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GS1 Guidelines: Supporting Utopia Through the Supply Chain

GS1 Guidelines are championing the expansion and growth of businesses through creating a common language, from the inception of an idea, to the birth o...

Freddie Pierce
|Jun 5|magazine6 min read

GS1 Guidelines are championing the expansion and growth of businesses through creating a common language, from the inception of an idea, to the birth of a product, to its final destination in the marketplace.  With the belief that businesses need to be able to understand each other, anywhere in the world and at any point in the supply chain, they benefit from moving their inventory efficiently and effectively by sharing a universal language.

The apparel industry's leading U.S. retailers, technology companies, and clothing manufacturers, are staunchly supporting the new guidelines – which makes it possible to track unique articles as they move through the universal supply chain – allowing them to effectively communicate with each other, reducing labor hours and overall costs. 

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Through the use of Electronic Product Codes (EPC) and enabled Radio Frequency Indentification (RFID), retailers are now acquiring an insight into their supply chain, that they've never had before.  And, because RFID doesn’t require a warm body to read codes and has expansive read ranges, hundreds of tags can be read in an instant, while still in motion.

The optimization of supply chain management, through RFID technology, is driving performance, cutting costs, minimizing inventory, and accelerating the time it takes to deliver products to the market.  It allows the ability to meticulously and readily distinguish, acquire, and share information that can be adopted throughout the supply chain - from source, to distribution, to store.

The unique EPC number that classifies an item can also be associated with its history such as date and time of production, the materials used for making the item, and who made and inspected the item.  By integrating the information from the EPC number and production systems, apparel manufacturers benefit from increased visibility of tracking their product, to quality control, and returns or recalls. 

This technology is a relatively low-cost and effective way to make it possible for the right product to be in the right place, at the right time.  The supply chain becomes more transparent, effectively reducing costs, improving processes, and optimizing product life cycles – all keys to building consumer trust and thriving in today’s world marketplace.