Here’s a list of GS1 worldwide sites. Note that a large number of them are in emerging markets. Why the widespread and relatively fast, total (and federal) adoption of GS1 compliance and GS1 barcode laws in all these places?
One theory is it is like the way cell phone adoption happened in the US. In a lot of hard-wired countries, like the U.S., we already had the copper infrastructure. So cell sprung up in areas based on local growth and convenience and not systemically at all and it left us with the tail-end technology of the global cellular phone networks. We have a patchwork of mutts that cover the various regions. You travel Europe or Japan and you realize: it’s a miserable patchwork in the US. YEs, we’ve made a lot of progress but for years, we were way behind in a technology we invented.
When it comes to labeling, in a lot of emerging markets (where they haven’t exactly been using many bar codes on all the products), these places just leapfrog to complete GS1 compliance. They even do it all at once (I love how Turkey decided, okay, from this Tuesday on, everything uses GS1). You say, Sure, but so what? Well, hold that thought on the leapfrog. It is your business issue number one.
Your issue number two is that it is no secret that established markets like the U.S. are in a bit of a downward spiral for at least the foreseeable future . . . just look at consumer sales this holiday season. Look at the U.S. stock market. Detroit is out of gas. Even banks are signing up for loans. As a result, investment gurus the world over are dishing re-worked advice with an eye on emerging markets as a place to seek new growth; better investment opportunities.
Here, for example, is advice from International Data Corporation (IDC). While their focus is on IT spending, I think it’s what all of us are facing:
To survive, it will be critically important for vendors to reorient their businesses and offerings toward market segments with above average growth. The latter will continue to include emerging markets, such as the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), as well as the small and medium-sized business (SMB) sector. Although spending will slow significantly in these markets, it will outperform the overall market. In addition, government initiatives to spur economic growth and financial stability will include outlays for new technology, making this an important market sector for the first time in many years.
Now here’s what business issues one and two in combination mean for corporations in leading industrialized nations. If, for example, you don’t think the U.S. market for surgical sponges is going to be very good this year, the leading thinkers on global business and finance are advising you to seek solace (and profit) in emerging nations.
Now, read this carefully: to gain entry, much less sell, to these emerging markets, you’re going to need GS1 systems for product labeling compliance to be already in place. It’s earlier than even how you go to market. So you need to put that leapfrog into effect in your own supply chain labeling for emerging markets.
With apologies for this brief commercial message, we’re experts in Emerging Markets Labeling (EML). With over 20,000 customers worldwide and installations in virtually every country, we know how to maneuver you into position and onto these new sources of revenue with GS1 compliant labeling solutions, whether centralized, decentralized or standalone; whether tied to SAP or Oracle or any other suite of business applications; whether you make medical products or home appliances; whether you have 30,000 employees worldwide with revenues of $20 billion or more, or you’re an SMB that would like to sell more in more places.
How fast can you get there, to emerging markets labeling? This is not a topic we’ve read discussed anywhere else, so I guess right now the question is: How fast can you dial 603-766-3630 x405? So, let’s talk. We suspect you have a lot you need (and want) to talk about.