Twenty-five leading manufacturers and wholesalers have signed up as Founder Members of EDATA, a new product data pool that is ‘by the industry, for the industry’. EDATA is the latest strategic initiative from the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) under its EDA Data Services banner.
E-commerce and digital transformation are inextricably linked to the availability of the highest quality product data, and EDATA offers manufacturers a central ‘single source of truth’ resource for uploading product information, technical data and images which wholesalers can download and serve up on their customer-facing e-commerce channels.
Signing up for an initial three year term, founders have committed to uploading and downloading product data to kick-start the EDATA service. A group made up of representatives from each of the founders will steer the development of EDATA, which will be accessed through annual subscription, with the costs and benefits shared by all who subscribe. Once up and running, EDATA will be opened up to both EDA and non-EDA manufacturers and wholesalers.
Margaret Fitzsimons, CEO of the EDA, comments, “It’s fantastic news that these EDA members and affiliated members are backing this new venture and helping us get it off the ground, because it is much needed. Industry owned data pools are widespread in other markets and sectors; so in this respect, the UK is somewhat behind. EDATA gives the UK’s electrotechnical supply chain the opportunity to say goodbye to the heavy workloads created by processing data through multiple channels and hello to enhanced ecommerce infrastructure.”
Richard Appleton, General Manager of EDA Data Services, adds, “Digitalisation is an unstoppable force, and most EDA members will be developing a digital or multi-channel sales strategy. EDATA will overcome one of the major barriers by providing a single source of rich, ecommerce-friendly product data. Manufacturers benefit too, being able to syndicate their data through a single channel while retaining full control of how their products and brand are presented.
“Our aim is for 250,000 products to be available via EDATA within three years. With this target in mind, EDA Data Services will work closely with each founder manufacturer to develop an onboarding project suited to their needs and situation, enabling data to be uploaded in the shortest possible time while retaining the required quality. EDATA will be supported with a comprehensive programme of market engagement and education.”
EDATA will hold information in three categories: Manufacturer Master Data, the core data needed to identify a product; Digital Assets, such as images and data sheets; and Technical Attributes including dimensions, suitability and performance characteristics. The Technical Attributes held in EDATA will be structured in accordance with ETIM, the international data model for the standardisation and classification of technical product data enabling wholesalers to enhance their websites with powerful product searches and filters. The EDA has led the ETIM initiative for the UK’s electrotechnical sector since 2017.
EDATA Founder Members – Wholesalers
1. BEMCO – British Electrical and Manufacturing Company
2. BED Electrical Distributors (Corby)
4. Edmundson Electrical
5. ERF Electrical Wholesalers
6. KEW Electrical Distributors
7. LEW Electrical Distributors
8. Rexel UK
9. R & M Electrical Group
10. Stearn Electric Co
EDATA Founder Members – Manufacturers
13. Ansell Lighting
14. Deta Electrical Company
15. Eaton Electric
16. Electrium Sales (A Siemens Company)
17. Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation
21. Prysmian Cables & Systems
22. Schneider Electric
23. Scolmore Group
24. Signify (Philips Lighting)