April 25, 2016

ETIM Committee: Background and Updates

As globalization transforms the way we do business, strategic initiatives that focus on improving our industry’s connectedness across national borders become increasingly necessary.

With many electrical companies looking to expand internationally, IDEA is working to help the North American manufacturers and distributors grow their global operations and improve their export competitiveness.

Last year, IDEA became the first non-European member of ETIM International, the international standardization organization responsible for managing the European Technical Information Model (ETIM) standard. Representing North America (the United States and Canada) within ETIM International, IDEA is able to better understand the needs of both markets and help improve our industry’s connectedness across borders.

One of the key issues disrupting the growth of international trade within the electrical channel has to do with the fact that while markets may be global, industry standards and regulations remain largely national. The United States and Canada rely on the UNSPSC®-based Classification and Marketing Descriptor Model (CMD5.0), while European manufacturers use the ETIM standard as their technical product classification guideline. This “language” gap costs organizations time and money and interrupts the expansion of international business.

In order to address this problem, IDEA has begun a new initiative to better align the European model and our North American model. To help achieve this goal, we have formed the ETIM Committee – a team of industry subject matter experts who will volunteer their time to help create a North American adaptation of the ETIM model to our nomenclature in accordance with our NA requirements, and then develop a map between the European and North American product data standards.

IDEA is proud to announce that this groundbreaking project is receiving strong support from the industry. As of today, companies represented on IDEA’s ETIM Committee include:

  • Acuity Brands Lighting
  • DATAgility, Inc.
  • Eaton Corporation
  • Encore Wire
  • Halco Lighting Technologies
  • Hubbell, Inc.
  • Klein Tools
  • Legrand
  • Lutron Electronics Co, Inc.
  • Mersen
  • NetPricer
  • Panduit Corporation
  • Philips Lighting
  • Rockwell Automation
  • Schneider Electric
  • Siemens Automation
  • Sonepar
  • Thomas & Betts, Member of the ABB Group
  • Wheatland Tube

The first official meeting of the ETIM Committee took place on March 30-31 hosted by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) at their headquarters in Arlington, VA. Led by Marc Habets, the ETIM International Technical Director, and Mary Shaw, IDEA’s Director of eBusiness Standards, this two-day meeting served as an introductory session for all committee members. Attendees also participated in an initial practical training designed to help them understand ETIM’s methodology and how it compares to our North American equivalent.

For an added opportunity to learn more about the initiative, IDEA is hosting a high-level ETIM education session at the 2016 IDEA eBiz Forum, May 25-27, in Orlando, FL. The president of ETIM International, Franz Ernst, will be co-presenting with Mary Shaw and available to answer any questions that arise. This session will be open to committee members and non-committee members alike, so be sure to seize this opportunity to learn more about this initiative at Forum! 

Plus, it’s not too late to join the ETIM Committee! We are accepting new applications.

The ETIM Committee is looking for individuals who are familiar with describing their products, how they work, and how they are used (e.g., product managers, sales/marketing, etc.).

If you or someone within your company is interested in ETIM Committee membership, please contact Mary Shaw, Director, eBusiness Standards, IDEA at mshaw@idea4industry.com or 703-562-4610.

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