): is used to identify logistical units, such as boxes, pallets or cargo containers. When used along with electronic commercial transactions, the SSCC acts like a license plate.
Global Location Number (GLN) They are the key references for recovering information about places associated with the supply chain – for example, shops, plants, points of sale, corporate offices, distribution centers, vending machines, cargo docks, regions and more. GLNs facilitate the monitoring and identification of every stage of the supply chain.
Global Service Relationship Number (GSRN): identifies the recipient of services, in relationships such as hospital admissions, membership of frequent flyer programs and loyalty schemes and warranties. For example, a GSRN can identify medical exams made to a patient.
Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI): used for the identification, management and monitoring fixed business assets, such as office equipment, furniture and computers. The GIAI allows establishing the product history, from the inception of ownership to current ownership, as well as linking to asset information, such as depreciation, performance analysis, repair history and warranty data.
Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI): identifies returnable assets, such as pallets, barrels, gas cylinders, beer barrels, railway cars and trailers.
Global Document Type Identifier (GDTI): the GDTI identifies a document according to type and is used whenever it’s important to keep a record or “master copy” of a document. As well as identifying documents, the GDTI also allows companies to scan documents, in order to recover or trace important data.