Ep. #1060 - The Global Language of Business
In this episode of Startup Hustle, Andrew Morgans and Megan Baumer, Business Development Director of GS1 US, discuss the global language of business. Hear what the future of retail holds using 2D barcodes to manage item catalogs, allowing small businesses to compete in the global market.
Covered In This Episode
The world has turned global. And so are all types and sizes of businesses. And to be competitive, your startup should be more than just thinking about the global language of business. That’s where 2D barcodes come in. But what are these barcodes, and how do businesses benefit from them?
Andrew and Megan discuss 2D barcodes and how they can help businesses compete internationally. They also talk about GS1 US and how it works. In addition, Megan explains Global Trade Item Number (GTS) and how small businesses should sell in the international market.
Inspire your team to think more globally. Listen to this Startup Hustle episode.
- Guest’s backstory (01:36)
- Why Megan decided to change careers (03:23)
- Management vs. business at the zoo (04:38)
- Working with private label manufacturing (06:22)
- What is GS1 US, and how does it work (10:28)
- How GS1 works with sellers (13:51)
- Standards in item catalogs (15:34)
- What is a serialized shipping container code? What is a logistics unit identifier? (16:06)
- Setting up unique identifiers that protect small retailers and small makers (17:53)
- What is a 2D barcode, and what it means (21:19)
- The goal at GS1 (24:41)
- International selling for small businesses (27:18)
- What’s the difference between a Global Trade Item Number (GTS) and a Book identifier (28:39)
- How people can get involved with (31:12)
- Megan’s goals for this year (35:38)
I think a lot of people think of us in the context of that sort of legacy retail, you know, the grocery store, the department store, that kind of thing, but our membership is actually it’s like 80% Small Business is, is, you know, our members. So we really, and that’s really important because basically GS1 standards allow people, allow businesses of all sizes to really compete and play in the same areas, you know, to be picked up by the same kind of retailers because they can speak with one language.Megan Baumer
One of the things that I am going to be diving into this year to really understand and start to speak to the value of is actually one of our identifiers called the Global location number. You know, I come from the, you know, the nonprofit space. I come from conservation. Understanding how to reduce our carbon footprint and how to do better it for our planet is super important to me, and that’s going to be everything I do. I’m a major composter here. I buy plastic recycling boxes that I can send back to try to recycle all my snack bags and everything like that.Megan Baumer
Whatever that is, whether it’s, you know, it’s people in your business or is efficiencies in your warehousing and supply chain, or it’s efficiencies in your buying process. Your, you know, your importing of goods, you know, there are the areas to improve are endless when it comes to eCom.Andrew Morgans
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Andrew Morgans 0:01
What’s up, Hustlers? Welcome back. This is Andrew Morgans founder Marknology. Here’s today’s host Startup Hustle, covering all things e-commerce, startups, Amazon, entrepreneurship, you name it. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult, Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has the platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Today’s episode is called the Global Language of Business and my guest today, we met in Las Vegas late last year at the sale and scale Summit, hosted by Helium 10. And really just hit it off chatting it up. And I was like, I have to get you on the show. I gotta bring some of you for your knowledge and your story to our listeners. So without further ado, Megan Baumer, welcome to the show.
Megan Baumer 0:49
Thank you for having me.
Andrew Morgans 0:50
Yes, super excited to have you. We have our PR guy behind the scenes to make sure you don’t mess it up. So you’re extra careful today. But I’m hoping we can just have some fun getting into your story and kind of like, well, you know, what your what your company GS one really does for sellers and retail and how it affects Amazon and EECOM. And we’ll get into that. But as always, I would love to get into just a little bit of your story and how you got here today and kind of your backstory. So let’s start at the beginning as early as you’d like. You know, did you always see I didn’t know I’m sure you didn’t always see yourself a GS one. Because I’ve just never heard that before. And if it has you let me know. But um, you know, you’re out in New Jersey. Tell me how you got here. Tell me how you got into commerce and how you got into retail?
Megan Baumer 1:36
Sure. So my story is a little bit different than a lot of others in this space. You know, I’m definitely someone with more than one career. I was actually a zoo herpetologist for many years,
Andrew Morgans 1:48
which means that’s the first time I’ve heard that.
