Digitization

ETIM – an abbreviation for the future

Text: Linus Brännström
Foto: Mikael Göthage & Cornella Jönsson
July 14, 2022

Officially ETIM stands for Electric Technical Information Model, but it could just as easily stand for Efficient, Timesaving, Intuitive and Massively beneficial for Alligo and for the future.

ETIM

ETIM (an abbreviation of the German term ElektroTechnisches InformationsModell) is an international standard for classifying items within the electricity, construction and plumbing industries.

The aim is for all participants within the industry to be able to communicate information without any misunderstandings – regardless of language and supplier. The standard defines the most important technical characteristics of each product class.

With ETIM, the communication between suppliers and the supply chain becomes streamlined. By extension, it also makes it easier for customers to find the right product range.

 

So what is ETIM? And makes it so interesting?

Say you are a customer trying to compare two different screwdrivers, but the information about them in the online store is not equivalent. It feels like you’re comparing a surfboard to an ironing board.

Confusing and irritating, right?

“Different suppliers highlight different things, which are the things that are most interesting for their products. This makes it difficult to get a standardized view across the entire product range. In the end, it all comes down to the customer, and it’s getting trickier to find and compare different options,” says Stefan Filipsson, head of Information Systems at Alligo.

In the past, it has required a lot of work to obtain a consistent description of products. You had to search for information, convert measurements and translate texts. However, by describing product attributes in a common, neutral language, the ETIM international standard helps avoid these problems.

“It is a standardized way of looking at items and what is relevant to know about them,” says Stefan Filipsson.

 

 

André Jönsson is PIM manager for Alligo in Sweden

Alligo is one of the first in the industry to have built support for ETIM into its PIM (product database for e-commerce). This means that new items can be released faster, and quality is improved.

“By using ETIM, we do not have to adapt the information we receive from the suppliers. If everyone uses the same standard, it’s just a matter of reading the information without any further handling,” says André Jönsson, PIM Manager at Alligo.

ETIM also means that information is translated automatically – a big advantage for Alligo as its PIM solution is the same for the whole Nordic region. Once an item has been entered into the system, it can be published in different markets without any additional work.