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. (Presentations at the end of this article).

Over 100 delegates heard from international specialist speakers about how product data standardisation is transforming the way we do business.

Championing the drive for B2B digital transformation

Chris Gibson, EDA President, opened the Forum welcoming guests, and Margaret Fitzsimons, EDA CEO, shared the progress made since the EDA launched its ETIM journey in March 2017.

Chris Gibson

Margaret Fitzsimons

International speakers

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.

Jan Janse

Marc Habets

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.

Agreement expands ETIM to three UK sectors

“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.

Above: EDA and BMF announce strategic ETIM agreement.

“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.”

Above: Sharing the Norwegian ETIM journey, Frank Jaegtnes, CEO of Norway’s Electrical Trade Association.

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.

“Inextricably linked”

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.

Download the Presentations

Click on the links below to open a PDF of each presentation.

Welcome & Introduction: the ETIM-UK journey to date and partnership announcements 

ETIM International – Organisation, Mission, Roadmap : Jan Janse, President of the Board, ETIM International

Ecommerce – And the power of product data : George Brickwood, eCommerce Director eCommerce UK&I, Schneider Electric

Standardised BIM Object Data, Powered by ETIM : Marc Habets, Technical Director, ETIM International

ETIM Product Data – an essential building block for the digitalised construction industry – learnings from Norway : Frank Jaegtnes, CEO, EFO