Wivalliusgatan 13, SE
Stockholm, SE-112 60
Phone: 46-854-552-525
Bjorn Passad, then CEO at the Swedish Retail Development Council, initiated in 1969 the national project that would take Sweden into the world of article identification and bar coding. He represented Sweden at the first "EAN-to-be" meeting in Paris 1974. He had many contacts with the early UPC project and was an eager spokesman for a European solution compatible with UPC. After the creation of EAN International he served on all Technical Working Parties and finally on the Technical Systems Committee. He retired as CEO for EAN Sweden (now GS1 Sweden) in 1999. He was awarded the Soederberg Business Prize for 2004, a prestigious Swedish retail prize, honoring thirty years of successful work in a leading roll in the field of auto identification that had benefited the private as well as the public sector. In 1974 he suggested that the new European numbering and bar coding system ought to be enlarged so that it would cater also for other retail industries than grocery. This message was repeated from time to time and led in May 1981 to the chair of the EAN International Working Party on General Merchandise. This WP essentially dealt with the capacity in the numbering system and with the feasibility of the system in other retail sectors. A number of hearings were held with international manufacturers and retailers associations, in particular those representing the apparel and shoe industries. These industries had traditionally identified items at model level and then described such variations as color and size with add-ons. EAN/UPC demanded identification at the lowest level. In cause of time and after many lengthy discussions an agreement was reached on how the rules of the system should be implemented outside the grocery sector. The final report from the WP was presented at the EAN International General Assembly in Auckland in May 1985. The report was approved by the General Assembly and simultaneously endorsed by UCC represented at the meeting by Hal Juckett. UCC had undertaken a similar study and reached the same conclusions. Essentially the final report demonstrated: - That one common standard was needed for general merchandise and grocery alike. - That only non-significant non-classifying numbers provide the flexibility needed to encompass all types of products in one generally applicable standard. - That range coding suffers from severe deficiencies and thus existing rules, requiring that every variant be allocated a separate number, should be preserved.