E-commerce set to expand in construction industry’s supply chain

The national employer association Ai Group has today announced that it has been licensed to establish a chapter of ETIM International for Australia and New Zealand.

The E commerce/B2B based ETIM Technical Information Model is an international standard for the classification of technical product data. It is used by global manufacturers, distributors, and end-users doing business in dozens of countries to help them make better informed decisions on what are the best products for specific applications.

The model and related product information also gives specifiers greater confidence that the products specified will be fit for their intended purpose.

Developed in Europe, ETIM was established to meet growing demands for a clear, discerning information structure for technical products. Initially developed for the electro-technical sector, ETIM has steadily expanded its activities to different construction industry sectors such as plumbing, HVAC and general building products, and is implemented in countries including the UK and North America.

Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said that the introduction of ETIM into the construction supply chains of Australia and New Zealand would significantly enhance the supply of building and construction products.

“We at Ai Group have been pursuing the digitisation of industries for some time now and we are particularly pleased to be given the opportunity to operate a chapter of ETIM for Australia and New Zealand.

“ETIM will make it much easier for the construction industry to identify and then specify the best products for construction activities and will save manufacturers, distributors and contractors significant time and cost,” Mr Willox said.

The chapter will be managed by Lindsay Le Compte, Ai Group’s General Manager (Construction and Infrastructure) and head of Ai Group’s Construction Supply Chain Council. It will commence with the classification of products in the electro-technical sector.

Speaking about the decision, Mr Le Compte said: “Ai Group has already secured the support of major local and international electrical product manufacturers and distributors and we expect the chapter membership to grow significantly as the ETIM model is rolled out across the industry and its product lines.

“Implementation of the ETIM model will also assist local manufacturers seeking access to export markets as the model will enable them to provide technical data relating to their products in a common internationally recognised format and in many different languages across key world markets,” Mr Le Compte said.

“There are also expected to be benefits for the industry in meeting product assurance and compliance responsibilities by linking the ETIM model to International and Australian Standards. We will talk with regulators to examine how ETIM may assist with their product registration, surveillance and check testing activities.

“Importantly, user access to product technical information prepared for product lines using the ETIM model will be free,” Mr Le Compte said.

Stephen Coop, Chief Executive of Australian manufacturer and distributor, NHP Electrical Engineering Products, praised Ai Group for its vision and support of the industry.

“The general use in Australia and New Zealand of international data models like ETIM is the way of the future for our industry and we congratulate Ai Group for taking this initiative which has our full support,” Mr Coop said.

Work is currently underway to expand the ETIM chapter to plumbing and HVAC products followed by general building products.

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