News & Events

This Week in IDEA | December 19, 2007

Our eNewsletter, This Week in IDEA, keeps you informed with the latest news and education about IDEA, our solutions and services, and our customers and partners. IDEA’s knowledgeable staff and other contributing writers share insights, resources and special offers to help you Unleash the power of e. Subscribe now to receive This Week in IDEA in your email inbox every other Thursday and add our RSS feed to your reader.


Subscribe to This Week in IDEA

New IDEA Customer: National Marker Company

National Marker Company (NMC), a manufacturer from Slatersville, RI, became an IDEA customer on December 14, 2007. NMC is a manufacturer of safety identification products servicing a worldwide distribution network. They will be taking advantage of the cost savings and reliability of the Industry Data Exchange (IDX) to exchange business information and will be providing their product and pricing information directly to the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). Visit for more information. Welcome aboard!

Tags for this post: idw customers idx national marker company

Back To Top

New IDEA Customer: First Electric Supply

First Electric Supply, a distributor from Indianapolis, IN, became an IDEA customer on December 19, 2007. First ES is a full line stocking distributor of electrical supplies. They will be taking advantage of the cost savings and reliability of the Industry Data Exchange (IDX) to exchange business information, relying on the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) to obtain their suppliers’ product and pricing information and taking advantage of the low prices of IDEA eCredit (IeC) industry credit reports. First ES is a proud member of IMARK and NAED. Visit for more information. Welcome aboard!

Tags for this post: idw customers idx first electric

Back To Top


IDEA, a 1SYNC Data Pool On-Board Solution (OBS) partner, implements suppliers that subscribe to the 1SYNC data pool using IDEA's IRD CERICOMX® application. IDEA was recently assigned seven suppliers:

These companies will be trained to use IRD CERICOMX®, an IDEA branded product for supporting and uploading supplier product information into the GS1 Registry® and GDSN via the 1SYNC Data Pool.

If you would like to learn more about the CERICOMX® product, please contact , IRD Product & Customer Support Manager, at .

Tags for this post: customers ird

Back To Top

Gene Randall, Renowned Television Journalist, Returns to the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2008

IDEA is excited to announce that Gene Randall will return to the IDEA E-Biz Forum as the Master of Ceremonies and General Sessions Moderator for the 10 year anniversary celebration of IDEA and the E-Biz Forum in 2008. Randall was asked to return and play a larger role in the 2008 event due to the unique perspective and professionalism he brought to the E-Biz Forum 2007.

Gene Randall's professional broadcast journalism career can be measured by the major stories he covered; among them: the Solidarity strikes in Poland in 1980, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, and daily coverage of four U.S. Presidential Campaigns from 1988 through 2000.


As Moscow Bureau Chief for NBC News in the early eighties, Randall chronicled the beginning of the end of communist party rule in the Soviet Union. At CNN, he turned his focus to domestic politics. In 1996, Variety named him “Best Floor Reporter" at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.


In the 2000 campaign, Randall hosted CNN's celebrated "This Week In Politics, "a favorite with campaign insiders. With a broadcasting career that spanned four decades and much of the world, Gene Randall's speeches combine historic moments he has witnessed, the offbeat incidents that never made the evening news, the current political scene, and the effects of September 11, 2001 on our political fabric. Through his company, Gene Randall Enterprises, he is also offering a wide variety of services to trade associations and corporations. They include convention hosting, moderating panel discussion, live audience interviews of keynote speakers, webcast and closed-circuit television anchoring and videoconference hosting.


Gene is married, with four-children and divides his time between Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and the United States.


Tags for this post: ebiz forum speakers gene randall

Back To Top

IDEA Standards Committee Approves New Global Standards

IDEA and the IDEA Standards Committee (ISC) are pleased to announce completion of the next set of EDIFACT-Pro transactions. As was done with the ANSI X12 EDI Standards with the creation of an electrical industry subset, EDIPro, the same has been done with UN/EDIFACT, the European EDI Standard.


