You want to prevent your classification from degenerating into class warfare?

Leverage our broad expertise in designing, implementing and updating product classifications for seamless deployment of your product data.

With a high-quality classification of your products, you lay the foundation for the success of your company

Product data is an important success factor for digital channels and is subject to constant change. But without a sensibly structured product classification, there is no basis for delivering data to the channels in the required quality, at minimal cost, and at the necessary speed.

What data is relevant to my product? Which industry standards must be met? What are the requirements of market places, associations and retailers? Only a few industries have established classifications (ETIM, eCl@ss, PBSeasy), but these are usually also interpreted very individually. The requirements of global standards such as GS1 or UNSPSC can only be met with great effort.

For the implementation of your requirements, we offer customized service modules with our experienced classification specialists. Depending on your needs, we orient ourselves to existing classifications, standard classifications, competitors, trade or industry requirements.

  • Analysis and review of your product classification
  • Optimization and redesign of your individual product classification
  • Redesign of your individual, neutral core or publication classification(s)
  • Governance for building and maintaining a classification
  • Housekeeping - setting up processes to maintain classification quality
  • Functional mapping between different classifications

Don't put off your classification project!

Classifications for the classification of products are an elementary component for all product data-driven processes and selections. Nevertheless, this topic is often treated stepmotherly - presumably due to a lack of resources or because the understanding and consequences are not sufficiently known.

The consequences are quickly noticeable: from a lack of unambiguity in the assignment of products to errors in rejection and high manual efforts. The complexity of classifications is enormous. But don't be discouraged by the high demands on the rejection of your product data, master data and media assets product data rejections! If your basic internal structure is of high quality, you can automate a lot and are well prepared to feed a wide variety of channels and points of purchase with data.

Product classification - or are cucumbers just a vegetable after all?

  • What is a classification and what do we mean by it in the area of product data?
  • What advantages do standard classifications bring to a company?
  • How well do they work and what does it mean for a company to build up a classification for its products?

In our whitepaper, we familiarize you with the basics of classifications. We show why they are an essential part of the introduction of PIM systems and for the efficient maintenance, management and output of product data.

For product data, we distinguish between publication classification and maintenance classification. The former is familiar to anyone who has ever visited an online store and used the usual navigation there. In the online store, products are sorted within a classification so that customers can find what they are looking for. In the first place, therefore, the customer experience is to be increased.

This is also the big difference between the types of classifications: The maintenance classification provides the data in a structured way, so that it can then be made available flexibly for all uses. Therefore, it is always structured neutrally in order to compile a wide variety of publication classifications individually. In addition to the neutral structure, one of the main goals of a nursing classification is to enable efficient data maintenance.

Download our whitepaper

Read the whitepaper "Product Classification" to learn everything you need to know about the strategic relevance of intelligent classification of your products. Classification is also directly related to the data model.

A deeper understanding will help you implement your product data strategy. To get you started quickly, we have formulated guidelines that are helpful on the way to the right classification. Our specialists will be happy to support you in designing and building your product classification.

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A standard classification must be fair to all market participants.

The internal classification, which focuses on the company's own channels, customers and processes, must be able to be adapted quickly and flexibly to changing requirements. Because these are fast-moving, structures and data must be able to be adapted promptly with little effort. A standard classification does not address company-specific needs; rather, it is based on overarching agreements from industries and associations. Changes are usually associated with lengthy processes.

Ideally, your individual classification combines internal requirements with those of the appropriate industry standard to produce and publish product data with added value. Here are two prominent examples of standard classifications:

ETIM INTERNATIONAL (classification electrical engineering)

ETIM International is a non-profit association that aims to develop a technical classification model that not only drives the digitization of industries.

With ETIM, you thus standardize and simplify the exchange of data and the connection to industry-relevant platforms and configurators such as BIM (Building Information Modeling). Above all, the provision of BIM-compatible ETIM classes is a special feature of the classification. These BIM-relevant additions - so-called "modeling classes" - simplify the connection to BIM planning tools.

The electrical engineering and plumbing, heating and air-conditioning (HVAC) sectors are particularly represented. Very freshly, since November 2020, tools, hardware and business equipment (WEBA) have now also been added to the data model. The industries are represented by several association members and partners, including wholesalers, purchasing associations, but also organizations such as the Fraunhofer Institute IAO Stuttgart.

ECLASS (German Material and Commodity Group System)

Another provider of a standard classification is ECLASS. This has set itself the goal of creating an international standard that supports companies in both internal and external data-driven processes.

ECLASS is represented internationally and is a widely used data model. The special feature here is the ISO/IEC standard conformity and the breadth of the classified areas.

With a total of 39 subject areas such as electrical engineering, construction, logistics, food, medicine, optics, automotive, laboratory technology or office supplies, ECLASS is more of an all-rounder. The members consist of large to medium-sized companies, but also public institutions such as the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. ECLASS primarily targets standard-compliant features and the further development of Industry 4.0. They want to support companies in integrating a digital and consistent flow of information into their processes and thus promote data-driven processes.