Megan Baumer 1:51
So I worked in a few zoos, I work specifically with reptiles and amphibians, I started as a zookeeper and worked my way up to the management level. And that was, you know, actually the the first job I ever had was working in the petting zoo at the Bronx Zoo, here in New York. And I that that definitely took me a long way. And, but obviously did a little bit of a pivot a few years ago. And I worked at a company that did private label manufacture different kinds of products, promotional gift with purchase and, you know, small retail products as well. So, been a little bit of a different journey for me.
Andrew Morgans 2:35
Let’s talk about that. Let’s slow down just a little bit. Okay, so a lot of people that I speak with, even myself included, started somewhere, you know, I did a lot of different things like from working in a warehouse to being a pro painters and working in a surf shop in Hawaii to being a networking security professional with my, with my degree out of college, to being a traveling musician before that, like I’ve been all over the place. So spare us nothing. But like, you know, so you’re I know started with an age herb otologist Yes, sir. herpetologist, herpetologists. Okay, so what Tell me about that pivot? Like was it was it a financial thing was it you know, wanting to get away from a work was they wanted to switch things up, like, you know, what kind of brought that about?
Megan Baumer 3:23
Sure. And, you know, I really enjoyed that job, I did it for quite a number of years, I learned a lot from it, you know, I’ll say that, and I’m happy to go into that a little bit more, but I think, you know, Drac can really relate to you. And a lot of other, you know, a lot of Amazon sellers out there sort of tell this story and entrepreneurs, you know, they are looking for something, you know, in their life, they want to have a little bit, either more financial control, more flexibility, they want to travel more, or they just have a great idea they want to put out into the world and they kind of don’t see a way to do that, where they are. And you know, sometimes when that’s the situation you’re in, you know, you got to dust yourself off and make a big change and sort of take a bet on yourself. Yeah, you know, so I did have a great career and I, I love that job. But there were things you know, in my life that I wanted, both on a personal level, and also just professional level, you know, is a small world it was a very intimate group of people. You know, I worked with people all over the country, but there’s only so many zoos. Right? So I didn’t get to meet a lot of people. And I just sort of felt like I needed to make that pivot to kind of grow in my career and try some new things.
Andrew Morgans 4:38
Okay, and so like, I think one thing that’s kind of overlooked a little bit is that you went from like, kind of working with reptiles and probably going to school for that to some extent to then getting into management. And that really making you feel like your career was about management, not the zoo. Would you agree like was like, maybe not management but but the business aspect?
Megan Baumer 4:59
You Yeah, I mean, I actually really enjoyed the the management aspect of it, you know, it was definitely challenging because, you know, at the management level, I was managing nine people, and all of those people got into zoo work, not to work with other people. Right, but to work in animal. So it’s definitely a challenging environment to be a man who says, Yeah, but I, you know, it was really a space, I was able to, you know, make really positive change. And, you know, I was listening to the recording you did with norm for a couple of weeks ago. And, you know, he, he mentioned how, at one of his offices, they actually had an SOP to make coffee. Right. And I could really relate to that. Because as, as a manager in in zoos, I think one of the things I was really focused on was understanding and learning from all of our successes and all of our failures, and codifying those successes and failures. So they could be repeated both in the future and by other institutions, and then sharing that information, you know, not holding it in one place, but getting it out there putting it into the world. So I think, you know, looking at that perspective, me working at GS one us really makes a lot of sense, right? Because we are the organization that creates uncodified solutions for the world to share and interoperate.
Andrew Morgans 6:22
Yeah, the global language of business, I love that. Okay, so I stopped questions for you. So okay, so you go to this private label manufacturing. And I’m thinking of it like, you know, for our Amazon sellers, listening to private label, they’re thinking like, you know, you’re bringing a product over from from China Alibaba, or we’re going to manufacture it has so many different meanings. But there’s also what I knew before, that was kind of like, you’re talking about that those promotional products, you know, koozies, mouse pads, like things with a company’s brands, brand names on them, you know, that kind of thing? What were you doing there? What was your role there?
Megan Baumer 7:03
Yeah, so it was a small company, which and grow quite a lot, a lot while I was there, which was really great, because I, in the beginning, got to do a little bit of everything. So essentially, I did sales support and project management there. And we did, we did do sort of that the the koozies, and the mouse pads, but where we really, you know, where we really focused and did really well was number one really, really high end product. So think, you know, French porcelain, right, and American made canvas bags. And then we also really saw ourselves as an extension of the marketing for whoever hired us. So it wasn’t our job to make a mousepad it was our job to make a mouse pad that embody that brand, that was purchasing that mouse pad.
