ETIM UK, the strategic alliance between the Builders Merchants Federation and the Electrical Distributors’ Association took part in a panel discussion at Digital Construction Week 2022. The expert panellists, representing both the building materials and electrotechnical sectors, discussed ‘The Golden Thread: the role of merchants, distributors and wholesalers’, and called for a more joined up approach to product data, possibly mandated by an overseeing commissioner, and its importance not only for building security but also for carbon reduction initiatives.
ETIM is the tried and tested data standard for technical product data adopted by the BMF since 2019 for building materials, HVAC and plumbing products, and the EDA since 2017 for electrotechnical products.
Chaired by Fergus Harradence, Deputy Director, Infrastructure and Construction at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the panellists were: Edgar Aponte, CEO, Rexel UK Ltd; David Williams, VP Marketing UK and Ireland, Schneider Electric Ltd; Phil Thompson, Procurement Data Manager, NG Bailey; Rob Barbour, Data and Insights Director, Travis Perkins and Margaret Fitzsimons, CEO, EDA.
John Newcomb, CEO at the BMF said “Today’s discussion highlights the huge significance that high quality product data has for every step of the supply chain – contractors simply cannot work without it. The Hackitt Report and the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) are creating a step-change for building security in the UK and ETIM has a vital contribution to make to that work because of its focus on a product’s technical performance.”
Fitzsimons said: “ETIM is the standard of choice for the UK’s construction sector. Manufacturers are responsible for supplying consistent and high quality product data which can be transferred from one construction phase to another, and through the EDA the UK’s electrotechnical sector businesses are making significant progress. There is a need for a more joined-up approach to the UK’s product data challenge, including the adoption of a unique identifier to enable data from multiple sources to be amalgamated.”