In the new era of electronic commerce, standardized classification of products facilitates smooth and effective commerce between buyers and sellers. Large companies are becoming more advanced in the coding of purchases to enable a more sophisticated analysis of spending; however, many company coding systems have proven expensive to develop. 

The effort to implement and maintain these systems usually requires extensive use of resources and is ongoing, e.g., for each new item that is coded, it takes on average an hour and a half to assign a code. 

UNSPSC and eOTD are classification systems that streamline the classification process and reduce costs for implementation and maintenance.

  • The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) is a hierarchical convention that is used to classify all products and services. It is the most efficient, accurate, and flexible classification system available today for achieving company-wide visibility of spend analysis, enabling procurement to deliver on cost-effectiveness demands, and allowing full exploitation of electronic commerce capabilities.
  • The ECCMA Open Technical Dictionary (eOTD) is an open public registry of terminology from international and national standards, as well as, from industry associations. It resembles any other dictionary with the addition of public domain concepts and terminology identifiers.

How can one manage UNSPSC codes &eOTD in the SAP systems? 

GlueData has developed several Productised Solutions, to support SAP Data quality. One such solution is a UNSPSC/eOTD SAP extension. 

“The field Material Group on the material master can be used for the UNSPSC code but this can be a time-consuming approach, which is prone to errors. One of the issues we face is a large amount of UNSPSC classifications codes available. It takes a lot of discipline to find and select the correct code for a product.” States Johan Zeeman – Data Specialist at GlueData, Master Data Management Solutions.

“Another field on the Material Master, the Product Hierarchy, can be used to select UNSPSC and eOTD classifications. The characteristics of the product can be defined via the SAP standard classification and linked to the material via class type 001. Using this standard Product Hierarchy simplifies the process and limits the selection list of UNSPSC codes. Four levels of the five-level Product Hierarchy are used for UNSPSC and the fifth level is reserved for eOTD.

The GlueData SimpleData Management (SDM) solution allows for the mapping of UNSPSC &eOTD codes in a five-level product hierarchy and has rules that derive the correct material group from UNSPSC and classifications from eOTD. This means that the user only needs to enter the characteristic values of the product. Key characteristic fields can be made mandatory and even defaulted.”

“One of the major sources of incorrect data in systems remains errors in user input” states Brett Schreuder – CEO at GlueData. “This is just one example of how our team is working to streamline processes, reduce user errors, and provide our clients with the competitive edge.”