RS Components: Taxonomy Success of the Year

Taxonomy Bootcamp London 2019

By Liam McGee, Chief Scientist, Kaiasm. October 2019.

Our Taxonomy project with RS components was enormous in scope. RS Components has over half a million products. This was enterprise-scale information architecture work, and beyond! It required new tools to be invented, and new ways of visualising the data. We were privileged to work with some very talented people at RS Components - it's a delight to meet someone with 'Taxonomist' in their job title! It was a period of co-creation, solving problems together that no one had ever solved before.

So we were thrilled to hear that the Taxonomy team at RS components - Steve D'Arcy (Taxonomist) and Duncan Smith (Project Lead) at RS Components won Taxonomy Success of the Year at Taxonomy Bootcamp London 2019 for their Demand Architecture project. Taxonomies are all about creating structures that bring data and information to life. Taxonomy Boot Camp is the only conference dedicated to taxonomy building and management. This is one of only two awards given out at the annual event for taxonomy and taxonomists, has some pretty fierce competition (nice try Argos, better luck next time ;-) ) ... Here's the submission:


“Last year, RS Components completed a £500k project to tactically improve its Taxonomy by closely aligning its categories to the demand out there on Google.

This initiative aimed to improve how RS name its categories, to be based on customer searches, rather than on what our suppliers and partners call things - which is a major shift in thinking and reflects the digital transformation RS has undertaken - moving from a catalogue company to an ecommerce one and allow RS to compete with online retailers like Screwfix, Argos and Farnell.

The overall aim is to increase revenue by approximately £5 million by the following methods:


Taxonomy Success of the Year Award 2019

The first phase of the project delivered the following results:

Next steps are to implement a new 'Target Architecture' which will be a root and branch redesign of the entire Taxonomy, making it fit-for-purpose in the digital age, that will be modelled on Demand, UX design language and Taxonomy standards and guidelines - for the first time.”

Kaiasm say: “It's a fantastic achievement for Steve and Duncan to be honoured in this way, and we are very proud to have played our small part in helping. Well done, chaps.”