Global Location Number

Global Location Number Usage By Entities

Locations, functions and legal entities often have implied hierarchical structures. For example, a room, within a department, within a building within a hospital. Where hierarchies are needed, they should be built into a database that manages the GLN key rather than within the key itself.

As with all GS1 Keys, it is best to not introduce any intelligence in the number structure of the GLN to replicate a hierarchy. This adds limitations making GLNs difficult to maintain, reduces the flexibility of changing organisations and makes IT systems more expensive to maintain.

Global Location Numbers Usage Examples:

  • To identify an organisation as a corporate entity.
  • To identify physical locations such as a hospital, a pharmacy, a storeroom, a doctor’s office or an operating theatre.
  • To identify a company’s legal and functional entities engaging as parties in a particular business transaction, for example as buyer, seller, or carrier.
  • In either a barcode or EPC/RFID (Electronic Product Code/Radio Frequency Identification) tag to automatically identify locations such as storage places in a warehouse, the destination of a pallet, or the origin of a product.
  • In electronic messages and registries to inform trading partners about companies and their corresponding GLNs and associated GLN information (e.g. Ship To/Bill to, Ship From/Remit to).
  • In the Global Data Synchronisation Network® (GDSN®) to identify the organisations, data sources and data recipients.
  • To provide more precise recording and sharing of supply chain events by adding the extension component to a GLN. For example, an extension component may identify sub-locations such as storage bins, dock doors, bed spaces, scan and read points.
  • By organisations in the public sector. Various applications exist where governments use GLNs, either to identify their own agencies or to identify companies using central government databases.
  • In cases where patients receive regular, long-term deliveries to home, e.g. enteral nutrition, GLNs may be used to identify the ship to location.

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