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    The GDSN Business Guide

    The history, management, and strategic purpose of the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN).

    What is the GDSN?

    GDSN 101 _ Salsify

    The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) facilitates the continuous exchange of supply chain data between trading partners through an interconnected network of data pools, using the GS1 Global Registry as a central source of information.

    The GDSN relies on two core concepts: a global standard for data and continuous synchronization.

    Watch Salsify product manager, John Apicella, give a GDSN 101 overview in our “At the Whiteboard” video series.

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    Who Controls the GDSN?

    GS1 Global GS1 Global is a Belgium-based nonprofit that manages the GDSN. The organization develops and maintains global standards like the GDSN for business communication and has 1.5 million user companies. Its focus is data identification, capture, share, and use. Go to GS1
    Some other GS1 Global standards include: • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
    • Electronic Product Code (EPC) tags
    • Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS)
    • Global Electronic Party Information Registry (GEPIR)
    • Global Location Number (GLN)
    • Global Product Classification (GPC)
    • Global Service Relation Number (GSRN)
    • Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)
    • GS1 DataBar
    • GS1 DataMatrix
    • GS1 Digital Link
    • Mobile Ready Hero Image
    • Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags
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    What is the History of the GDSN?


    The Uniform Code Council (UCC) created GS1 Global in 1974. This numbering system was expanded outside of the U.S. in 1976 with the European Article Numbering (EAN) system. Thirty-two independent standards evolved around these two numbering systems. In 2004, the EAN and UCC codified these standards into a joint protocol: the GDSN.

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    How Does the GDSN Work?

    The GDSN allows data sources to transmit product information to trading partners automatically. It manages a broad range of product information, including operational and logistical data (e.g., weight, dimensions, hazardous shipping flags) and packaging information (e.g., pallet, case and pack shipping configurations).
    The GDSN transmits this product information in five steps:

    What Problems Does the GDSN Solve?


    The GDSN connects trading partners to a trusted and continuously synchronized product information source. These established connections allow product information, including changes, to move freely.

    The GDSN is designed to make the process for defining and mapping requirements straightforward. While all industries benefit from this GS1 Global standard, highly regulated industries, such as food and healthcare, find it especially beneficial.

    The GDSN design for its network of interconnected data pools reduces the need for manual processes for moving data. This process also reduces errors and decreases the time needed to take product information to market.

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    What Is a GDSN Data Pool?

    Companies must subscribe to a data pool, which stores the product information, to transmit product information on the GDSN. There are 44 data pools tested and certified by GS1 Global, including Salsify, GS1 U.K., and GS1 Canada. While it is not necessary to have contracts with multiple data pools, consider whether a data pool offers global market data connections.

    Some companies also choose to purchase a machine-to-machine (M2M) provider, which are software packages that both connect to the GDSN data pool and streamline the process of moving data. Not all data pools, however, offer this service or maintain certification programs.

    GS1 recommends that companies complete a small, controlled data pool trial before choosing a provider.

    More questions about GDSN?

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