About Us

History of IDEA

IDEA gets it.

Our deep category knowledge was born of the electrical industry in 1998. Today we continue to set the standards within the electrical supply chain, and our products and services now extend across a broad range of B2B and B2C industries.

Significant milestones in IDEA's history:

Our Beginnings

  • March 1998: NEMA and NAED form a joint venture corporation, Industry Data Exchange Association (IDEA), as a not-for-profit company to establish industry standards to facilitate eCommerce and solve problems in the supply chain.
  • November 1999: Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) and Industry Data Exchange (IDX) become operational.
  • January 2000: IDEA's certification of incorporation in Delaware is amended to reflect its status as a for-profit company. Our official name is changed to Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA). We are dedicated to innovation in eCommerce. ­
  • April 2000: IDEA Board of Directors appoints Michael Rioux as first full-time President.
  • June 2000: IDEA’s case study is recorded in the 2000 Computerworld Smithsonian Program and Collection as an example of the revolutionary change at the commencement of a new century.
  • August 2000: IDEA holds first IDEA E-Biz Forum in St. Louis, MO.

A New Generation of eCommerce

  • March 2002: All IDX customers become operational on IDX v2.
  • March 2003: IDX v2 completes one year of operation with a 100% reliability and performance record and a record-setting 2,000,000,000 characters of B2B traffic.
  • November 2003: IDEA implements the Data Audit and Certification (DAC) program.
  • November 2003: IDEA initiates Industry Retail Database (IRD) to meet retail chain and 1SYNC™ (Formerly UCCnet) requirements.
  • December 2004: 150 manufacturers provide data to IDW and 100 manufacturers participate in the DAC program.
  • May 2005: IDEA launches second-generation data warehouse platform – IDW v2.
  • February 2006: IDEA completes asset acquisition of Integrated Software Systems (ISS).
  • March 2006: IDX completes US Government evaluation.
  • April 2006: IDW earns top security rating by Digital Defense, Inc.
  • July 2006: IDEA’s headquarters moves from NEMA’s office in the Rosslyn neighborhood to the Crystal City neighborhood in Arlington, VA.
  • August 2006: IDEA teams with Activant to connect Activant’s solutions to the IDX network and enable the full integration of supplier data via IDW.
  • August 2006: IDEA welcomes its 700th customer.
  • March 2007: IDEA introduces the Richard Buzun Award for Leadership and Innovation in eCommerce to recognize an electrical manufacturer and distributor company for their eCommerce accomplishments.
  • August 2007: Michael Rioux, President, announces his departure from IDEA
  • September 2007: IDEA announces the completion of its corporate rebranding efforts including a redesign of its flagship website (idea-esolutions.com).

A Vision for the Future

  • November 2007: IDEA Board of Directors appoints retired U.S. Army Brigadier General, Robert E. Gaylord, as the President and CEO.
  • January 2008: IDEA launches its first customer portal (www.myideaportal.net) - a secure password-protected site created to serve as the main source for support resources and product access.
  • March 2008: IDEA launches a micro site for the IDEA E-Biz Forum (www.idea-ebizforum.com).
  • July 2008: IDEA and Trade Service Corporation data share agreement comes to term after 10 years.
  • September 2008: IDEA Board of Directors approves a new Strategic Plan for 2008-2011.
  • September 2008: IDEA celebrates its 10 year anniversary at the 10th IDEA E-Biz Forum in Washington, DC. 
  • January 2009: IDEA teams with Sterling Commerce to expand eCommerce solutions.
  • April 2009: IDEA teams with Affiliated Distributors (A-D) to offer the IDEA Synchronization Audit as a new professional service. 
  • October 2009: IDEA releases the first Electrical Industry Attribute Schema to standardize descriptive product information.
  • October 2009: IDEA Portal 2.0 (www.myideaportal.net) is released to customers.
  • June 2010: IDEA welcomes its 1000th IRD CERICOMX® customer.
  • March 2011: IDEA releases the Electrical Attribute Schema 2.0, an expansion that increases product coverage by 64%.
  • July 2011: IDEA launches the Attribute Fulfillment Service (AFS) to provide a new professional outsourcing solution.
  • November 2011: IDEA finalizes strategic partnership with ElectricSmarts.

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