Andrew Morgans 7:57
And with that, I can go get business in whatever event they’re at, or whatever they’re doing. Right, right.
Megan Baumer 8:01
And, you know, and the goal being that our whole goal was, we don’t want to give you something that is gonna get thrown away, we want it to sit on your desk and remind you of who gave it to you. You know, for the next several years,
Andrew Morgans 8:15
I love that I am someone that if I have anything nice that I wear, like I love fashion, but if there’s any, like high end pieces or anything like that, like it is definitely a gift. Like that’s how I feel, you know, I’ll keep it around. You know, I’m not really materialistic, but I love gifts like that I’ve gotten from someone because it reminds me of them, you know, and, and I can, I’ve always thought of that kind of about promotional products. And I think that’s because maybe they were buying them from the company that wasn’t yours. But like, I would get them and I would be like, this is you know, I’m just gonna throw this away. Or this is like, you know, what it says, like, you know, build a bear or you know, or something, you know, just has a name on it, right? It’s just like, it’s not anything special other than I went to this event, and I walked away with a different things with their name on it. And I think even when I talk about it with a lot of my speaking events is like creating an emotional connection with customers. And like the importance of that and that’s through you know, through your Amazon listings, your graphics, your videos, whatever you’re doing your product when it arrives on the door, they’re opening it up, like how do we create this emotional connection? And you just kind of alluded to that when you’re like, you know, we were thinking about it as how are we making these products successful for them so that they come back and buy more sure that might be the business aspect, but also that they remember the event they were the company that gave it to them or you know and sometimes I’ll see something super clever that up because you’re just like wow, this was super clever, like but most of the time, those types of items, you know, you’re taking it you’re using it for a coffee mug, maybe or a mousepad for a little bit or a pen for a little bit and then it’s gone and you don’t really remember much so your work cut out for you. I think that’s really cool and I never thought of it from Um, the people doing it, it’s almost like a tattoo artist, I think. And a tattoo artist can be like, No, I’m not doing that design, or tattooers can be like, I’m designing this for like to be on their body for forever. And they’re gonna remember, you know, the reason they got it, where they got it, things like that another tattoo artist will just like tattoo your forehead if you ask them, you know, and so, no, that was just I wanted to take a second because it’s kind of an interesting way of doing that. Okay, so you kind of work you did everything there. What was the next move after that?
Megan Baumer 10:28
Right. So I, so I went from there to GS one us. And I think, you know, I’ve worked specifically in the space supporting different kinds of E commerce sellers. So we work with different kinds of solution providers. So you know, Drew, we work together with you. And you know, the platform’s all the different Sass companies. And our goal is to really help get any information education out there to help those sellers succeed and to understand when and where they need just one standard. And, you know, also to understand the environment, learn about what’s going on and report that fact. Because GS one us is a member driven organization, we’re actually we’re not for profit. So all of the standards are really designed by industry to help solve industry problems. And in order to accurately reflect the, you know, all the the e Commerce Industry, we needed, really, people out there learning about it and reporting back. And that’s a lot of what I do.
Andrew Morgans 11:35
No, I love that. And I know that you guys are a relatively newer division, probably within Gs 1am. I getting that correct. Like, complete? Are you new there? Or was it a newer division?
Megan Baumer 11:46
Yeah. So I started GS one us in December of 2020. To 2021.
Andrew Morgans 11:54
I forgot. Yeah, thanks. Bye, bye.
Megan Baumer 11:57
Yes. So so I’ve been here just over a year. And it’s been an amazing year. I mean, people are so excited to talk to us. And we’ve absolutely learned a ton about, you know, about this environment, and all the entrepreneurs that are getting out there and selling online.
