Frequently Asked Questions
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Can GS1’s GTIN and U.P.C. Be Used for Make to Order Items?
(GS1 Was Formerly Uniform Code Council or UCC.)
Question: Our company makes man-aboard lifts that are always
made to order. How do we use the GS1’s GTIN / U.P.C.?
Answer: There really isn’t a simple answer to this question,
but if you sell the service parts to maintain them, you’ll find the GS1 product
identification system very helpful. To understand how the GTIN / U.P.C. can be
used in a situation like this, we must understand that the GS1 system is part of
a much broader set of guidelines administered by GS1.
Product identification numbers (like the GTIN U.P.C.) need to
fit a broad spectrum of product. One end of the spectrum would be a roll of
electrical tape that is manufactured in thousands, if not millions, of quantity.
On the other end of the spectrum are the types of products that J.L.G.
manufactures which are thoroughly unique and carry serial numbers. The
Industrial/Commercial Guidelines provide the framework to identify products at
both ends of the spectrum. The question was, "Where can we use U.P.C. within our
company"? The answer is related to the spare parts and other items that would be
sold to maintain the equipment rather than a U.P.C. number on the individual
‘make to order’ item.
It's also important to explain that the GS1 Guidelines tell how to
identify various elements of information in addition to the standard GTIN /
U.P.C. number (U.P.C. is also the name of the symbology). In this example, the
GS1 Guidelines provide an Application Identifier that is assigned to each
different element of information that is used by the system to tell whether the
data being scanned is a serial number, lot number, purchase order number,
manufacturer’s configuration-to-order number, or any one of many other elements
of information that could be used in a transaction. Furthermore, the GS1
Guidelines specify a symbology called GS1-128 (also referred to as UCC/EAN-128).
It is important to use this special symbology since there may be many other bar
codes on products shipping through a distribution channel. This special
symbology, used in conjunction with the Application Identifiers, provides the
best way to uniquely identify information so that computer systems can reliably
input data that has been read by a bar code scanner.
Whether a company has highly
complex products or not, it is important to develop a Company Bar Code Policy. It should state what elements
of information will be encoded and how the information is to be used. In this
case, he understood that they do need to apply for and receive a GS1
manufacturer identification number. They will use that number on parts and they
will use the GS1 Industrial/Commercial Guidelines as the basis for their company