Article by EDA
Media Release - 2 December 2019
Like-minded businesses from the UK’s electro-technical and construction sectors, keen to be at the forefront of the ever-strengthening drive for digital transformation in the UK’s B2B sector, joined the inaugural ETIM UK Digitalisation Forum in London recently. Over 100 delegates heard from international specialist speakers about how product data standardisation is transforming the way we do business.
Speakers included Jan Janse, President of the Board of ETIM International, Marc Habets, Technical Director of ETIM International, George Brickwood eCommerce Director UK & Ireland for Schneider Electric and Frank Jaegtnes, CEO of the Norwegian Electrical Trade Association.
Margaret Fitzsimons, CEO at the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) said “ETIM has been a key pillar of the EDA’s work since we launched the initiative back in spring 2017. As well as providing an international perspective, today’s Forum has given the EDA an opportunity to update the electro-technical sector about the significant progress achieved in the intervening years in Anglicising the ETIM standard for the UK market, and to share our vision for the future.
“The opportunities that the EDA has spearheaded for electro-technical businesses through our ETIM work has been recognised by other sectors and today we announce a new strategic partnership with the Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF). As the EDA leads on electro-technical, the BMF will now be taking responsibility as ETIM sector-lead for HVAC & Sanitary and Building Materials.
“The UK has much to learn from our international colleagues, whose markets are more advanced in terms of ETIM adoption. Frank Jaegtnes, from Norway’s Electrical Trade Association, shared their digitalisation journey. Here in the UK, the next phase will be the launch of a sector-owned data pool which is planned for early 2020.”
Delegates were given an insight into how the ETIM data model is being extended to incorporate geometric data, which will be of particular use in specification and BIM.
The manufacturer viewpoint was shared in “eCommerce Friend or Foe?” delivered by speaker George Brickwood, eCommerce Director UK and Ireland at Schneider Electric. “B2B eCommerce revenue has doubled in 5 years and digitally enabled businesses grow quicker,” explains George, ”but it’s not only about sales, it’s also about customer access to information and being easier to do business with. eCommerce success and comprehensive high-quality product data are inextricably linked.”
The ETIM data model is used in 22 countries across the globe after starting life in the Netherlands in 1991. The model enables standardisation and classification of the technical features of any product.
About ETIM UK
ETIM UK Ltd is the independent not-for-profit National Organisation set up to oversee the management and promotion of the data model. The sector leads for ETIM in the UK are the EDA for electro-technical products, and the BMF for HVAC & Sanitary and Building Materials.
ETIM is the international data model for the standardisation and classification of technical product data used globally.
ETIM, previously known as the European Technical Information Model but now shortened to ETIM because of its global reach, is a system for classifying technical products that started with the classification of electrotechnical products and, due to its effectiveness, has also been adopted by a range of industries including HVAC & Sanitary and Building Materials.
The ETIM classification lists the most important technical characteristics for any product. It is multi-lingual (translations for international markets are automatic), supplier neutral and, once embedded in a Product Information Management (PIM) system, can be served up in print and online.
ETIM started in the Netherlands in the 1990s, where installers had difficulty finding information to compare the performance of electrotechnical products. The model they devised as a solution to their search was soon recognised by wholesalers as having further value by simplifying the transfer of data in the supply chain and also transcending geographical borders and markets.