Andrew Morgans 12:17
I mean, at one point, I promise you, you would have hated me, in my early days of EECOM, as a GS one representative, because I just didn’t know I didn’t understand I didn’t have any learnings, you know, what was uh, what was the value of a barcode? What was the value of doing it the right way. And you know, the way we do things now versus the way we did things when I started in econ 12 years ago, it’s not the same. But it was definitely a crash course. And so I think it’s a ton of value what you guys are doing to connect with the Econ community, the Amazon community, get to knowing what’s what’s out there, how it’s happening, what’s evolving when they need to use you as one, let’s, let’s peel back the layers just a little bit. And for anyone listening, that isn’t obsessed with Amazon that doesn’t know all the ins and outs. And, you know, because I can remember when I was like working for a startup, and we were putting products on eBay, and Amazon and wherever we could, and the Amazon, the barcode issue, that UPC issue was just a barrier to entry, it was not a benefit, it was nothing more than just how do we get past this so that we can sell products. And, you know, now the way that we see it is like, this is a must for protection, for security, for safety for your brand. For to be able to picked up in retail, a lot of times we retail ready, you know, just go about it completely differently. Let’s talk to any of the listeners, just what exactly GS one is, as it as this fits a 101. And they don’t know exactly what the organization does, and how they work with sellers.
Megan Baumer 13:51
Sure. So, you know, as as I mentioned before, we are a not for profit organization, we are neutral, which means that, you know, anyone that comes to just one US is treated the same and we can bring businesses that are normally competitors together to discuss issues that affect them both. And you know, we don’t show favoritism to one over the other. So that’s, that’s very important for how we function. We are actually, you know, I think a lot of people think of us in know us from the UPC barcode, right, we administer the UPC barcode on on Amazon, often just called the UPC. What we actually administer is the identifier that is carried by that barcode. So it’s a unique number. Basically, it’s a license plate for your product. And most people know how to interact with that barcode right at the grocery store when they’re doing self scan or that kind of thing. Right. And so I think a lot of people think of us in context of that sort of legacy retail, you know, the grocery store, the department store, that kind of thing, but our membership is actually it’s like 80% Small Business is, is, you know, our members. So we really, and that’s really important because basically just wants standards allow people of, you know, allow businesses of all sizes to really compete and play in the same areas, you know, to be picked up by the same kind of retailers, you know, because they can speak with one language. Well, you don’t have you don’t have to follow a different standard for, you know, for target for Walmart for Amazon, which if you think about a small business trying to do that, it would be really impossible.
Andrew Morgans 15:34
Right, and we’re really talking about like, the language that they’re speaking is, is is catalog is the ability to be pulled up in a register like back end software like, right, that’s really what the code gives them the ability to do, it takes that small retailer the ability to sell online, different types of platforms that people understand what that product is, if they’ve registered it.
Megan Baumer 15:57
Absolutely. And within the UPC, that identifier is called the Global Trade Item number. That’s the number that’s inside the UPC barcode. There’s lots of other GS one standards, the serialized shipping container code, which is a logistics unit identifier, right, so when you’re sending cartons and pallets, those you know is you start to kind of get into wholesale retail, those can be really important. Gs, one 128 barcodes are also really important. We also have a standard language called EDI, which if as you start to get into major retail, you’re also going to see that a lot you’re gonna see, you know, eti EDI embedded and a lot of those stand up onboarding documents for major retailers. So that’s
Andrew Morgans 16:47
actually your Mr. Knology. You know, we have a fulfillment center, you know, as part of our as part of our full service agency where we’re picking, packing labeling, kitting items, you know, we probably have 1213 customers or so that we’re fulfilling for from websites to Amazon FBM to prepping for Amazon FBA. And we have EDI connections, there were a smaller were smaller warehouse. But to connect with chewy, for example, right? So we use we use EDI to connect with chewy and have different software for that. You’re right, it is definitely more on the retail side from like, or like API would be more so on the you know, the Amazon Shopify, plugging in with plugins partners like that is very API. But if you’re plugging into any of these bigger retailers, it’s an EDI connection. Just bringing that home for anybody, not not everyone listening is has set up products before and understand some of the nuances behind this. But like, what they don’t understand is all the problems that can happen if you’re not doing these kinds of things correctly. You know, these systems have, what is doing is giving proxy a unique identifier, that essentially you’re paying, you’re paying to have it registered. But that unique identifier keeps other people from being able to counterfeit your items sell items as if they’re yours, but they’re not yours. Let’s talk about some of the things that it does for protection for small retailers or small makers. Because you know, I get a lot of people that are like, Why should I spend the money to get, you know, a GS one barcode versus just like, you know, trying to sell it directly or not have those. And, you know, that’s always a great conversation that comes up.
