With the implementation of GS1 DataBar increasing, IFPA created a simple data synchronization tool called DataBar Online. DataBar Online acts as a central repository for data exchange and provides a single point of contact between trading partners. The tool is designed for use by sellers of loose/bulk produce to communicate their 14-digit GTINs and corresponding PLU codes to their buyers. Buyers can then download this information into their point-of-sale systems to scan the GS1 DataBar on individual produce items rather than manually entering the PLU code to identify the product.
It is important to note that DataBar Online is used for item-level identification only (e.g., PLU-coded produce); it is not intended for package- or case-level identification.
Benefits of DataBar Online
- Provides a single source to exchange data in one consistent file format.
- Offers an automatic download feature to ensure the most accurate and complete data exchange.
- Improves checkout processes with increased accuracy and speed (from 4 seconds to 1).
- Reduces no scans or not on file scans.
- Can remedy emergency buy situations.
- Retailers can search for suppliers of a particular commodity by searching a specific PLU code.
- Suppliers are only required to enter their data once and do not need to communicate their GTINs and PLUs to various retailers directly.
- Alleviates cashiers’ doubt in scanning and automatically keying in the PLU code
Registering for DataBar Online
Buyers can contact IFPA Supply Chain Efficiencies team to register for free download access.
Suppliers can register for upload access in DataBar Online by logging into the IFPA e-store using their IFPA credentials. A new account will need to be created if one does not already exist.
Once logged into the e-store, suppliers will be directed to the Events page. From there, they will select Products in the menu at the top of the page, then select DataBar Online, where they will be guided through the registration process.
When the registration process is complete, an order confirmation with a link for instant access to DataBar Online will appear (this will take longer if payment is made by check). It is recommended that this link is saved for future access.
DataBar Online can also be accessed by logging in to pma.com and selecting My Subscriptions at the top of the page.
After registering for DataBar Online, subscribers should take some time to become familiar with the product and learn how to create, upload, and update their files and download their data. A comprehensive tutorial provides step-by-step instructions. FAQs are also available for additional guidance.
Implementing DataBar Online
Buyers can log in to DataBar Online and select individual suppliers to download or opt to download the entire database of GTINs.
Note: It is advised that buyers download the entire database to avoid omitting GTINs that have been uploaded by third-party companies. Failure to do so could result in ‘not on file’ scans and other scanning issues.
To begin using DataBar Online, suppliers must build their 14-digit GTINs for each produce item. The first step to building item-level GTINs is to obtain a GS1 Company Prefix. (Information on how to correctly build 14-digit GTINs can found in the article, GS1 DataBar.) The second step is to assign the corresponding PLU code. PLUs for each commodity can be searched within DataBar Online. All 4-digit PLUs must begin with a three (3) or a four (4,) and all 5-digit PLUs must begin with a nine (9) to indicate an organic commodity. Detailed information for PLU codes can be found in the PLU Search section of the International Federation of Produce Standards (IFPS) website.
Retailer assigned codes cannot be used in place of valid PLU codes as these codes are assigned to different commodities by different retailers. Uploading these codes in DataBar Online could inadvertently corrupt a retailer's point-of-sale system. Retailer assigned codes must be communicated to retailers directly.
When GTIN and PLU code assignment is complete, the next step is to build an Excel comma-delimited (.csv) file with the 14-digit GTINs in the first column and the corresponding 4- or 5-digit PLU codes in the second column. This is the file used to upload the data in DataBar Online. Once the .csv file is created, the data should be verified using a text editor, such as Notepad. Note that multiple GTINs may correspond with a single PLU code. Detailed instructions on uploading data can be found in the Tutorial.
All subsequent data that is uploaded will be appended to the current data and create a running GTIN list. No data will be overwritten.
Following the initial upload, the GTINs can be updated individually as needed in the Update Online section of DataBar.
Utilizing the Data
To update individual GTINs in DataBar Online, suppliers have the option to add, revise or delete records through the Update Online feature. The Download option can also be used to verify the uploaded data.
Retailers and other buyers can download supplier data manually or use the web service option to automatically download the information. The automatic web service ensures that buyers have the most current data.
Suppliers who are IFPA members pay a one-time access fee of $300. Non-member suppliers pay a one-time access fee of $1,100.
To become an IFPA member, please contact IFPA’s Member Services via email or phone at +1 (302) 738-7100.
There is no charge for buyers to access or download data from DataBar Online. Retailers, wholesalers and distributors interested in using the DataBar Online tool can contact IFPA’s Supply Chain Efficiencies team directly.
All DataBar Online registrants will also receive a complimentary registration to UPC Link to assist with transitioning from the use of generic UPCs to company-specific UPCs.