Asset Classifications for Beginners
Asset classifications identify and distinguish similar assets, bringing them together into groups, making assets more searchable and easier to find. Many organizations build their own classifications, but without consistent rules, homegrown classifications quickly become confusing and hard to manage. As an alternative, several industry standard classification systems are available. Two of the more popular systems include the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®) and IHS’s Standard Modifier Dictionary (SMD).
The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®) is an open, global, multi-sector standard for efficient, accurate classification of products and services. UNSPSC is an efficient, accurate and flexible classification system for achieving company-wide visibility of spend analysis, as well as enabling procurement to deliver on cost-effectiveness demands and allowing full exploitation of electronic commerce capabilities. Encompassing a five level hierarchical classification codeset, UNSPSC enables expenditure analysis at grouping levels relevant to your needs. You can drill down or up the codeset to see more or less detail as is necessary.
The Standard Modifier Dictionary (SMD) is a two-tiered classification schema (with an optional third-tier “upper classification” level) that provides a consistent and repeatable set of rules to characterize and catalog Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) parts. The SMD consists of a family of mutually-exclusive Nouns/Classes (a proper name such as “Valve”) and Modifiers/Sub-Classes (a descriptive word or phrase such as “Gate”), as well as associated Characteristics that describe general part attributes (such as “Size,” “Pressure Rating” and “Connection”) and Values which describe specific Characteristics (such as “6-inch”).
Each of the above classification systems has distinct pros and cons, but far more important than choosing a standard is adhering to it – using it consistently. If you are currently working to standardize your asset and/or inventory data, Maven would be glad to share our experience in order to benefit yours.
SMD/IHS Intermat Solutions: