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Drive to digitalization: EDA Forum drives data strategy along the electrotechnical supply chain

On 1 December 2020 over 180 delegates met online for the EDA Digitalization Forum to hear news, views and opportunities on the theme of product data challenges and solutions in the UK electrotechnical supply chain.

EDA: Drive to Digitalization

The delegates – almost twice the number that attended the face-to-face forum in 2019 – came from across the electrotechnical sector, including wholesalers, manufacturers, software solution providers and other trade associations.

Welcome from the ETIM International President

The newly elected President of ETIM International, Simon Barkes, MD at BEMCO and Past President of the EDA, welcomed delegates and reiterated the opportunity for the UK to seize the moment and press ahead with the drive to digitalisation.

Delegates said:

“Good in-depth content and well presented. The event held my interest to the end.”
“The presentations covered an excellent scope of considerations – wholesaler, contractor, manufacturer, industry body… Really great to gain perspective from all areas.”
“The entire supply and user chain was covered. The technical aspects and co-ordination of multiple presenters in various locations was very well co-ordinated.”
“I felt the forum was educational, and very worthwhile attending.”

The speakers included:

EDA’s Digitalisation Journey: Progress in 2020

Margaret Fitzsimons, CEO at the EDA

Setting the scene for a digitalisation strategy

Richard Appleton, General Manager at EDA Data Services

The Contractors’ View:

Phil Thompson, Procurement Data Manager, NG Bailey, explains why high quality product data is vital to contractors for product selection and procurement.

The Wholesalers’ View

Richard Sherin, Group Commercial Director, R & M Electrical Group Ltd, describes the challenge of obtaining product data to drive a multi-channel sales strategy

The Manufacturer’s View

Mark Abbott, Managing Director, Ansell Lighting, describes how one manufacturer has overcome the challenge of providing ecommerce-friendly product data.

Ecommerce Simplified

Rob Mannion, CEO,, shows how, if the product data is available, any wholesaler can create and launch an ecommerce app within a few days.

PIM Systems

Shaun Cranstone, Director, NG15, shows how use of a PIM (Product Information Management) system can enable any manufacturer, large or small, to create and manage product data.

What’s on the horizon for digitalisation?

Stuart Squires, Consulting Director, Comma Group, discusses the need for good governance, the strategic value of product data and how it is becoming the central part of every manufacturer’s marketing and customer engagement strategy.

A call for high quality data

Edgar Aponte, CEO at Rexel UK Ltd, and Chair of EDA Data Services closed the Forum, urging manufacturers to focus on achieving the highest quality product data:

“The EDA is absolutely doing the right thing in championing the foundation of product data quality. Accurate product attributes and performance data means the installer knows they are getting the right product that will deliver the right performance for the job.”

The next EDA Digitalization Forum is scheduled for 1 December 2021.



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