March 29, 2022
The Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) is the trade association for electrical wholesale distribution in the UK. The EDA supports and represents its wholesaler members in multiple ways, one of which is facilitating the digitalization of the electrotechnical sector.
In recent years, as e-commerce began to grow in importance to the sector, the EDA recognized a business-critical need for access to, and the ability to share, enriched high quality and consistent product data at each link in the supply chain. You can read more about the importance of fully-enriched product data in our previous blogpost.
In response, the EDA launched the EDATA platform – a solution that’s supplied and supported by Proplanet.
What is EDATA?
EDATA is a pool of industry-owned, user-friendly resources that centralize manufacturers’ product data, consisting of master data, technical attributes and digital assets. Electrical wholesalers serving the B2B and B2C markets can easily access and share these on their websites and other digital channels, such as social media and third-party reseller sites. The data is not just about ecommerce, however, as high-quality data can enhance customer services and processes throughout the business. All the data in EDATA is owned and managed by the manufacturers, giving it 100% credibility.
How EDATA works
What is the link between EDATA and ETIM?
EDATA classifies manufacturers’ product data in line with the international ETIM standard, which was introduced to the UK’s electrotechnical sector by the EDA in 2017. ETIM is a product data model that enables manufacturers to structure their technical data with accuracy, consistency and completeness.
This removes the need for wholesalers to restructure this data for their own use and also makes it much easier for B2B customers to find and select the right products on any of the wholesaler’s digital channels. ETIM enables both standardization and enrichment, especially when combined with a Product Information Management (PIM) system like the Proplanet PIM.
Describing the benefits of ETIM, Richard Appleton, General Manager at EDA Data Services, said: "By adopting one standard across the sector, product information can be served up in print and online with minimal work-arounds. Potentially, businesses can make savings in terms of the technical resources and labour needed to maintain the current mix of data sets and structures, and the end customer will benefit hugely."
How to achieve the EDATA Gold Standard?
All the information loaded into EDATA by manufacturers is independently monitored for quality, best practice and compliance with industry-recognized data standards. data is measured against EDA’s quality standards and each manufacturer’s quality status can be seen by users on an on-line dashboard.
The EDA works closely with manufacturers to improve and fully-enrich their product data to benefit users at all stages of the supply chain. Manufacturers that achieve the highest standards of data quality are awarded the coveted Gold Standard mark.
The EDA has set out their strategic aim to increase the number of manufacturers achieving the Gold Standard, which can only be a good thing for the whole supply chain.
How can you use the Proplanet PIM software to process EDATA?
As co-founders of ETIM, Proplanet is the natural choice to provide the EDATA platform solution. We’ve designed and pre-configured the Proplanet PIM to support manufacturers to quickly and easily upload their product information to EDATA, and add or include ETIM product information, to be shared with wholesalers.
Wayne Jarvis, our UK Business Developer, comments: "EDATA is a fantastic example of how a data pool can work successfully with ETIM. Proplanet are proud to work alongside EDA to help and encourage manufacturers to onboard and enrich their product data so the full benefits of digitalization can be realized throughout the supply chain."
About the author
As the UK Sales Consultant, James Whateley has joined the team to gain new customers and increase the UK client base. He has recently worked on a large PIM implementation, which was developed in-house for a builder’s merchant buying group and also has experience of using the Proplanet PIM systems and tools. James has an IT systems background and brings this to the role to compliment his PIM knowledge and experience.