The ORDRSP and the INVOIC transactions were recently completed and approved by the IDEA Standards Committee and are now available for industry use.


The ISC is constantly striving to enable eCommerce within the Electrical Industry and beyond. The EDIFACT-Pro Guidelines, or subset, will enable IDEA trading partners to achieve the benefits of eCommerce in a global marketplace while incorporating the Standards in which they are familiar with and helped create.


If you are interested in using these transactions or would like to be involved with their creation through the EDIFACT Sub-committee, please contact Mary Shaw, IDEA Standards Director, at for more information.


Tags for this post: standards isc

Back To Top

Why is the Item Status Code so Important to my Organization?

The Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) Item Status codes provide a short cut to assist manufacturers in delivering messages about their product changes. These messages are critical to inventory management within the distributors’ business software.


The IDW Item Status codes indicate when items are:

  • active
  • on temporary engineering hold
  • on planned obsolescence
  • obsolete
  • withdrawn
  • effected by GTIN changes


Distributor and Contractor business system software can also take advantage of the process changes these codes initiate to assist in inventory management.


For example, “P” for planned obsolescence, warns the distributor of items the manufacturer plans to delete from their product line. In many cases a report is initiated for the purchasing personnel to ensure these items are not re-ordered. This scenario might be handled by notifying sales management so they can create special sales opportunities to sell off remaining inventory. Notification of the pending obsolescence is important to ensure any “returns for credit” are quickly submitted. All of this activity is generated off of the receipt of a single code changing from “A” to “P” for a single Stock Keeping Unit (SKU). Item Status codes play an important role in distributor business systems while also allowing them to properly manage their inventory.


Replacement Universal Product Code (UPC) and Replacement Catalog number fields also help the distributor with the removal and replacement of new items. These fields tell the distributor exactly which item should be purchased in place of the item being retired. This information is part of the distributors’ download, and can be read by their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.


The problem is that important messages like stop using part # XYZ, start using part # ABC instead, are not reaching the folks who are crafting the data.


If the distributor still has inventory of the older product, he needs an opportunity to move those products. They may be obsolete to the manufacturer, but to the distributor they remain viable products until they leave his inventory. Writing phrases like, “Obsolete”, “OBS”, “Deleted item”, “Replaced by…”, “Part is old”, or other similar notes in the description field (which is printed on the customers’ invoices) does not help to make the sale. Even if the manufacturer sends out a letter listing items planned for retirement, it may not reach the correct person or may be improperly entered when it is retyped.


The ‘replaced by’ data is extremely valuable. It allows the distributor to retain a sale by automatically moving the customer to a newer product. IDW indefinitely retains the older part numbers so this conversion can occur 20 years after the product is obsolete. Manufacturers should take advantage of the powerful tools that the IDW application and data provides. Utilizing the Item Status codes can save your company and your customers’ bottom lines.



Tags for this post: idw item status codes

Back To Top

Did You Know? IDW Hot Facts

Although most Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software programs include inbound mapping functionality, it requires extra time to set up and test the results of the map. However, frequently sourced data coming from non- Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) sources may not offer field consistency.


The IDW has a built-in native outbound mapper which allows distributors to select the exact fields, choose the field order and select the field name. The mapper also includes a number of "transformations" which further manipulate the data and save time. Transformations may be set to convert any lower case items to upper case, convert IDW date formats to customer ERP formats and supplement missing field terminators (i.e. adding a dash in place of a space).


It is also possible to:


  • set up a single format of the file layout
  • create more than one related map for manufacturer-specific fields
  • select fields required by each distributor business software.


To learn more about IDW’s pre-built outbound maps, please email us at .  


Tags for this post: idw hot facts erp

Back To Top

Need more info?

Customer Service:

View Latest eBusiness education and news for the electrical supply chain. Become an eBiz expert today! subscribe >