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BUSINESS HELPDESK HELP DESK


MAXIMISE THE BENEFITS AND MINIMISE THE RISKS


ECOMMERCE


The eCommerce agenda has never been higher. As the UK we are the second largest consumers via eCommerce in the world behind South Korea. The pandemic has increased this pace of growth within the merchant industry and the thirst for product data, attributes, weights and measures has never been greater. How to push forward with eCommerce and the digitalisation of business was one of the key questions at last month’s BMF Supplier Forum


BACK IN DECEMBER, the BMF announced the start of a project to simplify the transfer of product information between manufacturer and merchant to help address the challenge of digitalisation. The ETIM model is a system of classifying technical product data that ensures that all users employ the same terms to describe the same attributes and values. The process streamlines the transfer of information, removes inefficiency in the supply chain and facilitates the transition to online trading. The process of implementation was inevitably delayed by Covid- 19, but the BMF’s ETIM-UK Project Manager, Dave Bate is now back on track driving the UK roll-out of the ETIM classification model for building materials and HVAC. While he is still keen to involve BMF members from different product areas to help “anglicise” existing European product terminology and incorporate UK elements, he is also drawing on the expertise of specialist trade bodies, such as the Brick Development Association to speed the process.


Dave is also investigating uploading data using the Smart ETIM Classifier, a joint project between FEST, Europe’s central body for national associations of representing plumbing and heating products, and ETIM. This is a machine learning tool that converts and matches features from an individual manufacturer’s standard to the ETIM standard. At


cyber crime insurance now making up over 50% of UK insurance claims, Despite this, Alan Tatler, SRG Divisional Director, finds that cyber insurance is one area where many companies feel they don’t have a likelihood of a claim, and therefore choose to bear the consequences themselves. However, the consequences can be significant and far reaching.


the moment the project is limited to heating and plumbing products, but it could be a game-changer. Product details must be uploaded in English, include an extensive product description without abbreviations, and product features uploaded in separate, single field columns. Human supervision and verification is required to ensure the data has been matched correctly, but the Smart Classifier understands synonymous terms like “PVC” and “plastic” and can accept and convert measurements in both centimetres and inches, which should save considerable inputting time.


If you would like to find out more about ETIM, to trial the Smart ETIM Classifier or be involved in one of the product


August 2020 www.buildersmerchantsjournal.net


working groups, please email dave.bate@bmf.org.uk


Managing cyber risk The Builders Merchants Federation has partnered with Specialist Risk Group (SRG) to offer an exclusive, bespoke service providing an enhanced insurance offering for both merchant and supplier members.


SRG brings together a number of FCA authorised insurance intermediaries to arrange appropriate cover for businesses operating in specialist areas and have an in-depth knowledge of the building materials industry and the risks faced by builders merchants. Trading through Covid-19 has seen merchants accelerate on-line trading which brings many benefits but also a number of risks, with


Specific areas of exposure for BMF members include: • Heavy reliance on systems for taking and processing orders, including till systems for taking payment. If these systems were taken offline for weeks on end, how would business and revenue be impacted? • And with merchants increasingly taking more non-cash and online payments, they must consider how revenue would be impacted if the website was taken offline or payments fraudulently diverted. SRG is offering BMF members a free cyber risk management review that will help them understand the risks in more detail, complete with a follow up report identifying the company’s cyber exposures and advice on how to manage them. BMJ


For more information and to arrange your free cyber risk management review email Alan Tatler, ATattler@ specialistrisk.com or call him on 020 7977 4800.


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