News & Events

This Week in IDEA | April 14, 2010

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

A Manufacturer’s 10-Step Data Preparation Plan

Last week we announced the top four data content requests from distributors. This week we are sharing best practices from one of our manufacturer customers on how to deliver and/or update data in the IDW Data Synchronization Platform and answer those types of requests. Phil Barrios, IDEA Standards Committee Chair and Sr. Director, Corp. Marketing & E-Business of Hubbell Incorporated, recommends this 10-step action plan.

1. Clean up old data – determine current sellable merchandise and purge or archive your old product data.
2. Separate product data based on usage – determine which product data will benefit distribution.
3. Export core/transactional data– this includes the data needed to conduct a business transaction. Sort all distribution products by catalog number and check for problem areas.
4. Develop internal standards – define acceptable data values for the problem areas identified (e.g. Hubbell discovered that some product descriptions stated “no description available”).
5. Fix problem areas – apply the internal standards to all your current data and take the opportunity to teach product managers best practices for data quality.
6. Re-import data – after data is cleaned, import it into your business system to have “one version of the truth”– current and accurate data.
7. Develop a product life-cycle management process – decide how you will keep product data up-to-date (e.g. you can’t launch a product until certain information is available and stored in your business system). This requires the most discipline and is often the hardest step of change management.
8. Sync data with trading partners – now you are ready to convey the updated (clean) data into IDW, to ensure your internal data matches the data your customers use to search for and sell your products.
9. Keep data updated – send product updates to IDW as it becomes available and give your trading partners advance notice of important changes using IDW features such as product life-cycle or future pricing indicator codes.
10. Focus on providing attributed data – utilize the Electrical Attribute Schema to begin the process of populating IDW with standardized product descriptions and marketing information.

Barrios shared his best practices in the case study “A Journey through Data Discovery”. These steps can serve as a quick check-list for any manufacturer that is ready to improve the quality and accuracy of its IDW data.

Tags for this post: idw standards data synchronization data quality

Back To Top

Dan Clark Announced Keynote Speaker of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2010

IDEA is proud to announce Dan Clark, Best Selling Author and Award-Winning Athlete, as the keynote speaker of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2010. Named one of the top 10 speakers in the world, Clark’s resume highlights include: CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation, athlete, entertainer and New York Times Best Selling Author. Clark is the primary contributing author to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series and numerous other best selling books. Clark will close the event on September 22nd.

About Clark
Dan Clark is an internationally recognized professional speaker, certified trainer, New York Times best selling author, songwriter/artist and CEO of Clark Success Systems – a multi-million dollar speaking, publishing, sports performance and business-consulting firm.

The Writer
Clark is the primary contributing editor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series and author of twenty of his own best selling books on leadership, business management, poetry, humor, public speaking and personal development including “Forgotten Fundamentals”. Clark’s world famous story “Puppies for Sale” was made into an award-winning film starring Jack Lemmon. As a master storyteller, he has been published in over 30 million books in 30 languages worldwide.

The Speaker, Trainer and Leader
Clark was sponsored by Zig Ziglar into the National Speakers Association in 1982, and has since appeared on 500 television and radio programs including Oprah and Glenn Beck and as the cover story in Millionaire Magazine. In 1999, Achievers North America and Achievers Europe named Clark one the Top Ten Speakers in the World, and in 2005, he was inducted into the National Speakers Hall of Fame. Clark has been the keynote speaker at the United Nations World Congress in Hamburg, Germany, and has conducted UN leadership training in Europe, Asia and the former Soviet Union. In addition, he has inspired and entertained our combat troops in the Middle East, speaking 23 times on 12 bases and on the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier.

The Athlete
Clark was a Golden Gloves boxing champion at 17, Moto-X racing champ, Alpine ski racing champ, All-State baseball pitcher and Sunkist All-American football player at 18 and projected as a National Football League #1 draft choice at 22.

To give back, Clark serves on the International Board of Governors of Operation Smile and on the National Advisory Board for OK Kids Charities. Learn more about Clark at

Save the Date - Forum Online Registration Opens April 30th!

Tags for this post: ebiz forum news speakers dan clark

Back To Top

Activant and Lutron: Sponsors of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2010

­­­­­Thanks to Activant for their Diamond level sponsorship and Lutron for their Bronze level sponsorship of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2010. These companies demonstrate their support of the training and educational event where B2B leaders in the electrical supply chain and other related verticals discover how to utilize the latest eBusiness strategies and technologies. Their leadership and support is greatly appreciated by all.


About Activant
Activant Solutions Inc. ("Activant") is a leading technology provider of business management solutions serving small and medium-sized distributors and specialty retailers. Activant provides customers with industry-specific software, professional services, content, supply chain connectivity, and analytics.

Over 30,000 customer locations use Activant to manage their day-to-day operations, in both USA and Canada. Activant's systems are designed to help customers increase sales, boost productivity, operate more cost-efficiently, improve inventory turns and enhance trading partner relationships. Headquartered in Livermore, California, Activant has operations in Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. For more information, please visit


About Lutron
Lutron Electronics Co., Inc, headquartered in Coopersburg, Pa., is the world leader in the design and manufacture of lighting control solutions for both residential and commercial applications. The company offers a wide variety of lighting controls, whole-home and whole-building dimming systems, and controllable window treatments as well as energy saving products. In homes and public buildings around the world, Lutron products save energy while enhancing the appearance and atmosphere of any space, from a single room to an entire structure. Find out more at

Join the ranks of these eBusiness leaders - take a look at the sponsor benefits to select and confirm your company sponsorship.

Tags for this post: ebiz forum sponsors activant lutron

Back To Top

New B2B eCommerce and Synchronization Customers

New IDX Customer

Becker Electric, of Dayton, Ohio, became an IDX customer on April 9, 2010. They are an independent distributor of electrical products, services, and project support to commercial, industrial, and residential contractors, industrial plants, power utilities and commercial customers. Becker is in their 90th year, offering solutions for energy management needs. They will be taking advantage of the cost savings and reliability of Industry Data Exchange (IDX) to exchange B2B documents effective May 1, 2010. Find out more at  Welcome aboard!

New IRD CERICOMX® Customers
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 16 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 like Lowe’s and Walmart.

Tags for this post: customers idx ird

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 >