industry through standards
a data-driven, sustainable future
I stepped into the chairmanship last December after Jim Spittle stood down from his
16-year tenure, and it has been a great privilege to see the achievements that have been made over the intervening eight years since I was last on the board.
I hope you find this summary of the year’s achievements both interesting and informative. We are in the midst of a rapidly changing commercial landscape, where “the power of standards to transform the way we work and live” is becoming ever more relevant.
The growth in demand for reliable healthcare in our society and the greater need for trusted data in our consumer goods value chains across the world will place increasing challenges on fabric of business in the coming years.
As we move forwards, the opportunity for using data to make our value chains more sustainable, especially in the field of recycling, will provide further opportunities to use data and standards for the global good.
I am sure that at GS1 UK, we have the team, the expertise and the strategies to meet these challenges head on.
for our membership
The first year of our current three-year strategy has gone well, with strong growth in membership, especially in the small business arena.
There has been a critical turning point for our healthcare team, with the renewal of our contract with the NHS until 2024.
productDNA starting to gain real traction across the consumer goods industry with the uptake of those using the platform now surpassing 50 per cent of the British grocery retail industry by market share
The expectations of our members are increasingly global and GS1 UK is playing an important role in forming and shaping global policies, especially in the growing
e-commerce and marketplaces sector.
Where we have seen growth
GS1 UK’s member companies range from sole traders to multinationals, trading across industries as diverse as animals and pet care to apparel. In the past 12 months, our total membership has seen a strong net growth of 10 per cent but our top five growth areas average an exceptional year-on-year increase of 29 per cent.
Meet our members
Adoption of GS1 standards reaches new heights in healthcare
Following the successful completion of the Scan4Safety demonstrator site programme, GS1 standards adoption in NHS acute trusts gains extra momentum.
One of the biggest triumphs in healthcare this year came with the signing of a new five-year membership agreement with the NHS. This provides continued support, on a national scale, to drive the adoption of GS1 standards within all NHS trusts in England, supporting the wider NHS push towards open standards implementation and systems interoperability.
With their membership and some services funded centrally, NHS trusts are now encouraged to make full use of our services such as LocationManager, with access to additional support throughout their implementation journey.
We also embarked on an extensive project to bring new life to our case studies with the launch of the healthcare portal – showcasing the evidence and celebrating the successes achieved by trusts.
Head of healthcare
Our corporate charity - The Silver Line
Since 2016, GS1 UK has proudly supported The Silverline, the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Organising 60 charity events, including abseiling, sponsored hikes, pub quizzes, live music evenings and picnics, we have raised more than £30,000 in the past three years.
That money goes a long way: we have paid for 3000 calls for elderly people who have not spoken to anyone in weeks and have underwritten the training of 600 volunteers.
As every product traded in the UK needs a barcode, our members act as a bellwether for the health of British business. In 2019, we saw a significant uptick in the number of smaller companies joining our ranks, a testament to the fact that Brexit blues have not coloured the perception of Britain’s community of budding entrepreneurs.
Our report, Buying British in 2019, dissects some of the stats behind the state of small-to-medium enterprise in the current environment, and how Brexit could be viewed not as a barrier, but a bonanza for outgoing challenger brands.