Success Story | Eaton

Presenting the impact that the Internet-based document exchange network, Industry Data Exchange (IDX), has on a wholesale manufacturer's business processes.


Eaton Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer and global leader in electrical systems and components. Eaton employs 56,000 staff and sells products to customers in more than 125 countries. For more information visit


Eaton needed their VAN capabilities to be on par with the company's own core competencies. Their former VAN did not allow them to be as competitive as possible, nor did it provide them with the liberty to manage their own business documents, purchase orders and transactions. The Eaton challenge was that their service provider left them in a dependent position where they were not in control of document translation or mapping.


Eaton upgraded to Industry Data Exchange (IDX), an Internet based communications hub that removes the nuisances of disks, CDs and emails.

"We base these kinds of decisions on how well they will benefit our distributors and trading partners," said Brian Zimick, Manager, IT - Global Sales, Solutions & Integration - Eaton Electrical Group. To better serve its distributors, Eaton needed a way to streamline their pricing services and EDI transactions. "Eaton now has more options and flexibility," said Zimick.

"IDX provided better visibility and gave Eaton the ability to track documents and do Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in real-time with EDI-INT and the AS2 model. Plus, there was a huge difference in the bill," said Zimick.


IDEA's IDX eliminated the complexities, extra expenses, errors and SPA troubles that can plague transaction and invoicing processes.

Since Eaton's investment in IDEA, they have continued to feel that it was well worth the money. "It's great for the industry. Eaton has invested in a lot of companies over time and not all of them pan out, but this investment has. The savings delivered by IDX versus our previous VAN service has already paid us back on our investment," said Zimick.

"IDX is very flexible and Eaton does not have to take any extra steps – use of EDI really makes the turnaround time quick and our trading partners love that. There have been several instances where large trading partners required an AS2 connection with aggressive deadlines and IDX was able to meet those with time to spare," said Alec Nevalainen, Unix Application Administrator, Eaton Electrical.

Eaton now trades electronically with over 400 trading partners and has saved over $1.25M since 2002 IDX implementation.

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