Instructions for product samples

When you order quality assurance of product information, product measurements or barcodes, you will be informed of what type of product sample you need to send to us. The type of product sample you need to send depends on what type of quality assurance you want to do.

Quality assurance of product information – digital product sample

When quality assuring product information, we check that the values entered in the trade item information correspond to what is printed on the packaging.

To be able to make this comparison, we need a document that shows how the packaging is labeled. It can be a print original or an artwork that shows the entire packaging’s design and text, or a photo of a label. We only accept digital documents that are uploaded in connection with your order.

It is important that the documentation shows what all the labels on the product look like. Therefore, several files may be needed to display all sides of the product.

It is not allowed to upload a product specification in, for example, a word file with information about the product, as we need to see the correct layout on the label or packaging. Many of our quality assurance rules are based on what is written in the largest font size or what is written on the front of the product.

Photos need to be sharp and clear so that we can enlarge them and read even smaller texts and markings. It is better to upload an extra file if you are uncertain.

Important that GTIN appears

In order for us to ensure that you have uploaded the right documentation for the right product, one of the pictures needs to show the product’s barcode so that we can see the GTIN. If the product does not have a barcode, you need to somehow label the product with a GTIN, for example by writing a GTIN by hand on the document before you take a photo or that it is clearly stated in the file name of the documents that are being uploaded.

Unmarked base level

If the product is an unmarked base level product with its own GTIN, such as bake-off, where the information is stated on case level, an artwork/photo of the orderable item must be sent in as a basis for the base level. Note that GTIN from the case level should not appear in the submitted documentation for the base level. However, GTIN for the base level must be stated by either writing it by hand or by clearly stating it in the file name.

Case level and multipack

If the product is a case or a multipack, the amount of products in the packaging must also be stated, for example, 6 x 250ml. If this information is missing on the packaging or its label, you need to mark the documentation with this information, for example by writing it by hand.

If the case or multipack has a label such as “Symbol for limited quantity” or “UN number”, this must be stated on the documentation sent to us.

Quality assurance of product measurements

You can make a quality assurance of measurements in two different ways – with or without a physical product sample.

Quality assurance of measurements without product samples

If you have previously quality assured a similar package, no product sample is needed. The variant check in the system will give you suggestions for similar packaging based on the trade item information. Once you have confirmed that the packaging is the same, an automatic check is made that the entered values match and the quality assurance of measurements will be approved.

If the variant check does not offer a suggestion for a similar packaging, you need to send in a physical product sample for inspection.

Tip: If you have several identical packages with, for example different flavours, you can start by sending a physical product sample of one of the flavours. When you have achieved approved status on the submitted product sample, you can then assure the quality of the remaining packagings via the same check.

Quality assurance of measurements with a physical product sample

If there is no suggestion in the variant check, you need to send a package for us to base the quality assurance on. It can be a consumer package, a multipack (for example, a 6-pack of soda cans), or an outer packaging (for example a carton).

The packaging must have correct and representative dimensions because we compare it with your entered values in the trade item information. For example, if you have a bag of sweets, the bag must contain the right amount of sweets when it arrives to us, otherwise, if the bag is flat when we measure it, the dimensions will be wrong. If, on the other hand, the product is a hard box with chocolate pralines, the pralines do not need to be included because it does not affect the dimensions of the box. We do not weigh the product samples, so the weight does not have to be correct.

If the product sample does not have any labeling on it, you must mark out how the text will be presented on the finished product. This is so that we can determine the product’s height. The height is determined by the front of the product, so the text, such as brand, product name, etc. must be readable from left to right. This information must be clearly stated.

If the outer packaging is a returnable crate from Svenska Retursystem (SRS-crate), you do not need to send it in to be measured. The measurement check will be done automatically.

Variable dimensions

If you send in a variable measure item, for example a piece of cheese where the price varies depending on the weight, no control is made of the measurements, they are excluded. The submitted product sample thus does not need to have dimensions that correspond to the trade item information. You still need to send in a product sample so that we can ensure that the quality of the packaging type (for example shrinkwrap) is correctly stated.

Things to keep in mind when sending the sample

It is important that we receive the product in good condition. If the product has been mashed, the dimensions may not match what is stated in the trade item information. Therefore, pack your product samples properly. If the package does not have a barcode, you will also need to label it with the GTIN specified in the trade item information.

In order for us to be able to pair trade item information with a product sample, it is important that the delivery note that you receive when placing the order is printed and sent with the product sample. If the delivery note is missing or does not match the product sample, it may take longer before the quality assurance can begin.

Also keep in mind that:

  • Send the product sample for delivery to the gate at GS1 Sweden, for example with a courier. We are not able to pick up packages at a delivery point.
  • Refrigerated and frozen goods should be transported by temperature controlled transport if there is a risk that dimensions will change during transport, or that the packaging will be destroyed in some other way.
  • For quality assurance of measurements on pharmaceutical products, it is important that you send us empty packaging. We only accept empty pharmaceutical packaging and medical devices.

If you want your product sample returned, you need to send a return shipping note or write on the sample that you want to pick it up after the quality assurance is completed. Unfortunately, we can not return refrigerated or frozen goods because the quality assurance is performed at room temperature and we can not guarantee an unbroken cold chain.

Quality assurance of barcodes

Barcodes on consumer packaging

When we check barcodes, we need a physical barcode to scan. If you have the finished product available, the easiest way is to send it to us for review.

The packaging can be empty. You can also cut out the barcode and send it by mail to us.

Barcodes on cases

For cases and outer packaging, we also need a physical barcode to scan. The barcode is often placed on a label which in turn is pasted on a cardboard, case or shrinkwrap.

The barcode needs to be on the correct surface to give a correct reading. For example, if the barcode is printed on a label that is on a corrugated cardboard box, the label needs to be put on corrugated cardboard and sent to us. Same thing if the label is pasted on a shrinkwrap. For SRS-cases, just send a label. Make sure to wrap the label so that it does not crease or become lumpy during transport.

If the barcode is printed directly on a corrugated cardboard box, send in that part of the box or the whole box. You do not need to send a complete package including content, it is only the barcode that needs to be quality assured.

If you have the finished packaging but not the final contents available and the readability of the barcode is affected by the contents of the packaging, you can fill it with something else that is representative of the finished product.

Submit the correct barcode

Since it is the quality of the correct barcode that will work in the entire logistics flow, it is important that the barcode you send in for quality assurance is printed in the same way and on the same surface as it will be when the product is sent to the recipient. If you send in a barcode for quality assurance that gives an approved result and it then turns out, when recipients try to scan the barcode, that it is not readable at all, because the barcode was just a temporary solution and not a real barcode, there can be great financial and logistical consequences both for the recipient and for you as a supplier.

Barcodes on pharmaceutical packaging

For quality assurance of barcodes on pharmaceutical products, it is important that you send us empty packaging. We only accept empty pharmaceutical packaging and medical devices.

Barcodes on pallets

The pallet label is sent printed and does not need to be attached to any specific surface. The quality assurance is carried out in the same way and according to the same rules as barcodes on cases and outer packaging.

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