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Lifesaving Technology: How GS1 Canada and HP Built a Better Recall System



Nobody likes product recalls. For the business that has to issue one, it’s an admission of failure. For the consumer, it’s a red flag that builds skepticism. But without the recall process, things are worse for everyone. Done well—and early—a product recall can increase public safety and actually build corporate trust.


Welcome to a day in the life of GS1 Canada, a member of GS1, a not-for-profit organization and the world’s leading supply chain standards provider. It develops and implements the GS1 System of standards and services throughout the country, helping more than 20,000 businesses in over 20 sectors to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness. The GS1 Canada team’s work benefits brand owners, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers.



Product recall in the food industry is particularly challenging, and it’s not just due to the difficulty in tracing the origins of contamination. The delays in obtaining accurate information often come down to database integration issues.


These issues aren’t just frustrating from a technology perspective—each day a product recall is delayed means new lives are in the balance. With approximately 48 million cases of food-borne illnesses reported per year, the entire food industry faced a significant challenge.



GS1 Canada set out to change the rules by breaking down technology barriers and implementing an open and neutral cloud platform. The team at GS1 issued a request for proposal (RFP) to three multinational organizations to help create a new product recall service. HP answered the call, won the RFP, and worked with GS1 to build the HP Cloud-Based Product Recall Service.



Designed by HP Software Professional Services and hosted in the HP Enterprise Services Utility Services Data Center in the United States, the service offers GS1 Canada an on-demand, self-service portal with a web-based user interface that gives brand owners the ability to issue recalls to all their business partners via standard protocols.


Built on HP infrastructure, software, and services, the Cloud-Based Product Recall Service delivers all data in a compliant, neutral, and secure format, giving the food industry a safe, fast way to alert everyone in the supply chain.


Because it’s in the cloud, the solution HP built for GS1 was designed to scale—and due to its popularity, it has already made good on that promise. The solution is being adopted at the countrywide level by the governments of Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.


GS1 Canada recently signed on to another three years with the service HP helped to build as it looks forward to closing the gap on recall delays in its own country and beyond.

Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
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About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID

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