Get started with our barcodes roadmap

Most retailers expect their suppliers to uniquely identify their products. The whole supply chain works more efficiently when everyone follows the same business rules and speaks the same supply chain language. These rules and language are known as the GS1 system of standards.

The first step in creating barcodes and the numbers that go into them is to license a GS1 Company Prefix, which you receive as part of your membership. A GS1 Company Prefix is a unique identification number that GS1 New Zealand licenses just to your company – and it is part of every barcode and identification number you create. It’s the industry's best practice to uniquely identify your brand in the global supply chain.

GS1 New Zealand will take you on a step by step guide through the processes involved in getting your products to market.

So, what does the process of getting your products on the retail shelves involve? How long it will take and how much does it cost? Find out more by reading our quick guide on how to get started with GS1.

You’ll need a unique barcode number (GTIN) for every type of product or item you wish to sell – and each number must start with your GS1 Company Prefix. To get your company prefix, you will need to register as a GS1 New Zealand member on MyGS1.  During this step, you will also need to estimate how many barcodes you are likely to need.  Barcodes are allocated in blocks and it’s important to note that each product and product varint needs its own unique barcode.  Following this, you will get confirmation of your membership via email along with login details to your own account where you can manage a range of activities such as invoices, signing up to our additional services or adding other contacts from your business. Find out more about membership options and pricing.

Once you have signed up for membership, your block of barcode numbers (GTINs) will be allocated to you. These are the unique identification keys for all your products.

Now it’s time to start uploading your products into ProductVault, think of this as your own personal database of all your products. ProductVault allows you to allocate barcode numbers (GTINs) to your products and packaging, then generate barcode graphics for these. In ProductVault, only your product’s basic description is required. This will only take a few minutes.

Once you have created some products in ProductVault, barcode numbers (GTINs) from your block, will be automatically allocated to them. These numbers form your barcode graphic. Once barcode numbers have been allocated to your individual products, you can go ahead and generate your barcode graphics. These are the lines with various thickness that represent the numbers underneath which can be read by scanners. Your first 10 barcode graphics are free.

Many retailers will request you have your barcoded products tested prior to submitting to them. This ensures your barcode will scan first time, every time and can be done at several points - during your artwork period to avoid printing your labels or packaging with an incorrect barcode and/or once you have applied a barcode to your product. We provide this service and it is called barcode verification.

We have many additional services, to help grow your productivity and to make the flow of information and goods through your supply chain more efficient and transparent. For example: 

ProductFlow: ProductFlow is a GS1 NZ service that facilitates the introduction of new products and notification of subsequent changes to retailers and buying organisations that support ProductFlow. It interacts with other GS1 services – verification, photography, MediaLibrary and NPC, where required to facilitate these processes.

National Product Catalogue: The industry product catalogue – share quality product information with your customers. NPC is an online product catalogue service that lets you enter, validate, store and maintain all your product data in a single location. This information will then be automatically shared between trading partners.

ProductRecallNZ: The industry recall solution. ProductRecallNZ enables effective and efficient communication of recall and withdrawal information. Easy for your trading partners, connected to your regulator (for recalls) and online. Modernise the way you communicate recall and withdrawal information with notices that are targeted, precise and immediately actionable.

MediaLibrary is an image bank repository where you can store digital multimedia files and high-resolution images of your products. 

Product Photography: Our photography studio provides affordable and professional digital photography.

You have reached the end of your getting started roadmap and now have all the information required to start supplying your products to market! 

We wish you good luck and successful business performance. Stay in touch and share your success stories with us.