Megan Baumer 18:31
Absolutely. So when you when you come to GS one and you licensed identifiers, you will get something called a GS one certificate, right? And it is basically your your little paper license that says I own this. So if you are listing on Amazon, for example, you’re going to enter your Global Trade Item number on your listing. And if you have an you know, a problem, you know that that Global Trade Item number is already being used by someone who doesn’t, you know, entered a random number to try to get through the entry process or something like that. You are the, you know, the official owner licensor of that Global Trade Item number. And you have that GS wants her to get to back you up and say this is my product. And for anybody you know, who’s pursuing brand registry, combining those two things is a really good way to say I own this product. This is me. And, you know, particularly you know, grab a trademark put it all together and it really gives you a strong foundation to make any case against someone who’s trying to come in and hijack your listing.
Andrew Morgans 19:38
Totally like for us as an agency. You know, we’re to that point where if we’re working with with a brand young or, or otherwise that doesn’t have those things in place that we can use to protect them. It’s not a great fit for us. You know, it becomes it becomes a necessary necessity I guess so to speak, to be able to have like Like, these are kind of like the global standards like you’re talking about, it just becomes so difficult to, you know, work with a brand, they don’t have these things, the ability to protect them from being a unique product, being able to use brand registry having a trademark in place that we can protect the brand, you essentially are just really putting yourself in a way that you’re not going to be able to communicate with all these other systems if you don’t go through this kind of thing. So what are some ways that like, I guess, the barcode is evolving, like maybe changing gears a little bit, but like, you know, we know our 2d barcodes that we’ve seen on, you know, retail boxes and cereal boxes, and anyone in Amazon retail arbitrage has came through with those scanners and scanned a million barcodes to kind of see like, you know, value on Amazon. But what what’s next for kind of, you know, identifying products as things go to more of a QR code model, and things are just like, you know, evolving, I was looking at a painting the other day that came to life. I like put my my camera on, I was at an art fair. And they had a little appetite to it. And the painting just came to life for like five minutes, it was kind of crazy. So technology is all over the place. You know, what’s, how are we addressing that kind of, I guess at GS one, the path forward.
Megan Baumer 21:19
And I’m so happy you use the phrase 2d barcode because we use that that’s a phrase as well. And oftentimes people don’t know what we’re talking about. So we saw the barcode is going to D, most people out there, think of a 2d barcode as a QR code. So basically, you know, you think about barcode, it’s lines and spaces and in one line, but if you go in two directions, the way a QR code does, you can fit a ton more information. And the really great thing about that is the product itself can carry a lot more data that can be used in things like you know, recalls, right, it can carry Bachelot information, that’s really great for you know, in pharmaceutical and healthcare, it’s great for patient safety. In grocery, it’s great for food safety, you know, if you have any kind of contaminant and something needs to be recalled, it’s much faster, if you can just scan everything was barcode and determine
Andrew Morgans 22:19
you know, if this was this batch this was made here, this was made there this is the expiration date is this, instead of having all of these different stickers, let’s say are different barcodes on like, you know, I would say probably a carton of milk even has a printed thing, and then maybe the barcode on the label. And then like, you know, it’s got the information in several spots.
Megan Baumer 22:40
And if you scan a product at checkout, and the checkout system knows that, hey, maybe that’s expired, because it says so in the barcode and says no, you can’t buy that, right, think of like, of how of how much safer that would make our food chain. So I love that. That’s really great. But I think for the Amazon seller and the sort of entrepreneurial space, you know, it’ll be really interesting, because all those 2d barcodes can carry the same way a QR code does, it can carry URLs, that will guide people back to your DTC site. It can help people you know, look up your certifications. So you know, if your ideal customer is going to be interested in certain sustainability goals, or cruelty free, or, you know, certain labor practices, you can embed all that in your barcode to speak directly to your customer. You know, I think as a customer, you can think I’m on a shelf, it’s really, it makes that easier for me to make a selection between options. But I think you also have to think about if I’ve, if I’ve made a purchase online, now I can interact directly with that seller, once it’s in my home, which I bought didn’t really have any way to do.
