The UNSPSC (United Nations Standardized Products and Services Code) was developed by the United Nations to classify products and services. Many e-Procurement systems use the UNSPSC to classify goods and services. If you are familiar with NIGP codes, please note that UNSPSC codes are very similar in categorization.

Let’s use an example from a Punchout Catalog, when a user returns a shopping cart order message to the e-Procurement platform it includes the product part number, quantity and of course a UNSPSC code. When that order message is read into the e-Procurement system (and eventually into the organizations financial system) the UNSPSC code maps to certain budgets or rules in the system. So if a particular UNSPSC code for ink cartridges (44103105) is returned for a computer (43211500) the mapping would not be correct and might be rejected by a budget or grant.

Very often universities will dictate particular UNSPSC codes to map with their financial systems. Luckily our Punchout Catalog system allows you to customize UNSPSC Search Results for e-Procurement UNSPSC codes for each of your customers individually.

Now let’s talk about how to categorize your products by UNSPSC codes. UNSPSC codes are very often provided by product manufacturersƒš‚  directly.ƒš‚  If you do not have this information you can look up a product by name or category onƒš‚  When you get to the UNSPSC website homepage just type the product name in the category search field as indicated.ƒš‚ 

The search will result in a grid that allows you to find the item you are searching for.ƒš‚  If an item isn’t an exact match, find the closest code to your item.ƒš‚  For example, searching for computers results in different codes for tablet computers, notebook computers, personal computers and computers. The general computer category is perfectly acceptable for a laptop, desktop or server computer.


When providing an inventory file to Greenwing Technology our file format includes normal product fields such as product title, description and image, but we also ask for UNSPSC codes since they’re required by almost all e-Procurement systems.

To learn more about Greenwing Technology Punchout Catalogs and how UNSPSC codes can help connect to your B2B and Higher Education customers e-Procurement systems call 1-877-415-3237 or use the form on this page.