What is a GPC?

What is a GPC?

The Global Product Classification (GPC) is part of the GS1 System of supply chain standards. GPC is the chosen standard classification system for the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). 


How does the GPC work? 

The GPC standard helps global trading partners to group or categorize products in the same way, everywhere in the world. The resulting common business language is clear and instantly understandable.

The GPC follows a four-tier classification system. The four tiers are Segment, Family, Class, and Brick (with attributes)

GPC (Global Product Classification) - Commport Communications

Benefits of GPC

  • Provides a common language for category management which speeds up the ability to react to consumer needs
  • Improves data integrity and accuracy of product set-up, maintenance and catalogues
  • Can be cross-referenced to existing proprietary trading partner classification systems
  • Enables potential usage of Point Of Sale (POS) data consolidation

GDSN Defined

GDSN stands for Global Data Synchronization Network. The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is the world’s largest product data network. It is a system of connected firms that share product information in a standardized format.  The GDSN enables manufacturers and sellers of goods to harmonize information about their products with their customers.  Retailers and other buyers of goods subscribe to vendor catalogs and receive updates on them.


About GS1

GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit, international organization developing and maintaining standards including barcodes. GS1 standards, services and solutions are designed to improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in a wide variety of sectors.

Sources: GS1.org 


The Global Product Classification (GPC) system serves as a valuable tool for standardizing and categorizing products on a global scale. By providing a consistent framework for product identification, It enhances communication, streamlines supply chain processes, and fosters better understanding among trading partners, contributing to increased efficiency in the global marketplace.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Global Product Classification, is a standardized system for categorizing products globally. Its purpose is to provide a common language for product classification, facilitating accurate and consistent communication across different industries and regions.

It differs from other classification systems by offering a globally recognized and standardized approach to product categorization. It provides a framework that can be applied consistently across various industries, promoting harmonization in product identification.

It is utilized by businesses, organizations, and industries worldwide. It is applicable across a broad range of sectors, including retail, healthcare, logistics, and manufacturing, to ensure consistent and efficient product classification.

It benefits supply chain management by providing a standardized way to categorize products. This promotes accurate inventory management, facilitates smoother logistics, and improves communication between trading partners, ultimately enhancing overall supply chain efficiency.

It is not mandatory, but its widespread adoption makes it a beneficial tool for businesses seeking to improve communication and collaboration globally. Many industries and trading partners encourage or require the use of GPC for standardized product classification.

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