31 Mar Getting Ready for EPCIS – First Steps
EPCIS, GTIN and GLN
As November 2023 approaches, we are all discussing upcoming compliance issues to meet DSCSA requirements. In the center of it all is EPCIS.
Although much can be said about EPCIS, we will keep it short and straightforward.
EPCIS (Electronic Product Code Information Services) is a log of events ideally suited for traceability. For example, placing a PO, receiving its items, moving around the warehouse, opening a box and transforming it into units, shipping items, and so on are steps that can be logged. Some can be sent electronically to trading partners using simple interfaces / APIs.
The format of the information is standard and well-documented by GS1.
DOit ERP already logs all the information and events needed to comply with all these standards.
And then, we have the GTIN (Global Trade Item Number). It is yet another number in this soup of identifiers available worldwide. The idea behind the GTIN is to substitute others such as the NDC, UPC, EAN, etc. Anything that can be “priced, ordered, or invoiced” will have a unique global identifier.
Although EPCIS and GTIN may seem “new,” it’s been widely available and used worldwide for quite some time.
Here in the United States, the adoption of EPCIS and GTIN is a required step to be able to fulfill DSCSA compliance.
WITH EPCIS, IS EDI DEAD?
NO! EDI is – and will continue to be – a widely used standard for commercial transactions. The EDI 856 (ASN) was adopted for DSCSA lot-level compliance and, due to serialization, will be substituted for EPCIS. The reason is straightforward; there are better formats than EDI 856 to register events, especially now that serialization exponentially increases the amount of data.
HOW IS THIS DATA SHARED?
Some countries have central and unified data repositories to which service and software providers – such as DOit ERP – connect. Currently, there is no such repository here in the United States. We do not foresee one in the US, but many freeways that can connect one another. It will be a more distributed data repository with multiple companies serving as data inputs.
HOW TO GET STARTED
The first step is to obtain a GLN (Global Location Number) for your organization. It’s the key to unique location identification. It’s a unique number licensed by GS1 US that identifies a single location or business entity in the supply chain.
Visit the GS1 US store website to obtain your global location number (GLN). Use the store search bar to locate and add the GLN to your cart. If you have more than one location, you must purchase a GLN for each of them.
Once you have added the GLN to your cart, click the checkout button. Next, select “continue as new” to create your GS1 US profile for your company. Next, fill out all appropriate information requested and purchase your GLN(s).
Once completed, you need to add your GLN number provided by GS1 US into DOit. Please navigate to the company set up in DOit. The company area has a field marked “GLN,” where you can add your number. Lastly, please provide your GLN to your trading partners.
WHERE TO GO FOR MORE INFORMATION?
First, you need to make sure you go to reliable sources. We’ve included some links that you should visit.
GS1 GTIN – https://www.gs1.org/standards/id-keys/gtin
GS1 GTIN Query – https://gepir.gs1.org/index.php/search-by-gtin
GS1 EPCIS – https://www.gs1.org/standards/epcis
LSPedia Blog – https://www.lspedia.com/media