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GS1 Barcodes Globalize Products

Andrea Arozamena - GS1 Mexico
Healthcare Linkage Leader


Alfonso Núñez By Alfonso Núñez | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Wed, 02/09/2022 - 12:36

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Q: How have GS1’s services changed the Mexican health industry?

A: Healthcare is an emerging sector for GS1 Mexico. We optimize all processes by correctly identifying all products and assets. First, we optimize the supply chain using barcodes to properly label products. Then we identify locations and staff. This means that every actor throughout the supply chain has traceability and control, increasing the efficiency and visibility that are essential for the sector.

Q: What type of health companies use GS1 and what are the main solutions the company offers to these players?

A: Our most common clients are manufacturers looking for product traceability, visibility and control, such as BD, Bayer and Sanofi. We also work with distributors, which play an important role in the supply chain and at points of sale. For these clients, which include pharmacy chains, such as Farmacias del Ahorro and Farmacias Benavides, we offer the electronic catalogue Syncfonía that provides product information and supply chain communication for seamless product distribution. Syncfonía links points of sale, distributors and manufacturers. After the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Syncfonía started working with digital health providers, including platform applications that focus on prescription and electronic health records. Syncfonía manages all product information, including size, weight, photographs and other information such as therapeutic indications, health fraction, presentations, form of administration, among others.

Q: How has Syncfonía helped the industry to evolve and battle constant shortages?

A: Syncfonía is a reliable source of information for all products and can help to address shortages caused by poorly-managed distribution. Syncfonía provides standardized, updated and accurate information directly from the product’s origin, so there are no errors in the supply chain caused by outdated or conflicting information. It eliminates information gaps so distribution to hospitals and pharmacies is precisely handled every step of the way.

Q: What requirements do health companies need to become GS1’s associates? How does the association benefit logistic operations and impact customs operations?

A: We work through an annual membership that provides companies a barcode to identify products. We train and help SMEs to build their business, understand the market and reach the point of sales that will help them gain visibility. Barcode 750 is the prefix for Mexico. All barcodes have a defined structure that provides information. From the barcode, anyone can know the product’s country of origin, manufacturer and serial number. These standards help the industry identify the product across the whole world as no barcode is duplicated, helping companies seamlessly take their products to a global market.

Q: GS1 was recently recognized for the excellent data quality of its products. What factors led to this recognition and how does it benefit companies and product consumers?

A: This gives confidence to all of our associates. They know that there are international standards backing their product’s uniqueness, so they can confidently market it globally. Our clients are supported by every GS1 office in the world. GS1 Mexico’s associates are mainly growing SMEs, which can be confident that their products can be sold to large distributors once they have our barcodes. The recognition of data quality and international standards gives them confidence to overcome any obstacle they may face. We are proud to know that we are helping these companies.

Q: What role has GS1 played in the distribution of COVID-19 products?

A: We are focusing on the traceability of vaccines and medical devices, which saw a boom in demand with the pandemic. We want to help to trace vaccines correctly, creating a better distribution process and visibility of it.

GS1’s mission is to collaborate while remaining neutral because we do not favor one technology over others. We have sat down with industry competitors to promote collaboration and generate standardized ways to improve processes.

Q: What are GS1’s goals as a partner for local production of goods?

A: GS1 looks to be a facilitator. We focus on the base of operations because we know that from there, growth will come. GS1 helps develop proportioning methodologies and standardized ways of working so members do not need to worry about the process and can focus on their core mission.


GS1 Mexico has been working to develop e-business innovations for the benefit of consumers for more than 30 years, promoting the use of the “750” barcode for commercial products.

Photo by:   GS1

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