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Thinking Outside the "Box"

Thinking Outside the "Box": Teaching Supply Chain Research. This guide supports Chapter # in Teaching Business Information Literacy


Identify the NAICS Codes of the industries for the product you are researching!

Industry codes are numbers used to describe a company's line of business. The current standard for industry codes is the 6-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code. It was adopted to replace the the SIC system in 1997 to ensure consistent report across the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Many business databases are searchable by NAICS codes. Government agencies largely report economic data using the NAICS code system including the US Economic Census. Companies are required to report their business expenses, revenues, and shipments to the US Census, these numbers are consolidated by code and roll up to determine economic trends at the sector level and contribution to GDP.


NAICS Code Lookup via U.S. Census Website.

The video below walks you through how to navigate NAICS Code Lookup.

SIC Codes

The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system was a 4-digit code system used by the US Government to classify businesses by industry. In 1997, this system was replaced by NAICS. However, some government agencies still report using SIC codes (e.g. US Security & Exchange Commission). Some business databases allow you to search using the SIC Code system.

SIC Code Search