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ECLASS as an established classification system for the media data exchange in the office products industry between trade and industry

"Our dealers constantly receive updated data of the highest quality. They can focus on their core business exclusively. We thus offer them the possibility to flexibly and quickly respond to customer needs."

Soennecken eG

We are the leading cooperation of medium trading companies of office management and related sectors. From the location in Overath about 500 affiliated retailers houses are serviced with nearly 1,000 locations, which can fall back on a selection of over 900 well-known manufacturers of branded products in addition to the exclusive Soennecken brand. In 2013 an annual net turnover of 571 million Euros was realized.

On top of that comprehensive services for marketing, consulting, finance and logistics enable our members to improve their own competitiveness in terms of their goods and services offered.

Our success is the success of our members and employees. Last but not least, Soennecken for that very reason now is Europe‘s largest and most profitable purchasing and marketing cooperative in the office supplies industry.

Initial Situation

Soennecken has already been deploying ECLASS since the introduction of Release 4.1 and imports each release in the article and media data platform. On the Soennecken platform not only the master and media data is classified, but also the content for print projects and the online shops for the cooperative and its members is generated: Everything from ONE data source.

Soennecken has since depended on the classification system that is dominant in the office products industry. The corresponding content is provided by the industry on the PBSeasy industry platform. Soennecken itself is an active member of the operator of the platform. The cooperation here also commits itself to promote the electronic exchange of article and media data, in order to optimize work processes along the product low.

To help shape the development of standards, we are also an active member of the ECLASS section of subject area 24 since 2012. For each release change we not only control changes and additions in our own industry classification environment, but represent the view of 500 dealers as acting representative and check the product information presented from their viewpoint. What information does the customer need for his purchase decision?


Since release 6.2 the structured and uniform preparation of the data is also supported in subject area 24. We use this within our system for a vendor-independent refinement of the data provided by the industry.

ECLASS supports us through the provided features and defined standards of care. We have adjusted our product information management system in such a manner that practically every release is processed swiftly and the feature structures can remain as they are. This makes us "state of the art" in the industry. Since the consistent deployment of ECLASS, we have created a possibility to standardize that database for all upcoming production of advertising material, whether online or in print, and thus strengthen the communication towards the end users of our members. That is the reason the product data quality has increased enormously and today we can vouch actively for the needs of our members and their customers in the industry.

Soennecken currently has an active article base of approximately 65,000 articles – and still rising. We thus continuously increase the range available to our dealers for the creation of advertising projects on our article and media data platform.


We will continue to focus on enhancing the information provided by the ECLASS database to support our dealers permanently as a competent service provider in article and media data and to strengthen their competitiveness. We are actively committed to act as a key driver in the development of industry standards for our dealers. Together with ECLASS we therefore make sure that the quality and also the size of the standardized exchange is increased continuously.

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