Best Practice


Quick effects for a better business

ECLASS partner A.T. Kearney Europe has determined that a reduction in procurement costs of 1% has the same ultimate effect as an increase in turnover of up to 20%, depending on the industry.

In fact, procurement is an area with significant low-hanging fruit. Optimization can achieve particularly quick and good results here. For this reason, purchasing departments seek to pool and centralize procurement volumes to the greatest degree possible. 
ECLASS makes it possible to analyze and bundle purchasing portfolios on the basis of consistent criteria. Vendors are completely transparent, so all related materials and products can be compared by supplier. This promotes competition between vendors, and helps consolidate the supply base. Due to the comparability of the procedure, the time taken for tenders can be reduced by as much as half in some cases.

Engineering & Automation

Digital Transformation: the next level of Automation

As they address the challenges of digitization, companies must develop new ways of looking at established products and practices. But processes, objects and production system events must also be adapted to new requirements. Ideally, this shift will ultimately produce a standardized, consistent communication system that operates along the entire value chain without human intervention. ECLASS’ dataset of characteristics, each described on an unambiguous basis, facilitates the creation of crossenterprise process chains and the digital representation of objects (digital twins). Indeed, ECLASS is currently the largest repository of descriptive characteristics based on international standards. A fast-growing number of companies and associations has recognized this, with many participating actively in the further development of the ECLASS standard for Industry 4.0 environments.

Industry 4.0

Standard of the future - basis for Digital Twins

Process digitization and the global networking of the business world is generating tremendous pressure to innovate. Industry 4.0 offers a vision of self-organizing and automated production and logistics processes – which need a common basis. 

ECLASS provides a compelling response to these challenges. As a simple, machine-readable, one-to-one, ISO-compliant and yet open system, the standard is growing faster than all others. And because it is defined by its users, it is vital and based on real-world practices. ECLASS is built on the world’s expert knowledge.

Internal processes

Reduce costs, increase quality

Users report that the investment in ECLASS in some cases pays for itself in just months. How can these excellent ROI figures be achieved? This is due to the acceleration and streamlining of processes that can be systematized. 

Master-data management relies on the presence of a detailed, harmonized description of properties and attributes. ECLASS makes this possible with a uniform standard for the systems world in which every single detail, from delivery time to refrigeration temperatures, can be machine-read. In this way, information contributes to process control. 
An unambiguous classification of products and services enables users to find every item, query warehouse stocks and delivery quantities, avoid duplications, and trigger reorders automatically. Media discontinuities are eliminated, and manual data transformations become unnecessary. This not only saves time and money, but also contributes to the full use of production capacities, a reduction in capital commitments, increases in production throughput, and an optimization of uptimes.


Sales and distribution

Presence is half the sale

Rationalization and digitization are bringing an increasing degree of transparency to procurement and sales processes. This is first and foremost an opportunity – particularly for companies that not only produce high-quality goods, but also rely on standards. In the best case, the sale literally makes itself, because reorders are automatically triggered. ECLASS supports electronic marketplaces and electronic catalogs by enabling the digital exchange of data.

  • Electronic marketplaces are internet sales portals whose success depends crucially on the quality of the product data. Because we make data visible on the internet through BMEcat, for example, this enables you access to a great many marketplaces simultaneously.
  • Catalog data are made available quickly and effectively. If customers see this data as accurate and consistent, they are more likely to integrate the products into their own value chains. Data quality is thus just as important as product quality.

Strategy and controlling

Companies need to know how they operate. This sounds trivial, but global activities, diversified product lines and complex organizational structures can make it difficult to find a uniform basis for assessment.

Often, IT departments are not harmonized, with participants literally speaking different languages, and it is unclear whether everyone is referring to the same numbers. Strategic decisions require reliable standards. As an enterprise is being analyzed, ECLASS helps identify strategic strengths and weaknesses in comparison to the competition.

  • Makes internal processes comparable with the market, and helps with the preparation of billing rates
  • Enables comparable cost analyses to be produced across all product groups
  • Provides uniform structures for reporting purposes, and helps with “make-or-buy” decisions

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