Global Standards for Traceability: GS1, Pedigree Tracking, PTI, GHS and their Compliance

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Global Standards are designed to protect our health and safety. These Global Standards are important for the health and safety of Consumers, Employees, Emergency Responders and the Public. A few of the most common global standards are GS1 (Global Standard) Traceability barcode formats to enable Pedigree Tracking, PTI (Produce Traceability Initiative) standard and GHS (Global Harmonization Standard).

But what does it all mean?

Let’s start with GS1, the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve efficiency and visibility in your supply chain. GS1 provides a unique way to identify each product and be recognized by everyone in your supply chain. GS1 has actually been around for 42 years, dating back to 1973.

Lot traceability, expiration dating, a unique item identifier, quantity, unit of measure all concatenated into a single barcode drives supply chain efficiency. See the example below:

GS1 LabelGS1 - 1

Not only can you create these efficient barcodes for your outbound deliveries, you can also expedite receiving through tools like the WithoutWire™ Barcode Acquire:

Barcode Acquire

Immediately associate your vendor barcodes with your internal part/sku#. That saves on printing, and vertically integrates you with your vendor supply chain! Traceability and Recall protection are now easier than ever!

GS1 further enables Pedigree Tracking, a requirement for the medical and pharmaceutical industry. Pedigree tracking provides a unique serial id at the point of manufacture and traceability throughout the supply chain allowing for real-time security and visibility.  GS1 is a great enabler of this traceability and provides a common language while leveraging the power of information to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve patient safety.


PTI Compliance stands for Produce Traceability Initiative. As the name implies, it is designed to drive standards around case-level electronic traceability in the produce industry. There is helpful information about how to reach compliance such as outlines of its seven (7) milestones and other helpful tools such as compliance checklists.

PTI label

GHS Compliance is designed to guide chemical distributors on best practices around industry standards. By complying too these standards we protect workers, consumers emergency responders and the public for their health and safety. Tools to help in the label design can be found in publications such as Safety and Health Magazine.

GHS Picto

Key GHS Compliance deadlines are looming including:

June 1, 2015 deadline where all chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors must re-classify chemicals and send SDSs and labels in the new GHS format.

December 1, 2015 deadline when distributors should send only updated SDSs and labels. All MSDSs are to be converted to the SDS format.

June 1, 2016 deadline when full HazCom/GHS compliance is required.

So whether you are in Produce, Pharmaceutical, Medical or Chemical manufacturing or distribution the standards are now in place to assist you in providing the traceability and efficiencies throughout your supply chain. Appolis WithoutWire™ is just one of the tools that help you complete your solution through mobile rugged handhelds, smartphones and tablets  for wireless inventory automation. For more information, please visit or call 612-343-0404 x109.

Steve Dwyer

VP, Appolis

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