UNSPSC? HUH?

July 13th, 2012

You only need these kinds of acronyms when you can’t get the meaning out in a single sentence.

Here’s another procurement related acronym. This one defines the role of classification of products for tracking in an ecommerce environment.

According to Wikipedia UNSPSC is the acronym for the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code, it is a coding system used to classify both products and services for use in the eCommerce. The UNSPSC was jointly developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Dun & Bradstreet Corporation in 1998 and is currently managed by GS1 US, which is responsible for overseeing code change requests, revising the codes and issuing regularly scheduled updates to the code, as well as managing special projects and initiatives.

UNSPSC was created so that companies would be able to track their purchasing patterns more effectively to ensure compliance with their contracts and also make it easier to conduct high quality catalog research. To that end UNSPC is divided into four areas which are segments, families, classes and commodities and business functions.

Other product classifications that buyers may be more familiar with are DUNS (data universal numbering system), NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) and SIC (Standard Industrial Classification).

By the way, I have never asked a single supplier whether or not the understood or used this code. Have you?

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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