Our foundation

Our history starts in 1991, the year in which the Dutch electrical installers association initiated the ETIM project. At the time, ETIM was developed as a general information model to support the (digital) business processes of installation companies. However, since uniform communication on product data throughout all business processes as well as the entire supply chain was considered crucial, the model soon revolved around product classification for technical products. When we talk about ETIM today, it’s exactly this product classification model we’re referring to.

Rapid upscaling

Wholesalers soon followed suit and joined the installers in the ETIM project. The formal participation and support of manufacturers took a bit longer, but by 2006 the complete supply chain was involved. What’s more, in 1998 the HVAC and plumbing sector in the Netherlands started working with and on ETIM, followed by the shipbuilding sector in 2009 and the building materials sector in 2014. The most recent addition is the new sector Tools, hardware and site supplies in 2020, that is the result of the full integration of the proficl@ss classification in ETIM.

International expansion

Come 1999, we first expanded internationally with the foundation of ETIM Germany. When it became clear in 2005 that ETIM version 3.0 could indeed support a frictionless product data exchange between different countries, we started looking for further international expansion. This led to an informal international ‘community of interests’ in 2006, in which six members united. Only two years later, these same members founded the international association ETIM International. In 2019, we welcomed our 21st member country organization.

Ever developing

ETIM is not only growing geographically and in sectors, our scope is also expanding. Once a classification model with ‘selective features’ to easily find the proper product for your application, we now aim to support full product information exchange in BIM projects by means of our ETIM MC (Modelling Classes) and our integration in buildingSMART Data Dictionary.