September 8, 2008
GS1 offers the opportunity to standardize the attributes that retailers and their suppliers exchange, reducing the need for retailers to maintain on-boarding portals and for manufacturers to publish their item master data to multiple retailers in multiple formats. Yet anecdotal evidence suggests disappointed adoption particularly in Europe where Forrester hears “things are different” and “retailers can’t use GS1 standards without significant modifications”. I would welcome comments from readers. Are the GS1 standards really only appropriate to the allegedly homogeneous market of North America or are they a universally attractive way to simplify new product introduction? If GS1 falls short of European and international requirements or the requirements of smaller firms then what specifically is lacking?