The Builders Merchants Federation is forging ahead with implementation of the ETIM model of data classification, designed to ensure all users employ the same terms to describe the same attributes and values and thus simplify the process of transferring product information between manufacturer and merchant.
By 1 April, six working groups will have met to agree terminology for the UK ETIM model for bricks and blocks, insulation, timber, paints and adhesives, cement, concrete and aggregates, plaster and plasterboard.
The implementation of ETIM is described as being “extremely timely” as the proposed new Code for Construction Product Information is currently out for consultation and set to be introduced later this year. The new Code is designed to set a level playing field for all construction product manufacturers and ensure the product information they provide is clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous. Within the consultation document, ETIM is recognised as an appropriate means of organising and communicating product information.
NMBS and Travis Perkins plc have both confirmed that they are adopting and implementing the ETIM data model as part of their product data management process within their e-commerce systems.
The working group covering bricks and blocks was the first to meet at the end of February. Mark Morris, Commercial Director at Breedon Group, which manufactures both clay bricks and concrete blocks, was impressed by collegiate approach adopted by those attending and the progress made. He said: “Under the guidance of BMF ETIM Manager, Dave Bate, the group looked at each category in great detail. It was a very collegiate experience as personnel from a broad range of ceramic companies came together to share and learn with each other, to ensure we provided the very best input from our industry.”
Paul Needham, Director of UK Information Systems & Data at SIG Plc, which has joined the BMF’s ETIM Trailblazer group and also attended the first Insulation working group, expressed his company’s support for the project, saying: “As a part of a Group operating in multiple European counties, we’ve seen the benefits our counterparts have experienced in markets where ETIM is a much more common standard of communicating and sharing data.
“We’re excited to be joining this initiative as pioneers. We believe moving the UK industry to using ETIM will improve our ability to serve our customers, by equipping our colleagues with complete and accurate product data provided from a single source, the manufacturer.”
BMF CEO, John Newcomb, added: “After an inevitable hiatus in the implementation process last year, we are determined to fast-track ETIM for building materials and HVAC products in 2021. I would like to thank every business participating in these important working groups. Their input is invaluable in developing the terminology for each product group that will quickly enable us to move to the next stage.”