Travis Perkins to lead ETIM Trailblazers to fast-track implementation of consistent product data

Building materials supplier Travis Perkins has pledged to take a leading role in a group of ETIM Trailblazers, which will help the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) fast track the implementation of the ETIM model of data classification to simplify transferring product information between the manufacturer and merchant.

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 UK’s electrical products sector. 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.

The BMF is also inviting manufacturers and suppliers of building, HVAC and plumbing products to participate in the appropriate working group to anglicise existing European product terminology. 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 input.

Industry comments
Rob Barbour, date and insights director at Travis Perkins, said on behalf of the ETIM Trailblazer group: “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 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 at H&B Group, added: “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, chief executive officer of the BMF, concluded: “Travis Perkins and H&B’s response 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.”