The Standard Address Number (SAN) system, initiated and maintained by Bowker, has become the identification code for electronic communication within the industry.
It is the method used by PUBNET, X*NET, PubEasy.com , and PacStream (the Australian EDI service) systems and is required in all electronic data interchange communications using the Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee (BISAC) EDI formats.
The SAN is used for identification of customers for electronic ordering transmission, voice recognition ordering systems, teleordering, for billing or shipping account numbers, etc.
The use of the SAN significantly reduces the problems faced by other non-standard numbering systems, like billing errors, books shipped to the wrong points, and errors in payments and returns.
Organizations who buy SANs include book and journal publishers, wholesalers and distributors, book retailers and college bookstores, libraries, schools, universities, paper and cloth manufacturers, printers and binders, as well as anyone else involved in the manufacturing of books and journals.