In a recent six-page case study, GS1 Healthcare US spotlights how and why the STERIS Corporation has made the move to GS1-based data and product marking standards. In case you’re not familiar with STERIS, it is a leading provider of infection prevention and surgical products with more than 5,000 employees worldwide.
The story is an interesting one, if not a little breathless for my taste. I’m not sure why the word ‘customer’ throughout the piece carries a capital ‘C’ for example. Still, good information is provided about the perceived benefits of making the GS1 transition. Three things in particular drew my attention. First is the fact that STERIS said its customers were asking for the company’s Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTINs). I note this because it has long been my view that customers and consumers will play a pivotal role in the corporate adoption of global product data and marking standards. In other words, push is good, but pull just can’t be ignored.
The other two points relate to who should be involved in the decision-making process and how an implementation project of this type should be run. Here’s the team of people STERIS assembled in evaluating and implementing the standards: The GLN team included individuals from IT, marketing, regulatory, finance, customer service, supply chain, manufacturing, research and development, strategic improvement, and the international business units. In my view, that’s the exact right approach.
And here are the five best practices identified by STERIS for conducting a successful implementation: Secure executive support; communicate frequently; tightly manage the project; get involved in pilots; and, test, fix and test again. Again, that sounds spot on to me with the exception of their oversight of step six. That would be, call Loftware, of course.
You can access the full case study at this link.