Product classification Standard for international e-CommerceETIM InternationalMarc Habets
Marc Habets - ETIM NL • Director ETIM Netherlands • Employed since 2003 • President ETIM International • Since foundation in 2008
Agenda ETIM Netherlands Standards in product data management ETIM model : what is it, how and why? ETIM International
ETIM Netherlands • ETIM = European Technical Information Model • ETIM NL = Foundation (started in1991) • Participants • Manufacturers 76 companies, majority position • Wholesalers federations ECEG and TGF • and installers federation UNETO-VNI • Standards for product classification and communication formats (e-business) • Electrotechnical, heating and sanitary
Necessity of standards in product data management • To make the ever increasing material databases easily accessible for the user • in a user (customer) - friendly way.
This necessity is demonstrated by: • rapid growth of product range(90.000 in 1995, 160.000 in 1997, 280.000 in 2000, 500.000 in 2002, > 1.000.000 in 2009) • further growth of information needs per article • shorter product life cycle and quicker TTM (time to market) • product database quality more important
Requirements • Maintenance of product databases in an efficient way • Automated processing of article information • The suppliers are the owner – and responsible– for product information and distribution of product data in a standard way ! • All participants have to use the same standards • Names • Structure • Interfaces
Standards in product data management • Identification • Classification of products • Interfaces for data-exchange • Networks • Data carrier / media All this aspects are important individually – don‘t mix! All this aspects are requirements for efficient eBusiness – but only in a standardized way!
Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 „100“ articles „1.000“ articles „10.000“ articles „100.000“ articles Assortment growth Article number and article name Grouping of articles Basic product description Structured product description Identification modus Overview Type of grouping Classification Identification Codification Product selection sources + from catalogues + from company database + from external database(s) From stock Buy, what you can read Buy, what you can touch Buy, what you can select Buy, what exists Product offering Face - to - face Computer - to - computer Type of communication
Classification of products - Relevant for all companies in the supply chain - Relevant for all kind of processes Installer / contractor Manufacturer Wholesaler
ETIM Classification • Fixed model for classifying electrotechnical articles • without hierarchy • with features / parametric • Listing of the most important technical characteristics of each article class to describe and find the articles. • multi – lingual • media neutral • supplier neutral • What is it?
ETIM Classification • How? • Byusing product classes, features and values, that are descibed in a standardizedway. Synomyms are used to easilyfind the right products! • Why? • No double work, minimal failurecosts, high data quality, optimal data applications, efficient product data management. Costsavings, surplus value and … yourcustomersaskforit!
ETIM Classification- Is NOT • A software application • An article data base • A catalogue production tool • A search engine • These are applications which use ETIM as the basis !!!
Advantages • Reduction of failure costs. • Wrong orders are reduced to a minimum. Direct Cost reductions!
Advantages • Increase in the efficiency of the communication (internal as well as external) • Standardised • Automated • Direct coupling and/or processing in internal automation Fewer actions necessary and faster acting! Time gained and thus savings!
Advantages • Heightens the information level to customers • Up to date-, complete- and correct product data (throughout the entire supply chain) Quality, service and fewer errors!
Advantages • Better logistics • Besides reduction in failure costs also reductions possible in systems for stock management and order processing
Advantages • Possibility to re-use information • Data only have to be entered once • Data can be used for multiple purposes Efficient management of product databases!
Advantages • Uniform information flow • Product information is specified once by producer • ..and entered in a standard format • ..and used by all parties in the supply chain • ..so the exchange of information is always based on the same, original data in all direction – from and to the producer Product information from the source and thus up to date, correct and complete!
Advantages • Optimization of catalogue management • Data are media neutral and can be used for different lay-outs (catalogue software) Time savings, less corrections and lower production costs!
Advantages • Standard interfaces • In the future only a few standard interfaces are needed for the exchange of product data Continuous adaptation of systems to new demands no longer needed!
Advantages • Marketing instrument • Possible to arrange information to target group • 1 on 1 marketing possible • Unique product features are emphasized by complementary, specific marketing texts. Distinguish by extra service!
Advantages • Efficient management reporting • Classification makes statistical analysis possible Turnover figures and strategy possible on product class level!
