Certain types of products require communication with trading partners and other stakeholders such as regulators before a product goes into production or is available within a market. The ability to group products under the same model or family, using a GMN, streamlines the process to manage product specifications and other market-based information in a consistent way.
Examples of products where they may be managed as models or families include products with various versions, capacities, colours, sizes or supported languages, but are otherwise technically the same design. One technical example is medical devices, where conformity assessments are completed before a product is released to a market, these can take considerable time and effort but completing this process for a family of products can create enormous efficiency.
Other examples of where use of a GMN may be beneficial, include a sewing pattern (e.g., in apparel sector), a form/material/classification scheme (e.g., in construction sector), or a product line (e.g., in cosmetic sector).
The GMN was initially introduced for the identification of a product model or product family for regulated medical devices in the European Union (EU), however the GS1 standards ensure its applicability across industry sectors.
Important note: GMN is a GS1 identification key that is not intended for use in a data carrier, except for the construction industry. This means that it will not appear in a barcode or an RFID tag on a product and will also not be printed in human readable text on the product. The GMN is not for use in identifying trade items physical forms, it is instead an identifier that will be used within databases.