| Share

When businesses pivot to make PPE, are all the boxes being ticked?

Australia can be thankful for its manufacturing base and the entrepreneurs who keep it going. So when the NSW Premier recently released a call-to-action for companies to re-tool and produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE*) to meet increased demand, many businesses nationwide were prompted to change direction and supply PPE to the frontline health workers who need it.
These new suppliers to the health industry, for example a gin distiller making hand sanitiser, may not be aware that state and territory health departments, and many other health provider organisations, require unique identification, barcoding and product data using GS1 standards.
One of the key reasons for these requirements is the enhanced ability to track and trace products throughout the supply chain for improved visibility, to streamline processes for greater efficiency and productivity, and ultimately, to make their environments safer for patients and staff.
To support manufacturers who have taken on the challenge of supplying these critical products, GS1 Australia is offering these suppliers at no charge: 
  • Priority support from the GS1 PPE Support team 
  • GS1 Australia membership**
  • Allocation of identification numbers for barcodes as required  
  • Assistance in creating and testing barcodes on the new products  
  • Access to training and support services  
  • ​Access to additional supporting services from GS1
**For companies who were not already GS1 Australia members
Existing GS1 Australia members who move to producing PPE products are also being provided with prioritised support and assistance to get their products to market sooner.
“We want to ensure that new suppliers to the health industry who are re-tooling to manufacture PPE products get express but comprehensive support for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis in Australia,” said Maria Palazzolo, GS1 Australia’s chief executive officer.
Details of the offer and regulatory information can be found here:
“Our priority right now is to support the sector and its people that is supporting our community,” she added.
While patient safety is paramount in healthcare, other drivers for having a digital supply chain include the ability to identify and authenticate pharmaceuticals and medical devices, traceability of products from manufacture to the point of care and improved industry efficiencies.

GS1 data standards not only benefit the supply chain but can also add value when used within clinical processes by providing underlying interoperability of data within areas such as theatre management, electronic medication management and administration, surgical equipment management, patient medical and health records, resource and capacity management, asset tracking, reimbursement and costing, and more.
Note to editor:
Maria Palazzolo, GS1's CEO and Marcel Sieira, GS1's Chief Customer Officer are available for interview. Please call Wendy McWilliams on 03 9803 2588 / 0421 364 665 to set up a suitable time.
Further information:
Background information on the standards in the healthcare sector can be found here:
* PPE equipment includes but is not limited to: Masks, gloves, face guards/visors, goggles, glasses, gowns, coveralls, aprons, head covers/hoods, leg and shoe covers.
This offer also applies to other items that are critical in treating infected patients during the COVID-19 outbreak, including but not limited to: Ventilators, respirators and hand sanitiser
About GS1 Australia:
GS1 Australia is the Australian member of GS1, a not-for-profit global organisation that develops and maintains the most widely-used supply chain standards in the world. GS1 Australia currently supports around 20,000 member organisations nationally representing 22 industry sectors including healthcare where our global data standards to improve supply chain efficiency, enable traceability and support improved patient safety. For more information visit www.gs1au.org or follow on LinkedIn and Twitter
Media enquiries:
Issued on behalf of GS1 Australia by WMC Public Relations Pty Ltd. Contact Wendy McWilliams on Tel: 03 9803 2588 / 0421 364 665. Email: wendy@wmcpr.com.au or Marian Makram-Perkins on Tel: 03 8581 5940. Email: marian.makram-perkins@gs1au.org