Advantages - summary • Reduction of failure costs. • Increase in the efficiency of the communication (internal as well as external) • Heightens the information level to customers • Better logistics • Possibility to re-use information • Uniform information flow • Optimalisation of catalogue management • Standard interfaces • Marketing instrument • Efficient management reporting
ETIM Classification • Whousesit? • Manufacturers : the ‘source’ of the product • Electronic and printedcatalogues, online and offline databases and applications as configurator • Provide wholesalerwithstandardized product data • Wholesalers: • Ideallyreceivesclassified product data frommanufacturer • Addshisowntradeinformation to the product data • Information to hiscustomers: catalogues and databases • Ordering: Online search/selection of articles • Installers: • Online whensearchingor ordering products at the wholesaleror producer • Offline to build and update theirownarticle database
productgroup productclass unit productclass- synonym productclass- feature feature synonym feature- value value ETIM classification – the model • Product groups • Product classes • Synonyms • Features • Values • Units
Types of features: • Alphanumerical features • List of possible values (color, material,…) • Numerical- and Range features • Number values (length, voltage, …) • Logical features • “Yes or No” questions (true/false)
productgroup productclass unit productclass- synonym productclass- feature (search) feature synonym value- feature value
ETIM UNETO 1993 ETIM TU 1996 ETIM Sonepar 1999 ETIM 1.1/2.0 2002 ETIM NL ETIM Germany eCl@ss ETIM International 2008 ETIM – model evolution From national and company standards MECIM NL To an international European standard
Sector Macro family Family Product Features Model Shape Material Color Etc.. (company-) specific classifications ETIM – implementation in classification systems UNSPSC Hierarchic approach Parametric approach ETIM 4.0
Technique EANCOM ASCII XML object- communication Functional transaction- communication Communication standards NL Articlemessage Productinfomessage --- Discountmessage --- Order --- Order change Order confirmation --- Packing list Invoice
Product data exchange NL • Scope for international data exchange • NL-specific formats not suitable for international use • GS1 standard formats worldwide orientation • BMECat currently best solution for international use • Status BMECat in NL • Import in 2BA database easy and frequently used • Export in NL formats to importers and/or wholesalers • Larger wholesalers can import BMECat directly as well
Product data exchange NL • Bilateral between supplier and customer • Manufacturer-supplier • Supplier-installer/endcustomer • Through central branch database (2BA) In both cases using the defined standard formats!
Data distribution - Netherlands • Central branch article database (2BA) operative • Joint venture installers and wholesalers • Non-profit • Data based on branch standards classification + communication • 223 companies already distribute their product data through 2BA • 965.363 products 4.784.379 ‘buyable’ articles (article-numbers) • Strong incentive for increase in classified data.
Price Conditions Producer Importer 2ba db Wholesaler Installer
Software tools for export to standard ETIM formats • Software tools necessary • To convert company data in ETIM classified product data • To make export in standard communication formats
Software tools for export to standard ETIM formats • Software provided by software companies • Exact, Proplanet, AG&P, …. • From simple and relatively cheap to complex and expensive • Tools provided by 2BA • Excel-import sheet • limited classification – only classname • Simple solution for easy start • Basic softwaretool 2C for general use • Technique: combination of .Net framework and SQL Server • Simple and cheap solution • Limitations, designed only for import in 2BA database, no additional features
ETIM in use- Netherlands Example online database/webshop wholesaler
ETIM International – full member organisations • ADIME Spain • ELDAS Switzerland • ETIM Austria • ETIM Germany • ETIM Netherlands • ETIM Poland • ICGME Belgium • SEG Sweden
ETIM International • Non-profit organization, founded in 2008, seat in Brussels • Administration of all languages / classes from one administration group • One model for Europe, one interface for suppliers, sharing of costs • The use of ETIMoffersadvantages for all partners in the supply chain • ETIM is operational in more than one language and available for the use in different countries • Cooperations with other standardization organizations (like eCl@ss)
ETIM International • Ever more international wholesalersadopt ETIM as standardfortheir (global) product data management • Solar • Rexel • Sonepar • ….. • The number of international suppliers that join and provide ETIM data increases rapidly