EDA Report

How can wholesalers contribute to the work of ETIM? ETIM is a structure, a classification. Where the wholesaler plays a part is by using that data in their own PIM system. If we can encourage members to use a standardised format, the experience for the customer is consistent. It also allows the customer to search by critical attributes, so the classification with ETIM allows you to set those attributes out in a standard way. So, the experience for the customer is very much that they can search, and they can actually have the confidence that they are looking at the correct product with the correct information to hand.

What were the first steps you took to make the data more efficient? We’ve actually broken down the products into categories, such as wiring accessories, sockets, switches, cable management, etc. We’ve tried to partner with affiliates to help us understand, within those categories, what is required. Some market leading manufacturers have helped us layout the classifications and attributes that are required to fit within the ETIM classification (and helped speed up the process!).

How long has Europe used the ETIM format? It was setup originally in the Netherlands in 1991. Then, over a number of years the other countries joined – Austria, Denmark, Finland, France. There’s a lot of experience. When you look at the dates that other countries joined, between 2008-2012, there were many European countries that started to take it on board. Margaret Fitzsimons, when we decided this was the strategic approach we wanted to take, spent time with ETIM leaders and trade organisations

in those countries to understand how to avoid certain blockades they’d already experienced!

How do you plan to maintain data standards? ETIM is now very much a fundamental part of what the EDA offers. We’ve actually increased the resource we have supporting that from the EDA’s perspective. It goes back to the audits and the conversations with the affiliates and the manufacturers – once you’ve agreed the attributes and the standard classification of ETIM, the manufactures can then push it into ETIM in that format. So, once we’ve got the manufacturers thinking in ETIM, they’ll automatically start to push any new product or launches. That data will automatically be deposited in the correct format. Electrical wholesale members can then pull the data out in the same classification, in the correct way, and put it into their own PIM system. So, once we’re working with the manufacturers, it becomes a more systemic way that they upload their data.

How has the end user’s experience improved? The fact that they’ll be able to search in a common way and understand the results – a good example is cable. Do you search for cable, do you search for 2.5mil cable, LFF – how do you search for a product? From your own personal experience, the most frustrating thing is when you can’t actually find what you’re looking for online. Additionally, product the EDA has catalogued through ETIM will be product that is legitimate, and has a safety element behind it, a confidence behind it. The accuracy of the data will be completely secure.

At the EDA, we want to be seen as the go-to place for our membership. We want to be able to offer support in a consistent way with high quality

collateral and expertise. We’ll always do it with integrity and professionalism, and we’ve certainly got to drive that into the future, too. June 2019 electrical wholesaler | 31

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