One of the challenges faced by many organizations across the supply chain is identifying specific location, particularly when they can vary significantly from context to context. How do you make sure that products are going to the correct facility and be able to track them once they arrive?

The answer is GS1 Global Location Numbers – or GLNs.

What is a GLN?

Global Location Numbers (GLNs) can be applied to any location (physical, operational or legal) that needs to be identified for use in the supply chain.

A 13 digit GS1 identification code, GLNs can identify:

  • Physical locations such as a particular room in a building, hospital, warehouse, warehouse gate and delivery points
  • Legal entities or organization: such as company operating in the supply chain including suppliers, customers, financial services companies, hospitals and freight forwarders
  • Functions within legal entities such as a pharmacy within a larger hospital or accounts payable department; and
  • Operational locations such as EDI mailboxes, an account receivable dept. or Electronic Product Code /Radio Frequency Identification (EPC/RFID) read point

GLNs are widely used within sectors such as healthcare, retail, and transport and logistics.

Benefits of GLN

GLNs are globally unique, they can be applied across multiple sectors and are internationally recognized, they can help:

  • Improve traceability within the supply chain
  • Eliminate costs caused by inaccurate data
  • Save time on manual documentation and data entry
  • Improve order and invoice process efficiencies
  • Eliminate the need for proprietary identification codes, which can lead to errors and additional costs

The GLN Difference

GLNs can take the confusion out identifying locations and organizations, especially when there may be multiple ways to refer to the same thing.

Without the use of Global Location Numbers (GLNs), there are multiple location numbers associated to Saint John’s Queens Hospital. When GLNs are used, there is one Global Location Number associated to Saint John’s Queens Hospital (N GLN 000000457208).

GLN Allocation Rules

GLN Allocation Rules outlines how to use a GLN and how to add a legal entity, functionality and physical and digital locations.

Find out more on the GS1 Global website.