The economic impact of GS1: In retailing and wholesaling industries

June 30, 2019

GS1 commissioned NZIER to estimate the economic contribution of using GS1 standards in the retail and wholesale industries for the New Zealand economy. The research scope was limited to the macroeconomic effects of cost and labour productivity improvements in these industries.

GS1 standards and associated products have wide-ranging potential. We focused our research on labour cost and labour productivity improvements, and we used our CGE model to provide a robust but conservative assessment of the wider economic effects of GS1 data standards on the New Zealand economy.

Global data standards affect labour use by eliminating manual processes, human errors and duplication systems. Data standards affect labour use through labour productivity improvements and labour cost savings. The labour productivity effects of using the GS1 standards increase GDP by $417 million annually, and the effects of absolute labour cost savings are larger than the labour productivity effects. Without GS1 in retailing and wholesaling, GDP would be lower by between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion annually.

The overall economic contribution of GS1 will be much larger than the results presented in this report due to the diverse range of applications for the standards. There are likely to be more opportunities to use data standards to reduce costs and enhance the efficiency of businesses to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders. It would be worthwhile investing in improving the ability to recognise and capitalise on the opportunities.

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