Andrew Morgans 23:52
Yeah, and that’s something as a marketer, like we’re thinking about constantly. So you know, what are all the ways we can get that customer that’s now receives that item that gift that box, you know, and we wouldn’t think about it as the barcode. The barcode is like a necessary evil to beat to doing business, we don’t think of it as a way to communicate with our customers. But we are pushing those, we’re printing social tags, and icons and QR codes that take them to, you know, a downloadable coloring book from NASA, or, like, you know, all different kinds of stuff that we’re doing as marketers to like engage with our customers. So being able to pull that into the barcode and make it more functional than just like, you know, some row of numbers is huge, right?
Megan Baumer 24:34
Make your barcode work harder.
Andrew Morgans 24:37
Yeah, I mean, kinda like that’s a good slogan, you better write that down.
Megan Baumer 24:41
Especially if you think about, you know, any like cosmetics, for example, they have so little space on their packaging, that being able to combine those things. It’ll be really, really useful for them for anyone in that space. So you know, our goal at GE is when you as your our standards are technology agnostic. We really want to be relentlessly relevant. And we’re constantly exploring, you know, new spaces in which standards can make a difference. So, you know, I’m on the innovations and partnerships team. You know, we’re looking at Metaverse right now and blockchain very exciting spaces to be. And you know, again, the goal, the goal is to just find ways to help, whatever technology industry is leading towards, find ways for that technology to be universally applied, so that everyone can participate.
Andrew Morgans 25:30
No, I love that. Okay, and I got a couple of more questions for you, before we do shout out to our sponsor Full Scale that I owe. Finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit full scale.io. We can build a software team quickly and affordably use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs, and then see what available developers, testers and leaders are ready to join your team. Visit full scale.io. To learn more, okay, so we’ve talked about, you know, we’ve talked about kind of where it’s going kind of some of the ways that it’s innovating and ways that we might see the bar code change. In the future, what do you think about, you know, you talked about most like, I think you said 90%, or something of the barcodes are from small business is that just because we have so much more small business than than big business when it comes down to count of those businesses? You know, I know how impactful small businesses America went to Babson College, and they’re, you know, they just they they came out with these stats that were just mind blowing in regards to like, you know, how this country really runs? And, you know, what makes the economy healthy, and it’s very small business driven, you know, thinking about these kinds of standards for small business, big business and international business. What is it about, you know, something as simple as a barcode that really connects the three of these and makes it where a small business can go international, because, you know, on, on Amazon, a small business can go international, much easier than it used to be in the past, you know, I’ve got brands selling in Amazon, Australia, Amazon, Japan, you know, Amazon, Canada, all over the world, is the barcode, you know, even though it’s GS one, us, what does that mean, when it comes to international selling and small business kind of joining the bigger world?
Megan Baumer 27:18
Absolutely. So GS, one is a global organization, or the global headquarters is actually in Brussels. But it’s a federated organization. So there is 113 different we call the member organizations emmos, that represent countries or region, that that really represent the businesses within that space. And that’s just because, you know, local laws are different. And there’s different considerations in terms of, you know, cross border activity, and all that sort of stuff. So here are just one us we represent us based businesses. If you came to GS one us to license a Global Trade Item number, you would that that Global Trade Item number would be valid globally, because GS one is global. So there’s, there’s a few differences in terms of what it might look like, if you if you came to somewhere in North America, just when you asked Mexico or Canada versus other places in the world, where you might get an EIN European article number versus a UPC, which is a Universal Product Code. But either way, the the identifier will be valid and verifiable worldwide.
Andrew Morgans 28:30
Okay, talk to me, this is just a random question off the top of my head, but ISBN, so that’s like a book identifier. Correct? Right. Is that something that you guys manage as well?
Megan Baumer 28:39
We do not manage the ISBN No. Okay. So this is was that an
Andrew Morgans 28:43
international organization as well, that’s just, you know, around books that, you know, kind of established differently? And if so, why would there be a difference between books and products? I guess?
Megan Baumer 28:54
Absolutely. Um, you know, the ISBN does function similarly. And, you know, there’s, you know, I don’t I don’t know a whole lot about the ISBN to be honest with you. So I can’t go into too many details about how they function. But, you know, it is something that people are very familiar with, I will say that, so it’s often a, you know, a good reference to sort of explain what we do. But, you know, with all kinds of art, there’s, you know, sort of different issues about identification that comes from a little bit differently than the way product identification. Does.
