Digitalization, traceability and data quality in focus 2021

Jonatan Tullberg, new CEO of GS1 Sweden, is looking ahead to a year in which digitalization, traceability and data quality are in focus.

Jonatan Tullberg

We have finally stepped into the starting blocks for 2021. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about some exciting activities that will create great business value for you as a customer, but first a brief look back at a year that will go down in history.

What happened in 2020?

The pandemic forced us all to quickly change. During the year, GS1 Sweden has followed the industry development of our customers and watched how many of you have been affected by the crisis. We have also been impressed by many who have quickly transformed in areas such as e-commerce, traceability, sustainability and digitilization of value chains.

GS1 believes in the power of standards to transform the way we work and live. This sentence is taken from our strategy and in times of pandemic, the strength of global GS1 standards becomes particularly relevant as history’s largest vaccination effort is rolled out. Read more about this here:

Report from Deloitte: Securing trust in the global COVID-19 supply chain


The transition to digital meant that we changed all physical contact points to webinars, courses and digital meetings. In this way, we were able to continue to run our business with regular service level.

Some highlights of the year were the launch of the new service ProductSearch and a new subscription type for Global Location Number (GLN). We have also made several updates of the Global Data Synchronisation Network(GDSN)and Validoo.

We have had the pleasure of collaborating with many industries who wanted to start using GS1 standards and services for global unique identification, capturing and sharing.

In scope for 2021

But what do we have on the menu this year, you might wonder? We will continue to develop our standards and services to even better match your needs for;

  • data quality;
  • digitalization
  • automation
  • efficiency
  • sustainability

…and traceability in the supply chain, which is an effect of using GS1 standards. Here are some samples of what we’re planning:

Updated quality assurance service

Later this spring we will release an updated quality assurance service in Validoo. If you want higher data quality, you will be met by a new user-friendly interface with several automatic functions to help you save time. We know that there is often time pressure before launch and our idea has been to make it as easy as possible to quality assure trade item information. We will keep you posted about this update in our channels.

From barcode to 2D code

The barcode as you know it with linear black bars, is currently undergoing a shift to become two-dimensional. This means completely new opportunities for traceability and richer amounts of information in the supply chain and directly to consumers. The transition to 2D barcodes is already taking place elsewhere in the world, such as Australian Woolworths supermarkets. The grocery industry at the initiative of DLF and SvDH is collaborating with GS1 to prepare such an implementation in Sweden as a step in their traceability vision.

New database for GS1 numbers

We are currently designing a number database that will be included in the subscription for GS1 Company Prefix. This will mean that you as a customer can quickly and securely create, organize and manage your GS1 numbers, barcodes and a small amount of product data in one place. The service will bring a higher degree of digitization and you will avoid former manual processes and spreadsheets. We will keep you updated about this in our channels later this year.

Better user experience

We will have a strong focus on creating a better experience for those who use GS1. Working with standards can be complex at times, but our goal is to make everyday tasks easier for you. Here is some exemples of activities going on this year;

  • improved interface design and higher level of self-service in services, web and customer portal
  • a digitized Concept Centre that can be used remotely
  • more web applications, digital courses and webinars

The way forward

Me and the team at GS1 Sweden continue to look forward to the future and feel high energy for this year’s plan. Our customers and partners are sending clear signals that GS1 standards will continue to be an important cog in society’s digital ecosystem. In the near future, we have a major role to play in the rapid, efficient and safe distribution of the vaccine against covid-19.

Most of all, we look forward to meet with our customers again – you who drive the entire standard development.

Best Wishes,

Jonatan Tullberg, CEO

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