ETIM North America’s Commitment to EFC Members

Last month, EFC’s Wire and Cable business section were provided an overview of the ETIM Classification Model, by Mary Shaw, a data and e-commerce standards veteran of the Canadian wholesale electrical industry, who has been representing the needs of both the Canadian and US market with global standard bodies throughout her 35-year career.

Mary’s opportunity came at the request of Chris Scott of Northern Cables, who has been a long-time industry colleague of Mary, followed her career in standards, and seen her involvement with ETIM as a critically needed benefit for the wire, cable, and conduit industry. “Her presentation resulted in significant interest from our members, with some who already reached out to Mary, for more details on how they too can be involved,” said Cherith Sinasac, EFC’s Business Section Manager, who reached out to Mary following Chris’ request.

Mary is the Executive Director of ETIM North America, a non-profit association who is responsible for the promoting, educating and adoption of the digitalized product descriptor classification standard to the North American market. As a data standard with pre-defined and codified features and values for product classes, this model, developed by product experts, is the solution the North American market has been lacking. No more will distributors, contractors, and end-users need to normalize data from their assorted suppliers before they can use it in their ERP and PIM systems, online stores, estimating software applications, etc. This language independent, data model will make it easier for the searcher to find the right product the first time.

ETIM NA utilizes Product Expert (PE) Groups, who are responsible for reviewing the model, to identify any terminology that doesn’t match with our North American market to develop a translation to NA English, French Canadian, and Mexican Spanish. The PE groups are made up of manufacturers and distributors. During the review process, the members identify any products and/or their features and values that are missing from the model because they are North American specific, including our local regulatory requirements.

The initial PE groups are Power Distribution, Automation & Drives, and Wiring Devices. These are based on the product areas of the current members, and are expanding to Wire, Cable and Conduit, with the new membership from Prysmian Group and Electri-Flex.

Mary welcomed the opportunity to present to EFC’s Wire and Cable committee in hopes of creating more participation and interest from Prysmian and Electri-Flex’s peers.

“We will be launching the Wire/Cable/Conduit PE group shortly, and it would behoove other companies to become members alongside Prysmian and Electri-Flex, so their voices can be heard during the translation/development process, ensuring the outcome properly reflects other manufacturers products”, says Mary. “As more and more distributors in NA join and begin adopting the ETIM model, there will be a demand for ETIM classified data. Already two major international distributors are using ETIM information to manage internal databases. Without a company’s participation, the outcome may not fully meet their needs, making it harder for them to provide the data their customers are asking for. It’s better to be on the front end, contributing to the development of the industry standard, than to be at the end, when decisions have already been made and input has been solicited.”

As a non-profit stand-alone association, ETIM NA is dependent on members to not only sustain the organization but more importantly bring product expertise to the model’s adaptation to the globally used classification standard so it can properly represent our local markets products.

For more information on how you can participate in this very important industry endeavour, please reach out to Mary Shaw at, or by calling her at 385-240-0444.

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