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ETIM North America (NA) has announced that IMARK Group Inc., the largest member-owned, member-governed cooperative in the United States and Canada comprised of IMARK Electrical, IMARK Plumbing and BLUE HAWK HVACR, has joined ETIM NA in support of the adoption of ETIM product classification standards in North America.

With more than 1,400 independently owned electrical, plumbing and HVACR distributors (with a combined 7,000 locations in North America), IMARK Group is committed to supporting its members’ initiatives to digitize their offerings and serve customers online, both of which are dependent on robust product information. With ETIM’s growing influence in North America, IMARK Group recognizes the value of a clear and widely adopted product classification standard for improved data quality and communication throughout the wholesale industry.

“It’s becoming clear that ETIM is the standard for the industry to drive product classification, and to help our members achieve their goals with respect to emerging tech-nologies and improved customer service,” said Jerry Knight, president of IMARK Electrical.

Helping members excel online is one of IMARK Group’s top initiatives, as more and more distributor members are launching or enhancing their webstores and other digital applications.

According to Knight, one IMARK member recently commented, “The need for a well-defined standard is essential to the industry and specifically critical to how their company manages and maintains product data for e-commerce and other purposes.”

IMARK Plumbing President John Aykroyd agrees, adding that the ETIM standard is equally valuable for building design programs like CAD, BIM and 3D modeling where product data is utilized by engineers and architects.

An international model for the standardization and classification of technical product data, ETIM enables the efficient exchange of product data from the manufacturers who produce it, down through their distribution channels, to specifiers and end-users of products. As a language-independent model, ETIM benefits the entire ecosystem of an industry by streamlining the flow of product information across multiple languages and technology platforms.

BLUE HAWK CEO Lance Rantala said, “As the lines between building products continue to get blurred, ETIM has a path forward in combining the current technologies in electrical with those of plumbing, HVACR and the Luxury Products Group.”

“The goal of ETIM is to simplify and standardize product classification so that products can be translated across language and technical barriers,” added Mary Shaw, executive director of ETIM NA. “We’re pleased to have IMARK Group support the ETIM model within the distribution community, supporting both their members’ needs and the digitization efforts of these industries at large.”

In joining ETIM NA, IMARK Group has enabled its members the opportunity to participate in the ETIM community, although its member organizations will not have voting rights (to influence the model) unless they individually become direct members.

As a dedicated, nonprofit association, ETIM NA is a collaborative community. Manufacturer and distributor direct members have the ability to vote on product classifications, suggest improvements and access member-specific software tools.

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