Recognizing the importance of the wire & cable and conduit product categories to distributors and the historical challenges of manufacturers of these products to share industry-approved product attributes and descriptions for various products, ETIM North America (NA), Salt Lake City, UT, has launched a Wire & Cable and Conduit Product Expert Group.
David Oldfather (IDEA), Jeff Ballantine (Sonepar), and Jon Duffie (Siemens)' members of ETIM’s Electrical Sector Board, agreed with the recommendation of ETIM North America’s Executive Director, Mary Shaw, that this should be the associations next endeavor. Shaw’s recommendation was based upon her 17 years’ experience working for IDEA and ETIM NA with data and product standards to support the electrical industry for distributors and manufacturers. Additionally, suppliers such as Prysmian, Electri-Flex and Berk-Tek (a division of Leviton), have joined ETIM.
ETIM NA already has Product Expert Groups for Power Distribution, Industrial Automation and Lighting/Wiring Devices. These groups, consisting of manufacturers and distributors, collaborate to translate the ETIM standard to the three North American languages, as well as identifying additional products, features and values pertaining to products being sold in the North American electrical market and related verticals. ETIM says this effort is crucial to ensure the model is fully compatible with the products being distributed in this part of the world.
To date, the various product expert groups have completed 27 master classes with more being completed each month. Upcoming categories to be discussed in various groups include enclosures, relays, push buttons, cable tray, motors, and other automation-related equipment. Manufacturers involved in these product categories are encouraged to join ETIM NA to participate in the standards settings process.
David Oldfather, president of IDEA and chair of the Electrical Sector Board, said in the press release, “I encourage manufacturers and distributors to participate in ETIM and contribute their product expertise. The ETIM model provides an internationally accepted structure to describe products that easily transmits across electronic platforms and can interact throughout the electrical channel, from manufacturers to their reps and distributors and then down to contractor procurement and estimating systems and engineering / design software.”
Jeff Ballantine, director of enterprise data management for Sonepar, added in the release, “ETIM data is easy for a distributor to work with and will improve our internal sales reporting as well as improve our eCommerce offerings. We encourage all of our manufacturers to participate as this will improve the industry and quicken our pace in achieving seamless electronic product communication.”
Jon Duffie, director of channel management, Siemens, said in the press release, “As manufacturers continue their digital transformation journey, the role and structure of data becomes more important. ETIM’s alphanumeric, standardized approach is the format needed to help profitably share information. At Siemens, we want as many manufacturers as possible to contribute expertise and adopt the standards so that all can benefit, including our mutual customers. This isn’t an ‘international company’ issue, it’s an industry issue.”
ETIM North America, the North American chapter of ETIM International, a worldwide organization with 25 chapters, is a stand-alone nonprofit association after being under the IDEA umbrella for four years. Today it has 25 members, including the three leading e-commerce content providers -- DDS, IDEA and Trimble/Trade Service.