The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®) provides an open, global multi-sector standard for efficient, accurate classification of products and services. You can search on this site to locate commodity codes that can be used by your company.
The UNSPSC offers a single global classification system that can be used for:
You may browse and download the current version of the code and audit files at no cost.
Pehaps the greatest obstacle to efficient B2B sourcing is the lack of standard product categories. In the past, major directory publishing companies and trade organizations developed and copyrighted their own classification system or taxonomy. While the proprietary taxonomies worked well enough within the context of each organization's website, today's buyers are using many websites and many directories in their quest to identify new suppliers.
At SourceTool.com, we have embraced a very good, open source, multilingual standard called UNSPSC which is owned by the United Nations Development Programmer (UNDP) -http://www.unspsc.org - and which is maintained under a contract with GS1 (http://www.gs1us.org) which is a worldwide product taxonomy organization supported by many of the largest retailers and manufacturers in the world. GS1 includes a number of major standards organizations like Rosetta.net and it is the group that developed and propagated the UCC coding system which is the underpining of much of the automated inventory control systems used today.
GS1 recognizes the importance of the UNSPSC taxonomy to supply chain and supplier discovery and will be working to improve the integration between UCC and UNSPSC as time goes on.
For more information, visit http://www.gs1us.org.