GS1 Company PrefixesBarcode Building Blocks
Company prefixes (also known as manufacturer numbers) are assigned by local GS1 organizations. A company prefix uniquely identifies a company when used as part of a barcode like a UPC (Universal Product Code) or GS1-128 (a kind of Code 128 barcode), or a data structure like GLN’s.
Numbering systems that incorporate a company prefix eliminate the need for a centralized master database. If nobody cheats or makes mistakes, every barcode and data structure will be unique. Everything I make that includes my company prefix will be unique to me as long as no one else uses my company prefix by mistake.
For example, you need company prefix to make a UPC barcode. Why? Because your company prefix is the left portion of your UPC number. That’s why all your UPC’s begin with the same string of numbers.
Company prefixes are used to make GTIN, Global Trade Item Number; GLN, Global Location Number; SSCC, Serial Shipping Container Code; GRAI, Global Returnable Asset Identifier; GIAI, Global Individual Asset Identifier; GSRN, Global Service Relation Number; GDTI, Global Document Type Identifier; GSIN, Global Shipment Identification Number; and GINC, Global Identification Number for Consignment.
Once you’re assigned a company prefix you need a way to keep track of which products are assigned what UPC number or GTIN. Data Driver from GS1 US is one way but we suggest using our UPC database, an Excel spreadsheet, instead. It’s much easier to use, it’s customizable and it keeps everything under your direct control, stored on your computer.
Are you new to UPC barcodes? Here’s help getting started. You need a company prefix, assigned by GS1, in order to make UPC barcodes. If you do not have a company prefix, you must apply for one first. After you receive a company prefix we suggest using our UPC database to keep track of which UPC numbers are assigned to which of your products. It’s a customizable Excel spreadsheet you can adapt to your specific needs and requirements.
learn moreabout UPC & GS1-128
- UPC Software
- Code 128 Software
- UPC FAQ
- Code 128 FAQ
- GS1-128 Barcodes
- UPC check digit calculator
- buy your own UPC barcode
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