GSI is a not-for-profit standards organization with offices in 108 countries that supports adoption and usage of standardized technology worldwide related to specific industries and their business processes, says Gay Whitney, senior vice president for industry engagement.
Traceability, efficiency and safety are the technology concerns that keep professionals up at night, and that includes in supply chain management, she says. "We provide specific support in these areas to enable supply chain efficiencies across the globe."
Specifically, GS1US is involved in healthcare, retail, CPG, foodservice, apparel and general merchandise. "There are a lot of similarities in their supply chains," says Whitney. "They all need to efficiently meet customers' needs, to work with partners to leverage technology to meet those needs."
Why is this so trying for some? "We're at an inflection point," she notes, "because there has been an explosion of data. And the use of that is critical to partners who want to be best in class."
So what's the role of standards in this? "They are a critical component. If you want to do business across the globe one way, it's critical to use standards and standardized technology consistently to realize the efficiencies and benefits of that technology."
Collaboration is so important to any successful endeavor, and information is a key component of that. "Most companies are interested in having visibility into their trading relationships, into their supply chains, and how they do business," Whitney says. "If you can identify things as they move through the supply chain and share that information with your partners, we consider that effective means of collaboration. It enables collaborative forecasting and planning, and it breaks down functional silos within the supply chain so that everybody benefits."
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