Andrew Morgans 29:29
That makes sense? That makes sense. And it’s not something that you know, has a lot of the same characteristics as let’s say, a food product or anything like that standards and things like that. It’s a book right. So that makes a lot of sense. I just know like, you know, selling on Amazon, or, or selling in retail, at least in E commerce like that is that is, you know, if you’re selling if you’re selling books, it’s used a lot like a barcode, but it’s obviously not GS one barcode, so. And I know Amazon has its early days with books Send, you know, some of that nuances well, which is interesting.
Megan Baumer 30:04
That’s how I, you know, now I remember Amazon starting, right? Yeah,
Andrew Morgans 30:07
he was, you know, he was really getting into as well, as far as I know, Bezos his idea, you know, once you get into books to really learn is something that we all have in common, and something to learn, you know about customers and get data and really understand how the customers are shopping. And so he started with books, which I think is just, you know, really, really interesting. We talked about Okay, so we talked about, you know, kind of what’s what’s next for GS one, and like, you know, Metaverse and blockchain and, you know, really working with E commerce sellers, and, and retailers of all around the world to really understand at least in the US, how to interact around the world, and just kind of all the things that this can happen. You guys have talked to me about an event, you guys hosted events, you guys host conferences, webinars, all different kinds of things like that. Let’s spend a few minutes just talking about what you guys are doing to interact, you know, with the different communities out there and where people can. People can learn more people can get involved, people can participate, some of the stuff you guys are doing.
Megan Baumer 31:12
Sure. So there are actually two different ways we participate. One is, you know, we do attend a lot of external events, speak at events, we will host roundtables. You know, right now, we’re really focusing a lot on our small business initiatives. So we’ve had small business roundtables around the country at different events. And you know, so, you know, understand that GE has one is just one us is a large organization that has a lot of different verticals. So you’re gonna you’ll see just one US folks at pharmaceutical conventions and at grocery conventions and at CPG, sort of all across the board, exploring the the importance of standards and in different in different sort of verticals. And, but we often do have our own events, as you mentioned, so we have connect, coming up that that is the just one US Conference, it’ll be in June this year. Um, you can follow learn more about that on our website. We also do two annual summits. So our supply chain visibility Summit, and on our Innovation Summit, and those are digital events. They’re open everybody, you can check our website for more information on those as the topics are finalized, and you know, dates and everything are finalized, as well. And thank you, John throws through some of our dates here and in the chat. So that’s fantastic. So the other thing is, we do have quite a lot of resources, both for members. And for those be like considering becoming members, we do have our own podcast, Next Level supply chain, where we chat with a lot of different kinds of solution providers and business owners to sort of understand what’s going on in business and you know, help people make sense of the wider world supply chain out there. We also have a learning management system, and a pretty robust YouTube channel to try to help people, you know, in sort of industry standards a little bit complex, right? There’s definitely, and we try to break it down and make it as straightforward as possible, you know, YouTube, you can go there for a little bit more of the quick hits. And then you can actually create a login and take some courses in our system, if you want to get a little deeper into it sort of depending. We also have, you know, I try to shout out to them, anytime I’m anywhere we have an amazing Member Services team. There, they’re based out of Ohio, you can pick up the phone and call them there. The wait time is usually less than a minute. They’re super knowledgeable, and they’re always held happy to help people talk through issues that they’re having as a member or, you know, questions considering whether or not they should license a GTIN and become a member. And I you know, you can also reach them by email. But you know, I’d say always pick up the phone, they’re pretty great.
Andrew Morgans 34:08
I love that shout out. Someone needs to buy you a coffee from the team. So give them your love. No, that’s absolutely amazing. And thanks for the context on the events. I know the podcast is a great source of information. And, you know, for me, I’m trying to step away and get to more conferences that are just a little bit less than just Amazon focused, meaning they’re not just Amazon heavy. But where are some of the other brands, retailers, service providers, like you know, they’re just getting a broader I’m always trying to learn as well. And so just getting a broader kind of reach to the topics and what those things are, and I think that’s a great opportunity. You know, for anyone that’s in that area in June to pop into the Kinect conference or you know, tune in the podcast, I’ll have all these links and notes in the show notes as well for anyone driving so they’ll be able to just see, you know where they can get in contact with you Guys, as we’re wrapping up the show, I like to I like to end with a little bit of a personal question. But, you know, we’re we happen to be at the beginning of the year, you know, which is not necessarily resolution time, but for me, it’s definitely what are my goals? What’s my focus? What am I, you know, what am I shooting for this year? You know, if I, if I get to the end of this year, what would I feel like I that I’ve accomplished something? What is something that you personally, Megan are, you know, working on as a leader as a GS one employee, you know, something that you’re focused on this year to improve?
