BMF / NMBS
ETIM Open Source Data
With the additional support of NMBS, the BMF has partnered with the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) to develop and implement the ETIM open source data model for the standardisation and classification of product data in the UK.
ETIM is described as a “tried and tested model” that has been adopted by manufacturers and wholesalers in 20 countries across Europe and by the USA and Canada. Initially designed for the electro-technical market, ETIM has expanded to include general building materials and heating, ventilation and plumbing products. It has also developed to include a 3-D modelling version to provide digitalised data for BIM applications.
Adopted by the EDA in 2017 as a ‘must’ for the digitalisation of the UK electrical installation supply chain, one of its key benefits is the removal of ambiguity to ensure that the same terms, attributes and values within the product data are used by all. By streamlining the transfer of information, it removes inefficiency in the supply chain and facilitates the transition to online trading.
BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “A straw-poll of our merchant members found that 53% have difficulty in obtaining product data from their suppliers in an easily usable format, and 94% would value readily available and accurate product data.
“A major barrier to digitalisation in our sector is the need to obtain and manage standardised e-commerce friendly product data. With a growing number already doing business online and 65% planning to launch or increase sales from online platforms during the next two years, the need for high quality, consistent and updatable digital data is set to escalate.”
David Bate, who performed a similar role for EDA, has been appointed BMF’s ETIM-UK Project Manager. He will lead a number of ETIM Standardisation Working Groups, drawing together expertise from BMF members involved in different product areas to drive the wider roll-out of the Classification model through the UK supply chain.
The NMBS has also declared its support for ETIM. MD Chris Hayward said: “As a buying society we strive to develop and strengthen independent merchants by innovating and adding value at every opportunity. Clearly ETIM has as important role to play in this regard and we will support the BMF as it works with the industry to roll out this data-model in the building materials and HVAC sectors.”
If you would like to be involved in one of the working groups, please get in touch with the BMF.
UT400 cloud trading system
Following the successful UniTrade 360 system, Ten-25 Software has now unveiled UT400 — its all-new, cloud-based trading system. With what is described as an incredibly easy-to-use interface and “powerful under-the-hood engine”, UT400 is designed to help merchants to “buy better, stock smarter and sell faster”, with comprehensive end-to-end features offering total transparency across the business.
As a true cloud system, it can be accessed anywhere from anysmart device. A tiered pricing system (available with monthly subscriptions) is said to make it feasible for everyonein the business to have access, from delivery drivers to CEOs, whilst customised user dashboards ensure relevance and clarity.
Ten-25 is offering free, no obligation demo access to interested merchants for a no risk trial.
Headed up by CEO Shneor Crombie (pictured), Bobtrade is a new online building supplies marketplace which connects UK builders and merchants to deliver “a more efficient way of buying and selling building materials” by enabling builders save both money and time, and merchants to increase their sales.
In an evolving construction sector, where more trade users are purchasing online and merchants are still developing their response, Bobtrade is described as a powerful yet simple procurement platform with advantages for both merchants and their customers. Listing products on the platform is said to be easy, whilst automated order and payment processing enables merchants to make sales outside of traditional operating hours.