In the rapidly evolving landscape of inventory management, efficiency and accuracy are paramount. As technology continues to advance, businesses are constantly seeking innovative solutions to streamline their operations.

One such solution that has gained significant traction is the utilisation of autonomous drones for inventory counts. By leveraging drones and robotics, companies can expedite the inventory process, whilst eliminating human error. In this post, we aim to discuss how warehouse inventory drones work with GS1 barcodes and how this combination can unlock some serious value.


Understanding GS1 and the Application Identifier


GS1 is a global organisation dedicated to the development and implementation of standards for supply chains, including barcoding and data exchange. One of the key components of the GS1 standards is the Application Identifier (AI). AIs are numeric prefixes used within barcodes to convey specific types of data, such as product identification, batch numbers, and expiration dates. The Application Identifiers in this example image can be differentiated by the two-digit numbers enclosed within the brackets positioned beneath the barcode symbols.

A sample GS1 barcode label

Features of GS1 Application Identifiers


1. Granular Data Encoding:

GS1 Application Identifiers allow for the encoding of detailed information within barcodes, enabling precise identification of products and their attributes. This granularity facilitates accurate inventory tracking and management.

2. Standardisation:

By adhering to GS1 standards, businesses ensure interoperability and consistency across their supply chains. Standardised barcoding practices make it easier to exchange data with trading partners and integrate with existing systems.

3. Flexibility:

GS1 Application Identifiers support a wide range of data formats, accommodating various types of information relevant to inventory management. This flexibility allows businesses to adapt their barcode encoding to suit their specific needs.

Benefits of Using GS1 Application Identifiers for Drone Inventory Counts


1. Enhanced Accuracy:

By encoding detailed product information, including unique identifiers and attributes, GS1 Application Identifiers minimise the risk of errors during inventory counts. Drones equipped with barcode scanners can swiftly capture data with precision, reducing discrepancies and improving inventory accuracy.

2. Increased Efficiency:

Leveraging drones for inventory counts drastically accelerates the process compared to traditional manual methods. GS1-compliant barcodes enable rapid scanning and capture of vast amounts of data, enabling faster inventory audits and cycle counts.

3. Real-Time Visibility:

With GS1 Application Identifiers, inventory data captured by drones can be seamlessly integrated into existing software platforms, providing real-time visibility into stock levels and movement. This timely information empowers businesses to make more informed, data-backed decisions and to respond quickly to changing demand patterns.

4. Scalability:

As businesses grow and expand their operations, the scalability of inventory management solutions becomes critical. The GS1 standards provide a foundation for scalable barcode systems that can accommodate evolving business needs, ensuring continuity and efficiency as operations expand.

5. Compliance Assurance:

Adhering to GS1 standards ensures compliance with industry regulations and customer requirements. By utilising GS1 Application Identifiers in drone inventory counts, businesses demonstrate their commitment to data accuracy, traceability, and regulatory compliance.


Incorporating GS1 Application Identifiers into drone-based inventory count processes revolutionises the way businesses manage their stock levels. By harnessing the power of standardised barcoding, organisations can achieve unparalleled accuracy, efficiency, and visibility across their supply chains. As the adoption of drone technology continues to grow, embracing GS1 standards ensures that businesses stay ahead of the curve in the dynamic world of inventory management.

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