Identifying Locations Using a GLN
The Global Location Number (GLN) is used to identify the locations of parties involved in business transactions. These can be functional groups within a company or real, physical “places” that might ship, receive, process, or hold inventories, like:
- Legal Entities: Whole companies, subsidiaries or divisions within a company, health system corporations, etc.
- Functional Entities: Specific departments within a legal entity, such as accounting departments, purchasing departments, hospital pharmacies, etc.
- Physical Locations: Manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, warehouses, dock doors, hospital wings, bin locations, restaurants, retail stores, etc.
- GLNs are commonly used in business transactions such as purchase orders, advance ship notices, and invoices. They are also used within barcodes on logistics labels and on electronic commerce systems such as data synchronization and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
The benefit of using GLNs is to enable standardized location identification that is shared across trading partners. They eliminate confusing variations in location names, eliminate the need to develop and translate different proprietary identification systems, and help to ensure that the right product is delivered to the right place.
You create a GLN by combining your issued GS1 Company Prefix number with a unique location number that you assign, plus a check digit that helps to ensure the GLN is created correctly. A GLN is always 13 digits long, so the number of locations you can identify depends on the length of your GS1 Company Prefix.
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