Travis Perkins and the H&B buying group have joined the BMF’s group of ‘ETIM Trailblazers’ to fast track the implementation of consistent product data across the sector.
The Trailblazers will help the BMF to fast track the implementation of the ETIM model of data classification which will simplify the transfer of product information between manufacturer and merchant. In addition to Travis Perkins, more than 20 other merchant and supplier members have also signed up as ETIM Trailblazers, as well as key buying groups including H&B and NMBS.
ETIM is a system of classifying technical product data that ensures all users employ the same terms to describe the same attributes and values. It is widely used in Europe and has already been adopted by the electrical products sector in the UK. The BMF is implementing the model in the UK for building, HVAC and plumbing products.
The first quarter of 2021 will see ETIM working groups meet to review and agree the data terms to be used for each component in each product area.
In addition to relevant personnel from its ETIM Trailblazers, the BMF is inviting manufacturers and suppliers of building, HVAC and plumbing products to participate in the appropriate working group.
In part, the task is to anglicise existing European product terminology but the working groups will also identify and incorporate UK specific elements so it is vital that as many product experts as possible are fully involved to provide their input.
Speaking on behalf of the ETIM Trailblazer group, Rob Barbour, Travis Perkins’ Data and Insights Director said: “Accurate and consistent product data information is fundamental to empower customers to make better buying decisions, drive better safety and technical performance, and lower emissions of construction output. We are really excited at the prospect of working with our peers to improve our standards across the industry through a common product communication language to the benefit of customers and suppliers.
“The ETIM standard will help us do just that; ensuring we have clear, accurate and trustworthy data shared between suppliers, merchants and customers, which in turn will minimise errors and drive down costs, and so significantly improve our supply chain efficiency.”
Jamie Wyatt, Trading Director, H&B Group, confirmed the importance of ETIM to the independent merchant sector: “As more independent builders’ merchants move into ecommerce, standardisation and classification of product data becomes ever more important, ensuring smooth and cost-effective digital transactions. H&B supports the ETIM initiative and the benefits it will bring to its members and the wider industry.”
John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, concluded: “The response of Travis Perkins and H&B in wanting to push forward with ETIM is typical of BMF members we have engaged with to date. It shows that need for standardised technical data and attributes for building, HVAC and plumbing products has never been greater, and the importance of the BMF’s ETIM working groups to fast-track the process cannot be over-emphasised. I encourage manufacturers in every product area to get involved when invited to do so.”