Sector Lead: Electrical Distributors' Association (EDA)

To digitalise our businesses we have to digitise our data

Research carried out in 2016 by the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) showed that digitalisation was seen by wholesalers as a major opportunity for growth, but that competition from new on-line businesses from outside the traditional wholesaler sector was the greatest threat.

The EDA resolved to help wholesalers meet these challenges.

Wholesaler businesses rely on manufacturers’ product data to provide content for their web sites. As received, this data varies hugely in terms of accuracy, consistency and completeness and few wholesalers have the resources to restructure it for their own use.

Clearly, a standard format for product data, would be a major benefit to both wholesalers and manufacturers. So, in March 2017, the EDA launched its initiative to champion the ETIM data model for the UK’s electro technical sector.

Electrical Distributors' Association

A multi-phased action plan

Tried and tested across the globe, ETIM was launched in the UK’s electro-technical sector by the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) in March 2017. It is a multi-phase, long-term initiative to digitize this sector.

  • Phase 1 (2017): Implementing ETIM team and structure; communication to the market
  • Phase 2 (2018): Developing the ETIM Standard: Technical Product Information
    • Phase 2.1: Translate/Anglicise existing Standard
    • Phase 2.2: Adapting for UK Market – Adding classes and claryfying
  • Phase 3 (2019): ETIM Management and development with Members – further refinement and assistance with creation and implementation
  • Phase 4: Potential industry products database with ETIM at its heart.

EDA strategic decision

“Everyone agrees that we have to digitalise our businesses. But to digitalise our businesses we have to digitise our data. We cannot escape that fact. High quality, unambiguous, consistent and complete – good data is the golden thread of commerce, ” explains Margaret Fitzsimons, CEO at the EDA

“ETIM has been a key pillar of the EDA’s work since we took the strategic decision to introduce the ETIM data model to the UK’s electro-technical sector in March 2017.

“Since then there has been a huge EDA-led effort to review and Anglicise over 100,000 pieces of ETIM-ready data.
This is substantial progress although there is more to do.

“Here in the UK, the next phase will be the launch of a sector-owned data pool which is planned for early 2020.”

EDA CEO, Margaret Fitzsimons

Automatic membership

EDA member and affiliate member businesses automatically become associate members of ETIM UK Ltd.

Anglicising ETIM for the UK

In autumn 2017, the EDA launched a series of Working Groups to translate the standard into current and correct English. Product experts from manufacturers and wholesalers collaborated to Anglicise the ETIM standard for the UK.

During this time over 100,000 pieces of data have been review and Anglicised. You’ll find an update on progress here.

Anglicising the data: Working Groups in action

In between the hard work, we took the opportunity to record the Working Groups who collaborated on the Anglicisation process.

Richard Appleton Head of Digitalisation at the EDA

This work continues, and is led by Richard Appleton, General Manager of EDA Data Services. Call Richard on 020 3141 7350 or email info@etim-uk.co.uk