The State of California utilizes the UNSPSC to standardize the description and classification of the goods and services purchased statewide.  This level of standardization enables the Procurement Division to effectively analyze, Strategical Source goods and services, and fully utilize the electronic commerce (eCommerce) capabilities used in today’s marketplace.

The UNSPSC list was established as a hierarchy with 5 different levels of classification that make up a single 10-digit code.  Each of the 5 levels are represented by a 2-digit code, and each 2-digit jump provides greater details about the good or service.  The state of California has limited it's UNSPSC list selections to 6 and 8 digit codes.

The UNSPSC 5 level hierarchy breaks down as follows

5 Levels of UNSPSC Classification Using a 10-digit code (SSFFKKCCBB)

SS Segment Level (2-digit code)
      Aggregation of product & services into general segments for analytical purposes

XXFF Family Level (4-digit code)
           Segments grouped into inter-related product & service categories

XXXXKK Class Level (6-digit code)
                  Families group further into product & services sharing common characteristic

XXXXXXCC Commodity Level (8-digit code)
                      Classes are further grouped into products & services with interchangeable 
                      characteristic variations

XXXXXXXXBB Business Function (10-digit code which California doesn't use)
                           Commodities are finally grouped into their business function within organization


Here is how code 43211602 should read:

43000000 - Segment Information Technology Broadcasting and Telecommunications 

43210000 - Family Computer Equipment and Accessories

43211600 - Class Computer Accessories

43211602 - Commodity Docking stations

This means that code 43211602 is the correct code for Information Technology, Computer Equipment and Accessories, Computer Accessories, Docking station.

Additional Information

  1. In order for California to be effective at strategic sourcing it is important to capture a standardized description of purchases.  The Commodity code (8-digit code) provides precisely enough description for most goods and services the state procures.  In the case of food procurements though, the Class code (6-digit code) works better.  To afford the State the flexibility it needs to accurately describe its purchases, California's custom UNSPSC list is composed of both 6 and 8 digit codes.

    In most instances DGS needs all of the description included with the 8-digit codes, and encourages buyers and vendors to be specific as possible every time they make a  UNSPSC selection.

  2. On February 12, 2021 the FI$Cal UNSPSC search was given a new look and feel.  The UNSPSC list was also updated with broader descriptions providing additional context making the selection of the correct code easier.

    Other changes you can expect to see:

    If you are….

    You can expect to see…

    Impact

    State Buyer transacting in FI$Cal

    • Updated search window – Results display window does not limited to view to only the first 300 UNSPSC values. Once a search criteria is entered the search window will now display all possible values.This change enhances the speed at which users can search UNSPSC
    • Enhanced “Key Word” searching – The updated UNSPSC description now contains greater context for the UNSPSC sorting hierarchy and categories to allow for broader and more precise category searching.
    • Streamlined searching process where users only have to sort through the values that are relevant to their query.

       

    • Search continues to return results with matching Key word, and now returns categories that match.Searching the key word “Paper” will return results for flowers that have Paper in their names, and also the category of Business Writing Paper which contains Vellum, Carbon Copies, and Onion skin papers types.

     

  3. Audit 2018-114 performed in 2018 by the California State Auditor’s office had several findings centered around the need to create better efficiencies when bidders and state buyers are searching for goods and services. In an ongoing effort to create more efficiencies, beyond what was required by the 2018-114 audit, PD has streamlined the UNSPSC list to only reflect goods and services purchased by the state.

    The effort to streamline and customize the UNSPSC list used by the State of California occurred in 3 stages. 

