Product-identification systems unified from 2005

Globalization is speeding up for wide-consumption businesses and represents an important growth opportunity for small- and medium-sized enterprises worldwide.
A summit meeting of GCI (Global Commerce…

Globalization is speeding up for wide-consumption businesses and represents an important growth opportunity for small- and medium-sized enterprises worldwide. A summit meeting of GCI (Global Commerce Initiative) was recently held in Bangkok, Thailand, to discuss the course of the unification of standards of product traceability and identification at a worldwide level. GCI includes the main multinational industry and distribution companies and directly involves over one million companies, commercial and industrial, around the world. During the summit, Cees van der Hoeven, managing director of Royal Ahold, and Tony Burgmans, part of top management at Unilever, were appointed as the new presidents of GCI. UCC and EAN International, which manage product coding (bar codes) for the US and the rest of the world respectively, will be operating in close coordination starting from January 2002. One single worldwide product identification code is planned from 2005, doing away with any previous distinction between the US and the rest of the world. Roberto Bucaneve, manager of Indicod, the Italian board that handles bar codes and that groups together over 250,000 wide-consumption companies, says the board has been working towards this harmonization of standards for years. Enrico Toja, European vice-president of Johnson & Johnson Consumer and member of GCI, said the standardization of identification codes is a good opportunity for Italian companies and for the process of the globalization of exchanges. He also added that companies will now have a better opportunity to qualify and communicate in full right with the worldwide giants of industry and distribution. The technological network supporting wide-consumption businesses will also be boosted by the agreement on product coding and GCI is already planning an agreement for the coordination of a big worldwide technological platform to support such businesses, involving important hi-tech groups, such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Sap. At the same time as the GCI summit, the four recently established worldwide marketplaces, Transora, CPG, WWRE and WMRL, started an operative convergence procedure for the online management of supplies to industry and distribution. The aim of this procedure is to constitute a single big marketplace which will branch out specifically for industry and distribution. The availability of a single worldwide product-coding system will allow companies wanting to enter the context of global industry and distribution to gain immediate access. In practice, the future of hi-tech solutions in wide consumption will be planned by GCI, which intends to represent a guideline for the big players in the industry of hi-tech facilities, according to the demands of market globalization. Toja underlined that this will allow a mass simplification of cost structure to be achieved in wide consumption worldwide, saving on present costs, which are now 4% of turnover.Globalization is speeding up for wide-consumption businesses and represents an important growth opportunity for small- and medium-sized enterprises worldwide. A summit meeting of GCI (Global Commerce Initiative) was recently held in Bangkok, Thailand, to discuss the course of the unification of standards of product traceability and identification at a worldwide level. GCI includes the main multinational industry and distribution companies and directly involves over one million companies, commercial and industrial, around the world. During the summit, Cees van der Hoeven, managing director of Royal Ahold, and Tony Burgmans, part of top management at Unilever, were appointed as the new presidents of GCI. UCC and EAN International, which manage product coding (bar codes) for the US and the rest of the world respectively, will be operating in close coordination starting from January 2002. One single worldwide product identification code is planned from 2005, doing away with any previous distinction between the US and the rest of the world. Roberto Bucaneve, manager of Indicod, the Italian board that handles bar codes and that groups together over 250,000 wide-consumption companies, says the board has been working towards this harmonization of standards for years. Enrico Toja, European vice-president of Johnson & Johnson Consumer and member of GCI, said the standardization of identification codes is a good opportunity for Italian companies and for the process of the globalization of exchanges. He also added that companies will now have a better opportunity to qualify and communicate in full right with the worldwide giants of industry and distribution. The technological network supporting wide-consumption businesses will also be boosted by the agreement on product coding and GCI is already planning an agreement for the coordination of a big worldwide technological platform to support such businesses, involving important hi-tech groups, such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Sap. At the same time as the GCI summit, the four recently established worldwide marketplaces, Transora, CPG, WWRE and WMRL, started an operative convergence procedure for the online management of supplies to industry and distribution. The aim of this procedure is to constitute a single big marketplace which will branch out specifically for industry and distribution. The availability of a single worldwide product-coding system will allow companies wanting to enter the context of global industry and distribution to gain immediate access. In practice, the future of hi-tech solutions in wide consumption will be planned by GCI, which intends to represent a guideline for the big players in the industry of hi-tech facilities, according to the demands of market globalization. Toja underlined that this will allow a mass simplification of cost structure to be achieved in wide consumption worldwide, saving on present costs, which are now 4% of turnover.