A question we are often asked is: “Can I use ProSKU to receive and scan goods with SSCC labels?”

When we talk about being able to scan ‘SSCC labels’ we usually mean the facility to scan and decode ‘GS1 labels’ of which the SSCC is a feature. Standing for ‘Serial Shipping Container Code’, the SSCC is a unique identifying code for a logistics unit, usually (though not always) a pallet. It is assigned for the lifetime of the pallet to enable it and the goods on it to be tracked through the supply chain.

The SSCC itself is an 18 character code which conforms to the GS1 standard, and is assigned when a pallet is created, normally by the goods manufacturer. This enables information related to it to be stored and shared with supply chain partners. The SSCC is the only mandatory piece of information required on a GS1 ‘Logistics Label,’ but may only be one of several barcoded data fields to appear.

The SSCC is especially useful when EDI transmissions are shared between elements of the supply chain as it means a pallet of goods and its attributes can be identified by a single barcode scan. But the GS1 Logistics Label can contain various information, both barcoded and human readable which is required at key points in the supply chain. The label format means each piece of data is uniquely identifiable, so that specific information (for example that needed at receipt) can be extracted.

The label can appear in different formats, and may be designed to reflect the needs of multiple supply chain partners, including manufacturers or suppliers, customers and carriers. To this end information in barcoded form may be combined with other data in a single barcode, with each element separated by a unique AI (application identifier). This means a significant amount of data can be contained within a label, reducing the number of scans required to extract it.

From the point of view of a WMS system like ProSKU there are two main instances when the data on a GS1 label would be extracted, namely at receipt and despatch. At receipt, the label can be scanned to capture the key data needed to store and rotate the goods, as well as any additional data needed for broader reporting requirements. At despatch, in certain retail scenarios, the pallet data may be collected for inclusion in an ASN type (Automatic Shipping Notification) electronic delivery advice.

The ProSKU system has been developed to manage the scanning of GS1 labels for goods receiving, so is capable of decoding and storing the barcode format information contained on the label. However, as each manufacturer or supplier’s label can be different there is usually some minor adaptation required to the receiving process to accommodate this. This may include for example determining the number of scans required to capture data, to ensure the operation is slick and efficient.