What is the Unique Trade Item Number? (UTIN®)

The Unique Trade Item Number (UTIN® ) is a sequential item identification number that is comparable to product designations such as GTIN, ASIN, EAN or MPN. It was introduced by CROWDFOX GmbH in 2014 as a kind of central article for the higher-level product identification in e-procurement. The UTIN® enables clear product identification and offers maximum transparency, content enrichment and standardisation. Big data algorithms and semantic matching make UTIN® unique in the field of real-time product identification. The result is the first cross-catalogue consolidation of disparate data records in purchasing. Maximum transparency at product level enables real-time benchmarking of suppliers and tender buying for large companies. Users benefit from a simple and convenient article search in the catalogues of existing and competing suppliers.

The UTIN® enables a new type of product identification for electronic procurement and offers maximum transparency, content and standardisation. Big data algorithms and semantic matching make UTIN® unique in the field of real-time product identification. The result is the first cross-catalogue consolidation of disparate data sets for product identification in purchasing. Maximum transparency at product level enables supplier real-time benchmarking and tender buying for large companies.

Problems of insufficient comparability in purchasing

Lack of transparency in purchasing leads to disproportionately high process costs and ineffective matching. Often products cannot be clearly located. The effort for indirect procurement increases. A detailed and cost-oriented comparison of existing catalogues is often not possible for large companies. In addition, if the required articles are difficult to find in the company’s own SRM system or are not available at all, expensive free-text orders off the standardised procurement channels are often the result. They lead to considerable additional work in operative purchasing and unnecessarily increased process costs.

For the first time, UTIN® offers cross-catalogue product comparability through the innovative technology of semantic matching and enables simple and convenient product searches.

Functionality / Technological process

The central collection of all information for product identification under the UTIN® allows for clear product identification. For this purpose, the UTIN® accesses the MPN, GTIN, EAN and all other identification numbers. The data included are processed, evaluated and consolidated in real time. This ensures maximum product comparability.

Semantic matching and big data algorithms

The technology is crucial for the accuracy of the data determination. It is essential to identify electronically recorded information with semantic references, even with large amounts of data. The inclusion of meaning, context and synonyms determines the respective stock for a range of meanings of information or attributes. These are structurally set in opposition to each other by means of content-differentiating features.

Semantic matching uses ontologies as superordinate units. These appear open or closed to other units. They can overlap in terms of concepts. These interfaces are analysed according to their semantic correlations. The search based on ontology puts the word meaning in the foreground and captures meaning correlations as well as differences of information in order to ensure complex data processing precisely.

The technique of semantic matching is the basis of UTIN® as a consolidating meta-identification of disparate product data from different sources. In semantic matching, terms are grouped according to their meaning. They can be linked to each other based on their semantic correlation. CROWDFOX GmbH has been actively promoting the development of this technology since 2014 – with UTIN® as a unique innovation in the field of semantically correlative data acquisition.

Using modern algorithms, radius analyses of ontologies are carried out according to aspects of complex stochastics, ensuring the highest precision in the area of big data processing. Both the uniqueness of differences and the difference of matches are recorded in detail and assigned exactly.

In practice, UTIN®isation of large data volumes stands for consolidation as well as transparency and process optimisation.

Scope of indirect procurement

The UTIN® is the first unique product identification on the B2B market. It optimises electronic procurement processes for large companies and corporations. By linking internal e-procurement systems or system landscapes to the closed AI purchasing & comparison platform CROWDFOX Professional, UTIN® achieves maximum price and product transparency in purchasing. The direct and unambiguous product identification via the UTIN® enables large companies for the first time to make a cross-catalogue real-time price comparison for indirect procurement. Thanks to maximum transparency, process costs can be sustainably optimised with the UTIN®.

Product identification

All product information from different sources is consolidated under UTIN®. The assignment of different product information to individual facets and categories enables the clear grouping of differently named articles under a superordinate central article. Each central article is given a new UTIN® as its sole product identification. The central article is enriched with product information such as article descriptions, images or data sheets, which are obtained from the respective facets and categories as well as from the product information of the data sources.

Product search

The decentralised subdivision of specific attributes enables a highly flexible, user-defined product search far beyond the requirements of price, delivery time and quality. Users can describe a desired product by including or excluding properties, ingredients etc. according to company, official or legal requirements.

Supported by master data optimisation and validation using UTIN®, the self-optimising search algorithm of the CROWDFOX AI purchasing & comparison platform leads to a significantly improved customer journey and high user acceptance.

Product comparison

The consolidation of product information enables direct product comparison. Identical articles with previously different designations from different sources are brought together under the UTIN® in a clearly identifiable manner and can be compared directly with each other.

The UTIN® thus guarantees permanent and automated governance-compliant product range management. At the same time, it ensures the ecologically, economically and socially responsible implementation of central values in procurement management, including automated decision alternatives, in the interests of sustainability.

Price comparison

Data processing based on complex algorithms captures all identical items from different sources in real time and compares them with current market prices.

Find out here how the global system solution CROWDFOX Professional can help you optimise your purchasing processes and reduce expensive free-text orders, achieve P&L-effective savings, access millions of long-tail article offers from thousands of quality-tested suppliers at key account prices and benefit from many other advantages such as full procure-to-pay integration into your IT system, demand pooling and the 1-vendor model.