The abbreviation UNSPSC stands for United Nations Standard Products and Services Code. UNSPSC is a standard for the classification of products and services originating from the North American region. The standard was developed in 1998 and has been managed since May 2003 by the Uniform Code Council (now: GS1 US). Due to the wide range of products, it can be used across all industries to support electronic purchasing and sales processes.
The standard comprises five different levels, whereby only the following four levels are relevant for electronic business processes:
Like ECLASS, UNSPSC is supported by influential business groups internationally. It offers extensive collections of classifiable products and language versions. UNSPSC also provides the advantage of long existence and distribution.
By implementing UNSPSC, you can better control your spending, procure more efficiently, and maximize the effectiveness of your e-commerce activities.
Because of its development in the United Nations environment, UNSPSC is most prevalent in the English-speaking world and is often relevant to companies that supply that region. The high acceptance of UNSPSC on an international level offers your company a clear advantage over other classification standards.
The use of UNSPSC is free of charge. However, there are associated services such as the certification of correct use or the introduction and implementation of standardization requests, some of which are subject to a fee or are regulated via membership with corresponding fees. UNSPSC is a member-funded and member-supported initiative.
Classification standards such as UNSPSC and ECLASS are critical to the procurement process and integration with e-commerce platforms such as SAP Ariba, Amazon Business or Alibaba.com. They enable the unique identification of products and services, facilitate collaboration in the supply chain and optimize the search for items and suppliers. The use of classification standards leads to improved data quality, facilitates the comparison of offers and promotes international cooperation. Although these standards offer many advantages, challenges can arise in some cases because, for example, UNSPSC works with commodity ranges and lacks detailed product descriptions with specific characteristics and value lists as in ECLASS.
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