Megan Baumer 35:38
Absolutely, it’s a great question, Drew. And, you know, one of the things that I am going to be diving into this year to really understand and start to speak to the value of is actually one of our identifiers called the Global location number. You know, I come from the, you know, the nonprofit space, I come from conservation. Understanding how to reduce our carbon footprint, you know, how to do better it for our planet is super important to me. And that’s going to be everything I do, you know, I’m a major composter here, I buy plastic recycling boxes that I can send back to try to recycle all my snack bags and everything like that. So the global location number is similar to a GTIN the way it works, but it identifies the location, right? So could it could be a shelf on a pharmacy, it could be an entire building, it can also identify a legal entity, right? So accompany you, when you license either GS one prefix or or g 10. Here, a GS one U S, you will automatically be assigned one. And then you can enumerate further, further DLs as well. And, you know, so for me, I’m really looking forward to exploring how this can really help particularly in our in the food system, and retail grocery, how that’s really going to help reduce food waste, you know, make sure that inventory is properly managed and moved to, to, you know, to reduce excess. And, you know, help understand how, you know, our fuel use is, you know, can be consolidated and reduced. And I think there’s a lot a lot there. For GS one us to explore through the Global location number.
Andrew Morgans 37:29
I love that I obviously some of that went over my head. So I don’t necessarily know how like, knowing the location of something, helps us cut down on waste. But maybe it’s something I need to be learning about too. And I think that’s why it’s so great. You guys are an organization teaching retailers and consultants and service providers, you know, what all the functionality of what all these things can do for you. You know, and if we’re able to tie in, you know, carbon footprint, and, you know, waste reduction and these types of things, as well as businesses, business efficiencies, I think we’ve hit a homerun, you know, when you can tie those in and show people how knowing these things can help you be more efficient and waste less. And, you know, that’s really what operating a good econ business is about is about just knowing every little area of your business that you’re that you’re impacted, or that you’re impacting, and knowing like, you know, what’s going on with it, how can I optimize a little bit better? How can I be just a little bit better? That’s what I love about ecom in general, is I don’t feel like it’s a it’s a business model that’s built around the waist, and x size, it’s usually pretty much efficiency. You know, I love that. Yeah,
Megan Baumer 38:39
creeping that margin up little by little, right.
Andrew Morgans 38:43
I mean, or they’re stealing your margin, you’re getting it back, you know, so, you know, whatever that is, whether it’s, you know, it’s people in your business, or is efficiencies in your warehousing and supply chain, or it’s efficiencies in your buying process and your, you know, your importing of goods, you know, there’s the the areas to improve are endless when it comes to E comm. And I mean, I love that because you know, I’m never getting bored, because there’s always something to work on. But I love sharing that it’s a great thing to take into, to this year to just learn more about how can I use this and how can I leverage this and how can I share that knowledge with others. So thank you for sharing. Megan, this has been really informative. I’ve loved having you on the show. Thanks again for your time. And one more shout out to our sponsor. Before we go. Do you need to hire software engineers, testers, or leaders let Full Scale help they have the people on the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. When you visit full scale.io. All you need to do is answer a few questions and let the platform match you up with fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers, testers and leaders at Full Scale they specialize in building long term teams that work only for you learn more when you visit full scale.io A little bit of a mouthful. I need some coffee, but you know honestly our sponsors are everything to this show. We put this show on for free and reach hundreds of 1000s of listeners every month. Um, so thanks again to our sponsors for letting us do this and promoting the show and putting this on and having awesome guests like Megan on the show. Megan, thanks again for your time. And John behind the scenes sending us links and information over here in the chat. Thank you as well, John, and we’ll see. You’re welcome. We’ll see you next time, Hustlers.