Introduction to EPCIS

Why EPCIS is necessary and how it can help organizations of all sizes and types.


The supply chain system can consist of a single or multiple organisation. These organisations are involved in providing clients or consumers with services or products. All physical and digital product types progress through some form of supply chain activities before reaching the possession of customers. The accessibility and visibility of the product information throughout its life cycle in the supply chain is the primary concern for the organization as it needs to track the products in real-time and if required convey the relevant information to customers or other organizations. If organizations or entities involved in the supply chain system use their own schema or model to keep track of the items then it is very difficult to track the products end-to-end which make it hard for an organization to communicate with other organizations and share the data. To address this issue, there was a need for a standard that could be implemented within the supply chain system so as to enable tracking, tracing, and monitoring of goods at every step. Hence, GS1 introduced the global standard known as EPCIS (Electronic Product Code Information Services).

Using the EPCIS standard organizations can generate and exchange visibility data within the organization or across different organizations. Even if a single entity is in charge of the development and delivery of the entire product, it is essential to keep track of all activities and processes so that the company can monitor all of its resources and operations in order to provide complete transparency and uplift user or client trust. EPCIS has been designed such that businesses of any size, shape and type can implement and take advantage of it. It offers total adaptability to meet different business and regulatory requirements.

GS1 (Global Standard One)

The GS1 is a non-profit organization that develops and maintains standards for the identification, capture, and sharing of information. GS1 was established in April 1974 and is based in Brussels, Belgium. GS1 standards are being used by over 2 million businesses throughout the world. In 1974, GS1 standardized the EAN/UPC (European Article Number/Universal Product Code) barcode, which is still used and printed on a wide range of items today. GS1 operates in various industries like retail, healthcare, logistics, food service, technical industries, etc. GS1 has developed a standard for creating and sharing visibility data within and across multiple organizations known as EPCIS (Electronic Product Code Information Services). Using the standards designed by GS1 various trading partners such as customers, suppliers, distributors, logistic service providers, retailers, etc. can use a common language for communication in their supply chain. The main goal of GS1 standards is to enhance the physical and digital supply chain performance, safety, security, and accessibility. GS1 has around 115 member organizations in various countries across the globe.