ETIM North America Launches Wire, Cable and Conduit Product Expert Group

Making Wire, Cable and Conduit Product Search Easier

-The Electrical Sector Board of ETIM North America announces the launch of its Wire, Cable and Conduit (WCC) Product Expert Group-

Recognizing the importance of these product categories to distributors, coupled with the historical challenges of manufacturers in these product categories to share industry approved product attributes and descriptions for various products, the sector members David Oldfather (IDEA), Jeff Ballantine (Sonepar) and Jon Duffie (Siemens) agreed with the recommendation of ETIM North America’s Executive Director, Mary Shaw, that this should be the associations next endeavor.

Mary’s recommendation was based upon her 17 years’ experience working for IDEA and ETIM NA with data and product standards to support the electrical industry for distributors and manufacturers. Additionally, leading suppliers such as Prysmian, Electri-Flex and Berk-Tek (a division of Leviton), have joined ETIM.

ETIM North America, the North American chapter of ETIM International, a worldwide organization with 25 chapters, is a stand-alone non-profit association after being under the IDEA umbrella for 4 years. Today it has 25 members inclusive of the three leading eCommerce content providers DDS, IDEA and Trimble / Trade Service.

David Oldfather, president of IDEA and chair of the Electrical Sector Board, commented “I encourage manufacturers and distributors to participate in ETIM and contribute their product expertise. The ETIM model provides an internationally accepted structure to describe products that easily transmits across electronic platforms and can interact throughout the electrical channel … from manufacturers to their reps and distributors and then down to contractor procurement and estimating systems and engineering / design software.”

The ETIM International data model for the standardization and classification of electrical product information (descriptors) is used by manufacturers, distributors and end-users doing business in dozens of countries. ETIM is a worldwide standards initiative and ETIM NA is responsible for maintaining and promoting the ETIM Technical Information Model, a product classification taxonomy, in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Jeff Ballantine, Director of Enterprise Data Management for Sonepar, shared “ETIM data is easy for a distributor to work with and will improve our internal sales reporting as well as improve our eCommerce offerings. We encourage all of our manufacturers to participate as this will improve the industry and quicken our pace in achieving seamless electronic product communication.”

ETIM NA already has Product Expert Groups for Power Distribution, Industrial Automation and Lighting / Wiring Devices.  These groups, consisting of manufacturers and distributors, collaborate to translate the ETIM standard to the three North American languages, as well as identifying additional products, features and values pertaining to products being sold in the North American wholesale electrical market and related verticals. This effort is crucial to ensure the model is fully compatible with the products being distributed in this part of the world.

Jon Duffie, Director of Channel Management for Siemens observed, “As manufacturers continue their digital transformation journey, the role of data, and the structure of data, becomes more and more important. ETIM’s alphanumeric, standardized approach is the format needed to help profitably share information. At Siemens, we want as many manufacturers as possible to contribute expertise and adopt the standards so that all can benefit, including our mutual customers. This isn’t an “international company” issue, it’s an industry issue.”

To date the various product expert groups have completed 27 master classes with more being completed each month.

Upcoming categories to be discussed in various groups include enclosures, relays, push buttons, cable tray, motors, and other automation-related equipment.  Manufacturers involved in these product categories are encouraged to join ETIM NA to participate in the standards settings process.

Matt Christensen, president of DDS (Distributor Data Solutions), ETIM North America’s Chairman of the Board and founding member commented “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time. The work being done to enhance the ETIM standard within these sectors will enable a more seamless flow of product data from these manufacturers to their distribution channel.”

The first WCC Product Expert Committee is planned for early September.

To learn more about ETIM North America visit or contact Mary Shaw at