News & Events

This Week in IDEA | April 16, 2012

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

IDEA Launches the Data Management Platform (DMP)

­ (Hear from industry early adopters who participated in the DMP pilot program as they take part in a panel discussion at the IDEA E-Biz Forum)

IDEA officially launched the new Data Management Platform (DMP) this week, which integrates seamlessly with the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) and increases efficiencies for manufacturers and distributors. This new solution enables manufacturers to aggregate, synchronize and ­communicate product information with distributors, retailers and other trading partners through one application. With the DMP, manufacturers can comply with electrical wholesale standards defined within the IDW, global standards defined by the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), and any other mandates that may be required by a trading partner.

"It is crucial that companies adapt to change and understand that the cutting edge, next generation of data synchronization is all around us. Creating one source of your product information, automating it through a certified data management platform, validating it and synchronizing it to multiple channels at one time―now that’s a game changer," said Samer Shehadeh, EDI manager, Cooper Industries.

Distributors can leverage the DMP to manage and validate the product information they receive from various sources, such as the IDW and direct from manufacturers, in one location before importing it into their business system and packaging it for end users via print and online media. The DMP enables distributors to be more specific with their product data requests which can help manufacturers prioritize their product data sourcing efforts.

“The DMP enables two-way interactions with manufacturers which will make it much more efficient to respond to requests in the channel. By using this platform, I can flag products and work with a manufacturer on the product data as if we are sitting at a table face-to-face,” said Jason Archbold, marketing catalog supervisor, Border States Electric.

The launch comes after the successful completion of the DMP Pilot Program which included participants from: Border States Electric, Cooper Industries, Crescent Electric Supply, Leviton, Lutron, and OSRAM SYLVANIA. Milbank Manufacturing Company was the first company to use the DMP in production. These companies helped test the new software, and provide suggestions for improvement on behalf of the industry.

“The DMP was developed for and by the electrical channel through a collaborative approach. The invaluable time the pilot participants contributed and leadership they demonstrated to perfect this product will help many companies experience productivity gains for years to come,” said Bob Gaylord, president and CEO, IDEA.

Please visit the Data Management Platform (DMP) web pages to learn more.

View the press release online and download the pdf.

Be the first to comment on this article.

Tags for this post: idw leviton border states crescent electric osram sylvania lutron milbank cooper industries dmp

Back To Top

New EDI Solution Enables Automation with Non-EDI Customers


­(click for full size image)

iCone­x, IDEA’s newest B2B eCommerce solution, enables manufacturers and distributors to automate order management processes with trading partners that are not EDI-capable, which can help quickly increase the percentage of orders that are processed electronically. Integrated with the Industry Data Exchange (IDX) network, iConex helps maximize ROI for IDX users and their customers by leveraging the existing systems, processes and people without the need for additional capital investment in hardware or software.

iConex enables us to convert high volume non-EDI customers to an EDI process with no capital investment, no internal resources and no data errors. The iConex process helps our customer service reps to increase productivity by reducing the time spent on data entry. We truly believe in iConex and think this is a great opportunity to reduce costs and improve customer service.” -- James Wilkinson, Director of Business Process Management, McNaughton-McKay

What Makes iConex Different?

iConex captures the actual data from the documents transmitted, providing you with 100% data-capture accuracy, unlike an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) order-scanning solution. Unlike online portals, iConex doesn’t require your customers to spend time re-keying orders into a supplier’s web store. Instead of offering discounts to encourage customers to place orders electronically, you can leverage iConex, which does not require your customers to make any changes to their processes.

Please contact your IDEA account manager at or call to find out more about iConex.

Download the iConex product brief for more details>

View the IDEA and ecmarkets partnership press release>

Be the first to comment on this article.

Tags for this post: edi idx iconex mcnaughton-mckay

Back To Top

Electrical Execs Advocate Business Benefits of Standards

­The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment system, is sponsoring the Standards Boost Business campaign as an “educational and outreach effort to encourage businesses to dedicate resources to standardization systems and efforts.” This is a public awareness campaign aimed at C-level executives and other private-sector leaders to increase understanding of how the U.S. voluntary standards system and its activities can boost business performance.

As part of the campaign, ANSI features video interviews with lea­ders in the industry explaining why they’re participating in the campaign and how standards have helped their businesses.

