GLN: Identifying Locations
Each company or organisation who is a member of a GS1 Member Organisation should use GLNs to identify locations under the terms of its membership. Contact details for all GS1 Member Organisations are available on the GS1 website. The GLN is fully compatible with ISO/IEC 6523 Information technology — Structure for the identification of organizations and organization parts (Part 1 & 2).
In business operations, location numbers must be associated with business attributes. The attributes of the location should be established as part of master data management using the GLN as the key to the information.
Contact your local GS1 Member Organisation to understand the rules and requirements for the implementation of GLNs in your business processes, or work with the local MO and the industry to develop these.
For smaller organisations, it may be sufficient to assign a single GLN at the highest level to cover all purposes. The degree of GLN assignment depends on the individual business needs and that of their business relationships. The GLN may be used as a replacement for a custom account number or similar identifier such as supplier number, vendor number, trading partner number, clinical trial site ID, etc.
However, this will require collaboration and communication among trading partners well in advance of the transition from an existing custom account number to the GLN. Larger, more complex organisations may have more than one GLN to represent different discrete entities, locations, or functions, for example:
- A supplier may have different physical location or legal entity GLNs for its UK, German and French subsidiaries.
- A hospital may have different physical location GLNs for a pharmacy, an operating theatre and receiving departments.
- A hospital may have a separate function GLN for its billing department.
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