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Manage your Material Master data with worldwide recognised classifications and characteristics

GlueData SimpleData Management can map UNSPSC and eOTD classification codes in a five-level product hierarchy and has rules that ensure a streamlined process.

Johannesburg, 30 Jul 2019
Read time 3min 00sec

In the new era of electronic commerce, standardised 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 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. For example, for each new item 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 concept and terminology identifiers.

But how can one manage UNSPSC codes and 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," says Johan Zeeman, data specialist at GlueData Master Data Solutions. "One of the issues we face is the large amount of UNSPSC classification codes available. It takes a lot of discipline to find and select the correct code for a product. 

“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 and 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.”

Adds Brett Schreuder, managing director of GlueData: “One of the major sources of incorrect data in systems remains errors in user input. This is just one example of the ways in which our team are working to streamline processes, reduce user errors and provide our clients with a competitive edge.”

Contact GlueData to find out more about its offerings.

Information sources:

UNSPSC classification can be found at

Detailed information about eOTD can be found on


GlueData is an SAP Silver Service Partner and an SAP Special Expertise Partner in Enterprise Information Management (EIM). The company is founded on the principle of achieving quality data, knowing that data drives process and process drives profitability.

GlueData has proven rich methodologies, skilled consultants and the relevant implementation experience to rapidly deliver sustainable value for our customers. The company started in 2010 and has offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. GlueData provides SAP Data Solutions and Products to customers of all industries within South Africa and across the globe.

Editorial contacts
GlueData Master Data Solutions Kathy Carrick (+27) 82 442 7322
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