    • Stage 1 – Inactivate 23,000 UNSPSC that have never been used by the state.
      • The original UNSPSC list in the FI$Cal system contained over 55,000 different values for buyers to search and select from to describe their purchases. Of those 55,000 values, only 6,000 were being used correctly. That left 26,000 UNSPSCs being used incorrectly, and 23,000 UNSPSC that had never been used at all. As such, in 2019 PD removed 23,000 UNSPSC from the list. By removing these codes, it eliminated the need for buyers and bidders to have to search through codes that were not relevant thereby increasing the chances that an inaccurate code might be selected.
    • Stage 2 – Create UNSPSC descriptions that provide more context that can be easily identified with any search tool. To make the search capability even easier, the state created a CSCR and Certification ID UNSPSC Replacement Search Dashboard” on the DGS UNSPSC webpage.
      • At the beginning of 2021 PD was pleased to announce in cooperation with the FI$Cal Department, the release of updated UNSPSC descriptions. The updated descriptions were a combination of the UNSPSC hierarchy of segment, family, and class all in a single field to give bidders and state buyers context for the selection. Providing additional context for the UNSPSC description eliminates any confusion and raises the match potential between bidder and buyer the first time out.
    • Stage 3 – Inactivate UNSPSC that have been used incorrectly and/or are a candidate to be rolled up to a more general description.
      • Using the SCPRS data, PD compared state purchases line-item descriptions against the UNSPSC state buyers entered on each PO. PD performed this analysis to confirm the accuracy between how the purchase was described and the UNSPSC used to further classify it. As a result of this analysis PD found of the remaining 32,000 UNSPSC, there were another 18,000 codes that were being used incorrectly or were better described using a different code. The 3rd and final stage wrapped up on April 15, 2021, where the remaining 18,000 codes were made inactive and could not be selected again.

    Here is an example of how this 3-stage process worked for the UNSPSC - 11101506 – Chalk

    • Stage 1
      • 11101506 – Chalk
        • Was used on 1 or more PO and remained a valid value
    • Stage 2
      • 11101506 – Minerals and ores and metals - Minerals - Chalk
        • Was used on 1 or more PO
        • The description was updated to include additional context
    • Stage 3
      • 11101506 – Minerals and ores and metals - Minerals - Chalk
        • PD audited transactions where this UNSPSC was used and found that the description on the PO was not specific enough to describe the type and purpose of the chalk purchase.
        • To reduce the confusion for the buyer and seller UNSPSC 11101506 – was inactivated and the PD added the following UNSPSC codes to better identify the purchase:

     

    Code Replacement Code Title for Replacement

    27112304

    Hand Tools - Marking - Chalk lines

    27112310

    Hand Tools - Marking - Chalk holder

    27112311

    Hand Tools - Marking - Marking chalk

    44111906

    Office & desk accessories - Boards - Chalkboards or accessories

    44121710

    Office supplies - Writing instruments - Writing chalk or accessories

    53141611

    Miscellaneous sewing supplies - Fabric markers or fabric pencils or fabric chalk

     

The purpose of this Dashboard is to provide users with a single place to view all of the current UNSPSC that have been selected on the DGS Cal eProcure website, in either their CSCR manage notifications profile or their Certification Profile.

CSCR and Certification ID UNSPSC Replacement Search Dashboard

On April 15, 2021 the Procurement Division will be customizing the UNSPSC listing by streamlining it, to be comprised only of the goods and services California procures. This dashboard allows users to do a general UNSPSC search, view the UNSPSC that will be inactive as of April 15th and view PDs suggested replacement values.

UNSPSC Replacement Search Dashboard

PD has taken the guess work out of trying to determine which UNSPSC should be used for commonly procured goods and services. PD created printable desk reference lists of the most commonly used UNSPSC grouped by use case. The codes represent the highest level of generality that PD will accept for any of the items listed. If you have any questions you can email the UNSPSC help desk at helpUNSPSC@dgs.ca.gov

 

  • Apparel and Luggage and Personal Care Products (Coming Soon)
  • Building and Construction Machinery and Accessories (Coming Soon)
  • Building and Facility Construction and Maintenance Services (Coming Soon)
  • Chemicals, including Bio Chemicals and Gas Materials (Coming Soon)
  • Cleaning Equipment and Supplies (Coming Soon)
  • Food

FI$Cal Requisition Upload resources for Departments procuring food from the US Foods contract.

  • Requisition Upload Template[MA1]
  • Updated US Foods Catalog UNSPSC List[MA2]
    • DSH Napa - US Food Excel Invoice Download with Cut & Paste Method (Coming Soon)
  • FI$Cal Job Aid – How to Run Requisition (Coming Soon) 

Contact

Procurement Division

Department of General Services
Procurement Division

707 Third Street, Second Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605

 

Email: helpUNSPSC@dgs.ca.gov