The Importance of a Unique GS1 Company Prefix
Unique Identification Throughout All Supply Chains
Since the first UPC barcode (Wrigley Gum) was scanned over 40 years ago, UPCs have become an integral part of item identification. A crucial component of the UPC data string is the 6-9 digit company prefix which uniquely identifies a company. This company prefix is used in many other barcode data structures and EDI transactions. Unfortunately, some companies, either knowingly or unknowingly, use UPC barcodes with shared company prefixes. Consequently, this poses potential risk of collision within the supply chain.U.P.C Company Prefix – A 6 to 9 digit number uniquely assigned by GS1 US to a company. When company applies to GS1 US for UPC assignments they are provided a U.P.C Company Prefix and GS1 Company Prefix. The GS1 Company Prefix is simply the U.P.C. Company Prefix with a leading zero and is very important unique identifier which enables companies to mark logistic (shipping) barcodes, coupon, and provide traceability. As part of the registration process, GS1 US will inquire about the number of total items which a company plans to identify. Companies with a larger number of items will be assigned a U.P.C. Company Prefix with less digits to allow for more Product Number assignments.