Burger King Adopts UCC Standards

Chain's buying co-op wants suppliers to use GTIN product ID standard to drive supply chain efficiencies

Lawrenceville, NJ — April 30, 2003 — The U.S. purchasing arm of restaurant chain Burger King is set to adopt the global standards of the EAN-UCC System for product identification in a bid to gain new levels of efficiency in its supply chain practices.

Restaurant Services Inc. (RSI) is an independent, member-owned purchasing cooperative serving Burger King restaurant owners in the United States. Its primary purpose is to leverage the buying power of the restaurants to achieve favorable contracts for food, packaging and other goods and services on behalf of more than 8,300 restaurants.

RSI is working on an initiative to implement new and emerging technology and electronic information systems to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Burger King system supply chain. As part of this initiative, RSI has requested that suppliers of products utilized in the Burger King system identify those products using the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).

The GTIN, a standard of the EAN-UCC System, enables companies to uniquely identify trade items throughout the global supply chain. The Uniform Code Council (UCC) is a not-for-profit organization working to develop and implement standards-based, global supply chain solutions, and UCC-based solutions include business processes, XML standards, EDI transaction sets and the barcode identification standards of the EAN-UCC System, which the UCC co-manages with EAN International.

RSI believes that the implementation of this barcode standard will allow the cooperative and its trading partners to achieve streamlined and simplified business processes, reduced supply chain costs and improved inventory management and replenishment processes. As iSource Business reported Tuesday, technology consultancy AMR Research believes that data synchronization must be the top priority over all other projects involving B2B collaboration or interoperability because it provides a crucial foundation for these initiatives.

To help facilitate the process of implementing GTINs, RSI's president and CEO, George Hoffman, recently recommended its suppliers attend a seminar titled "Standard Product Identification and Bar Coding in the Foodservice Industry" presented by the UCC and sponsored by Efficient Foodservice Response (EFR), an industry-wide effort to improve efficiencies in the foodservice supply chain.

"The food service seminars are an excellent opportunity for our suppliers to obtain valuable information on improving the ability of trading partners to exchange supply chain information in an electronic format," said Hoffman.

The UCC and EFR are sponsoring a series of regional food service seminars throughout the year to provide food service companies the tools and knowledge necessary to develop and implement an effective barcoding program. The one-day seminars are to present standard product identification and barcode fundamentals.

"The seminar educates participants on how to mark and track products, manage inventory and effectively communicate product information with trading partners," said Steve Arens, senior director of market development for the UCC. "By adopting these standards, foodservice companies will be able to reduce costs, increase productivity and remove barriers to efficient global commerce."

"The benefits inherent in adopting the EAN-UCC System will not only make RSI's supply chain more effective and efficient but also secure," said Mark Allen, executive director of EFR. "RSI is demonstrating true industry leadership and is now expecting their suppliers to do the same by adopting the standards. The outcome is certain to create mutually beneficial results."

Additional information on the food service seminars is available on the UCC Web site.