Requisite is committed to supporting the product classification standards community. We seek to improve the quality of international standards through our participation in standards organizations such as ECCMA and eCl@ss.
We also support our customers' use of standards by maintaining mappings of Requisite's classification system, the Requisite Unifying Structure (RUS), to many other standards. Requisite's eMerge Content Management System supports the addition of any standard or even proprietary classification structure and maps it to and from RUS.
By mapping to these standards, RUS acts as the translator or interpreter among multiple "languages" used to describe products and services. When companies want to do business but use different product vocabulary (UNSPSC and eCl@ss, for example), the interaction can become complicated and expensive. But by mapping to RUS, these companies can conduct business through a unified language structure.
What is a standard?
A standard is a set of generally agreed upon terms, specifications, or guidelines for the production or trade of goods or services. There are many types of standards. Some ensure product quality or public safety (i.e., to prevent fires, food poisoning, etc.). Others ensure that parts, components or equipment made by one manufacturer meet the same design, performance and size specifications as those made by another. Still others permit the easy exchange of information across companies and borders or facilitate statistical analysis and comparison.
Why are standards important?
Apart from protecting the public, ensuring interoperability and easing communication, standards may either pave the way for international trade or prevent it. Amy Zuckerman notes, on page four of her 1997 book "International Standards Desk Reference: Your Passport to World Markets," that "When trading partners agree on standards and conformity assessment - called harmonizing - then trade can flow freely. When there is disagreement, or governments and trading partners impose their own standards and conformity assessment, goods and services can actually be shut out of foreign markets."
How are standards developed?
Standards are typically developed in one of four ways:
Is RUS a standard?
- They arise over time as products are traded among companies and nations.
- They are developed by governments through the legislative or regulatory process.
- They are developed by industry groups or trade organizations via voluntary consensus.
- They are developed by private companies and gain acceptance through usage.
Yes! RUS is a product classification standard that is specifically designed for use in e-commerce. Every product and service category is created with finding in mind. Teams of Subject Matter Experts (made up of Requisite employees and customers), linguists and classification experts work together to develop its structure.
Category names are based on the "IS-A" model, asking simply "What is it?" rather than "Where is it used?" or "How is it used?" RUS uses a flat structure, similar to a dictionary whose entries are not alphabetized. It contains categories with definitions, attributes and aliases, and is created in accordance with a formally defined methodology.
Category and attribute definitions ensure that RUS is used consistently across catalogs and domains. Moreover, this consistency facilitates translation of categories into multiple languages. RUS is currently available in 16 languages and is truly a global standard. Its flat structure allows product categories to be mapped to any hierarchy, making it the common language of e-commerce discourse.