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ANSI Mourns the Loss of Alan L. Haberman, UPC Pioneer and Former JTC 1/SC 31 Chairman


New York, Jun 17, 2011

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) expresses its deep regrets at the passing of Alan L. Haberman on June 12, 2011, at the age of 81. A pioneer of the ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC) and champion of more recent generations of automated product identification technologies, Mr. Haberman’s contributions to the standards community revolutionized the way the world buys, sells, and tracks products.

Developed and administered by ANSI member and accredited standards developer GS1 US (formerly the Uniform Code Council), the UPC was originally created to help grocery stores speed up the checkout process and keep better track of inventory.

As a founder and longtime board member of the Uniform Code Council, Mr. Haberman was instrumental in garnering the UPC’s overwhelming success and changing the course of supply chain management forever. More than five billion of the codes are scanned in retail establishments worldwide every day.

Today, the UPC continues to inform newer automated product identification technologies like radio frequency identification (RFID) – which Mr. Haberman also played a hand in popularizing as a supply chain management tool.

From 1996 to 2006 he served as the inaugural chairman of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, Subcommittee (SC) 31, Automatic Identification and Data Capture Techniques. SC 31 develops standards to support the interoperability of wireless, non-contact omnidirectional RFID devices capable of receiving, storing, and transmitting data. The JTC 1 Collection on Radio Frequency Identification standards cover the spectrum of RFID topics, from automatic identification and data capture techniques to item management.

“Alan Haberman literally put a stamp on global commerce as one of a handful of grocery executives involved in creating the UPC,” said Bob Carpenter, president and chief executive officer of GS1 US. “He was a huge contributor to the selection of this symbol, which is going strong after almost four decades and is used by nearly 2 million companies around the world.“

Services were held on Tuesday, June 14, at Perlman Funeral Home in Worcester, MA.

Read The New York Times obituary for Alan Haberman for more information.

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