2012 is the year of the GTIN in the U.S. healthcare supply chains as christened by the largest hospital group purchasing organizations (GPOs) in their so-called “Sunrise 2012” program. They have asked all of their suppliers to switch from proprietary product codes to GS1’s Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) standard in catalogs, B2B communications and shipment labeling by the end of this year. They did the same thing with GS1’s Global Location Number (GLN) back in 2010 (“Sunrise 2010”) but so far it appears to have had only a small (but still growing) impact.
The GTIN can be a mysterious concept. I received an email recently from a sales person who wanted to know what this “G-ten” thing was that her customer kept claiming was so important to her future business with them. I’ve also sometimes had difficulty convincing people that GTIN adoption is important. “We don’t need another product identifier. We already have the NDC!”
I hope to pull back the veil just a little bit and explain not only the anatomy of the GTIN but also why it is so important to all supply chains in all regions of the world.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A GTIN?
“As the name implies, the GTIN helps automate the Continue reading Anatomy of a GTIN