Timothy Powers, Chairman, President and CEO of Hubbell Incorporated, shares how Hubbell utilizes the ANSI standard for EDI (ANSI X12 or IDEA EDIPro) to make it easier for their customers to do business with them compared to competitors.­

Tom Gross, Vice Chairman and COO, Electrical Sector, of Eaton Corporation, discusses how standards enable companies to achieve innovation and create opportunities that can boost the entire electrical industry.

­ ­

Evan Gaddis, President and CEO of NEMA, speaks to the importance of standards and how it keeps companies relevant by opening doors to the world-wide market. ­

Be the first to comment on this article.

Tags for this post: standards nema hubbell eaton ansi

Back To Top

There’s an App for That

Content courtesy of tED Magazine

According to this blog post from, distributors can leverage mobile and tablet apps to provide more relevant customer service to end-users such as contractors. In addition, the post claims that distributors who utilize apps position themselves as market leaders by anticipating the trends of their increasingly mobile customers. The post includes an interview with NAED member Elliott Electric Supply of Austin, Texas and their success with developing a mobile app in-house to better service their customers.

Read the blog post>

Be the first to comment on this article.

Tags for this post: naed ted magazine app elliott electric supply

Back To Top

First Sponsors of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2012

­Thank you to Border States Electric, Digital Business Architects (DBA) and Kirby Risk Electrical Supply their Bronze sponsorship of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2012, the only eBusiness event dedicated to business-to-business leaders in the electrical ­supply chain. Their leadership and part­nership is greatly appreciated. Join the ranks of these eBusiness leaders - take a look at the sponsor benefits to select your company sponsorship and su­bmit t­he sponsor form to secure your sponsored event.


Border States Electric (BSE)provides products and services to the construction, industrial and utility markets. Active employees own 100 percent of the company under the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). The employee-owned company has approximately 1,400 employees and 56 branch operations in 13 states. BSE is the seventh largest electrical distributor and one of the 100 largest private ESOP companies in the U.S. Corporate headquarters are located in Fargo, N.D. For more information, visit

Digital Business Architects (DBA), a technology consultancy delivering collaborative software solutions, delivers core services including software application development, systems integration, and IT opportunity assessment. DBA performs the necessary software maintenance and development services for the Industry Retail Database (IRD) CERICOMX® application in order to maintain data synchronization compatibility with the 1SYNC Data Pool and enhance the software functionality based on customer feedback and Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) requirements. To learn more, visit

­Kirby Risk Electrical Supply has been providing products, service and solutions to the marketplace since 1926. Today, Kirby Risk has evolved and continues to provide premium electrical products to Industrial, OEM, Construction, and Commercial and Institutional markets. Kirby Risk is a leading distributor in the Midwest with 38 stocking locations and a central distribution center serving Indiana, Central and Southern Illinois, and Northwest Ohio. Kirby Risk has grown its presence in these markets; and as a result, is now ranked by sales volume in the top 20 of Electrical Suppliers in the United States. Learn more at

Be the first to comment on this article.

Tags for this post: None

Back To Top

New Synchronization Customers

New DMP Customer

Milbank, a manufacturer from Kansas City, MO, is a leading provider of electrical metering and associated products and is dedicated to ensuring their offerings meet the current and future electrical distribution requirements for residential, commercial, industrial and public markets. They will be using the Data Management Platform (DMP) to communicate product information more efficiently to their trading partners by syncing product information with both retail and wholesale distributors. While not an overnight process, Milbank is committed to steadily gathering, cleansing and loading as many attributes from the industry’s Electrical Attribute Schema into the DMP as they can as part of Milbank’s 2012 initiatives in Master Data Management. Find out more at

New IRD CERICOMX® Customers

As a 1SYNC Data Pool On-Board Solution (OBS) partner, IDEA implements suppliers that subscribe to the 1SYNC data pool using the IRD CERICOMX® Data Synchronization Platform. IDEA was recently assigned 15 suppliers:

These companies will be trained to use IRD CERICOMX®, an online catalog that suppliers use to register product data with the GS1 Registry® and GDSN via the 1SYNC Data Pool. Suppliers also use this solution to publish product data to demand partners including retailers such as Lowe’s and Walmart.

Be the first to comment on this article.

Tags for this post: customers milbank

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 >