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A year of growth and collaboration

Date: October 06, 2016

Category: Opinion piece

Author: Gary Lynch

Gary Lynch CEO GS1 UK As part of our annual review, Gary Lynch, CEO at GS1 UK outlines how we’re committed to growing our community, tackling industry challenges and setting new standards – through collaboration with our members.

Our work with industry

Our work with industry

Engaging and collaborating with our members has never been more important to us. By doing this we identify new areas where our standards can play a vital role in driving industry change. And in return, industry is increasingly embracing our standards.

In recent years, we’ve seen thousands more companies joining us – from retail and healthcare. In our last financial year alone, we grew by nearly 5% – and I’m proud to say we’re now a community of over 30,000 members.

In apparel, our fastest growing sector, we’re engaging with industry to provide real evidence of the power of GS1 standards in the complete end-to-end supply chain – and how they can drive efficiencies and remove operating costs. Our latest project is determining the total cost of servicing each individual customer at a SKU level and at the designated level of service, by uncovering the true cost-to-serve. That means understanding every process involved in completing a customer delivery, where and how profit is made, and the costs that incur on each step of the supply chain.

In retail grocery, we’re focusing on unlocking value in the sector by driving greater efficiencies and removing avoidable costs from the supply chain. Our two key projects that are now underway are Digital DNA, which addresses poor data quality and how it can improve the shopping experience in today’s digital age, and the Perfect Order programme, which aims to establish industry-wide harmonised processes and more consistent use of GS1 standards for inbound logistics. We believe the industry stands to save hundreds of millions of pounds through these projects.

In online marketplaces, our standards continue to gain traction as the major players – including Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping – now use GS1 standards to help manage their product catalogues to improve how we all find, compare and buy products online.

And when it comes to healthcare, our goal is simple – to continue helping the NHS save thousands of lives and millions of pounds. A few months ago, we achieved a significant milestone, with all 154 NHS Acute Trusts in England now being members of GS1 UK. But of course we have no intention of stopping there. We continue to work closely with the Department of Health and the Scan4Safety programme, to support the GS1 demonstrator sites of excellence and all Trusts in England, to help them implement GS1 standards across their estates and with all their suppliers. We’re also working with national leaders to build compelling evidence of the clinical benefit of GS1 standards – as true clinical engagement is necessary in order for hospitals to find sustainable solutions.

Setting standards for the future

Setting standards for the future

And looking forward, we continue to develop new standards that meet the changing demands of business. Our newest initiative, GS1 UniqueID, simplifies GTIN management and helps the sharing of data about minor product changes. We’ve also introduced GS1 SmartSearch, which helps online sellers to increase sales through more relevant search results and more detailed and accurate product information displayed in search results.

Collaboration – it’s what we do

Collaboration – it’s what we do

Working with our members and developing standards is not enough though. Which is why we’re bringing industry leaders together to work on industry-wide problems that we can help solve through the use of GS1 standards. Our new Advisory Boards – in apparel, grocery and healthcare – do just that. We tackle issues by bringing together key business leaders, policy makers and opinion formers to help us understand the challenges their industries face and how we can support them.

And there will be more to come. As an independent membership organisation, we’ll continue to work for all our members to provide a strong foundation for effective retail and healthcare operations.

Take a look at our Annual Review


The Perfect Order: Working together to get it right first time

Digital DNA – how we’re working with leading retailers and suppliers to solve the industry-wide problem of poor quality product data

Join us at our next Annual General Meeting on 29 November 2016 – where we’ll celebrate 40 years of supporting our members