GS1 and PEPPOL Standards EDI and Barcodes

GS1 and PEPPOL Standards: EDI and Barcodes

In an effort to improve patient safety and drive supply chain transparency and efficiency, the Department of Health has mandated via its 2014 eProcurement Strategy that all products or services supplied to NHS Acute Trusts must comply with GS1 coding standards and PEPPOL messaging standards.

If you supply goods or services – or any IT systems – to NHS Acute Trusts, you will need to take action now so that you meet the compliance deadline of 2019/20.

What are the new GS1 and PEPPOL standards?

GS1 is a not-for-profit organisation that creates and maintains global supply chain and business communication standards, including barcodes. PEPPOL stands for Pan European Public Procurement Online and provides an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) protocol that allows organisations and their suppliers to exchange electronic procurement documents using its technical specification.

To improve data accuracy and consistency across multiple systems within the NHS, as well as to bring greater efficiency and quality, the key standards to be adopted are:

  • GS1 coding standards: product coding, location coding and data synchronisation
  • PEPPOL messaging standards: for purchase order, advice note and invoice messaging

The benefits of compliance

The new standards will deliver valid safety, compliance and efficiency savings, especially as far as inventory, e-invoicing and product recalls are concerned.

  • Inventory levels – for the NHS Acute Trusts, adherence to GS1 standards will help them to reduce their stock levels and minimise out-of-stock situations. The GS1 standards enable total stock visibility and precise ordering, reducing waste and bringing cost savings.
  • With e-invoicing, NHS Acute Trusts can automate how they order, receive and pay for goods and services, avoiding manual procedures and speeding up the payments process.
  • Product safety recall – by uniquely identifying products, devices and medicines, NHS Acute Trusts can easily and quickly track and trace items through their supply chain, from supplier to individual patients. With batch numbers and manufacturing dates identified in their systems, safety recalls can be effected quickly, improving patient safety.

All of this will help those within the pharmaceutical and medical supply chain, streamlining their processes, guaranteeing the supply of accurate data and helping improve patient safety.

It’s an onerous task to meet the stipulations of both GS1 and PEPPOL, but there are IT systems that will help facilitate that for you.

Helping you achieve coding compliance

HighJump WMS software can produce 2D barcodes or any GS1-compliant barcode. It also supports barcode parsing, which allows companies to extract four essential pieces of information from 2D barcdoes: product details, quantity or pack size, expiry date and the manufacturer’s batch number.

Helping you achieve EDI compliance

Balloon One’s EDI partner, TrueCommerce, is one of a handful of certified GS1 EDI partners for the new standards. TrueCommerce is the umbrella brand that encompasses three market leading EDI vendors in Europe: Wesupply, Atlas Products and HighJump B2Bi. Delivering advanced EDI and e-invoicing managed services to companies large and small, the TrueCommerce vendors are each able to help companies looking to improve efficiency and reduce cost.

By implementing TrueCommerce and HighJump products, Balloon One can help align your current ERP, warehouse and transport systems so that they comply with the EDI standards required by the NHS. Working with just one IT partner across your business can help reduce the headache of increasing regulatory compliance.

If you supply to NHS Acute Trusts and want software that can make you compliant with PEPPOL and GS1 standards, call us on 020 8819 9071 or get in touch for more information.