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This Week in IDEA | April 26, 2013

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.


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IDEA Opinion Research Survey Highlights

Thank you to all who participated in the IDEA Opinion Research Survey this year. The survey was conducted in February/March 2013 and sent to IDEA customers. We are so grateful for your support and really appreciate the time you took to give us your honest feedback. The results will be used to prioritize customer service and product improvements.

Key Findings:

We asked you to describe IDEA in your own words and you said…

*The larger the font, the more often that word was used in the descriptions.

The most common reasons people are IDEA customers: Over 50% said it was to make trading partners and customers happy and support the industry. Almost half of the respondents also said it was because they wanted to use applications with a standards-based foundation.

Ease of use is the most important factor in selecting a service provider: 68.6% of respondents ranked it as the most important. Future growth opportunities followed by cost were the next top factors.

What makes IDEA different from other technology service providers:

Respondents commented that they use the IDW because the product data is robust, manufacturer-owned, accurate and up-to-date.

“If it were not for the data in IDW, we would not have made a sale. It was that important that the data on these particular products be available there for this customer!”

“IDW is the best source for accurate data for the distributor. You can pull it any time you need it. You can pull future data as it is loaded by the manufacturer. Since the data comes directly from the manufacturer, I know it is very accurate.”

For the Industry. By the Industry.

“It's rare to work with an organization that is so determined to help other organizations. The people at IDEA have the attitude that their own success is dependent on my success. They will do what I need to help me get there. They're always available to help and the response time is very quick.”

“IDEA provides great opportunities for a manufacturer to help shape eCommerce in the industry. They ask for feedback on solutions, and encourage participation at the Forum and standards meetings. In addition, their services add real value to the bottom line. No where else can one find this kind of culture, which has evolved into one that encourages participation and collaboration from its members.”

“Integrity in gathering and managing our data. Data standards enforced to make us a better data partner to our customers. Top-notch data quality and customer service teams. Being a leader in the industry for data standards and paving the way for new data partnerships (e.g. UNSPSC & ETIM).”

The majority of respondents ranked their satisfaction with IDEA and the IDW as "satisfied" or “very satisfied” and would be likely to recommend IDEA to others.

While this is positive feedback, we will continue to improve our satisfaction ratings by utilizing all the feedback shared in this survey. Thank you again for your support of the industry and congratulations to our four survey raffle winners of $25 VISA gift cards!  

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Hubbell Senior Execs Promote IDW Focus

Hubbell’s new President and CEO, David Nord, and Chairman of the Board, Timothy Powers, discuss “One Hubbell” strategic objectives in the 2012 Hubbell Incorporated leadership message and annual report. The first of those objectives is “Serving Our Customers.” Hubbell mentions how they use the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) to provide robust product data to their customers as one way to reach this objective. Here’s an excerpt from their annual report:

One Hubbell – Serving Our Customers

Our Company takes pride in being known in the market for providing reliable electrical solutions. In today’s market, competitive advantage is often derived from how you do business, accretive to the value of the products sold to a customer. This understanding has fostered an array of “soft products” we use to build customer loyalty. These include electronic connections with our key customers; providing seamless order entry and invoicing, instant access to our inventory, current order and shipping status; and helping manage their Hubbell inventories with automatic product replenishments. In addition, with online commerce shaping new business models, the need for product information is becoming as important as the product itself. This is a primary reason why Hubbell has worked hard to supply product details, images and specifications to an industry-sponsored data warehouse (IDW), where our channel partners can download and utilize this information to promote Hubbell products on their websites. The supply of this unique data and long history of electronic commerce initiatives proved rewarding as Hubbell received the 2012 Richard Buzun Award from IDEA, an industry organization owned equally by leading electrical manufacturers (NEMA) and electrical distributors (NAED). The award recognizes one manufacturer each year for its leadership and accomplishments in eBusiness.

The additional “One Hubbell” objectives include: Operating with Discipline, Growing the Enterprise and Developing our People. You can find out more about Hubbell’s 2012 accomplishments and strategic direction by watching their leadership message and reading their annual report.

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Making a Difference at Work

In a review of the top 10 companies doing the most to make their employees happier in 2012, Forbes summarized that high salaries and light workloads don’t necessarily result in happy employees. Instead, employee incentive programs, ample benefits, career advancement programs, and great work-life balance were the top contributors to employee happiness.

The entire IDEA staff gets together the first Friday of each month for a team lunch, and people volunteer to share about their personal interests (Nutrition Advice, Golf 101, Travel Tips, etc). In one of these meetings, everyone was asked to write down suggestions on what they would change if they were President for a day.

Staying healthy was one of the top goals. One of the great benefits IDEA already offers is a gym reimbursement program for health club memberships, weight loss support group or home fitness workout programs. To add to this program, IDEA participated in a company-wide 60 day Fitness Challenge. The winning team (pictured below) averaged the highest number of fitness hours throughout the challenge.

The 2013 winners of the IDEA Fitness Challenge (from left): Jennifer Yi, Marketing Coordinator; Christine Olson, Sales Representative; Kimberly Terrell, Accounting Assistant; and Tom Guzik, B2B EDI Solutions Manager.

Another top goal that resonated not only with IDEA employees, but also with our customers and partners, was dedication to charitable causes. At the 2012 IDEA E-Biz Forum, keynote speaker Erik Wahl created a Steve Jobs painting to be auctioned and attendees were asked to vote for a charity to benefit from the proceeds. IDEA auctioned off the Steve Jobs painting for $3,000, and sent the donation to the top-voted Forum charity, the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief effort.

How is your company choosing to invest in employee happiness or make a difference in the community? We’d love to hear about it in the comments, tweet about your accomplishments, and highlight your cause in a future article. 

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Eaton and Kirby Risk are New Sponsors of the E-Biz Forum

IDEA is proud to announce new sponsors of the 2013 IDEA E-Biz Forum. Thank you to Eaton for their Silver sponsorship and Kirby Risk for their Bronze sponsorship. 

Eaton is a diversified power management company that provides energy-efficient solutions to help customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. The company is a global technology provider of electrical solutions spanning the industrial, commercial, military and automotive markets. Visit to learn more. 

Kirby Risk Electrical Supply is an operating business unit of Kirby Risk Corporation. The unit provides electrical, automation, lighting and power distribution solutions. Kirby Risk Corporation is a multi-faceted company with a wide range of services, including technical support and logistics management. Visit to learn more.

Download the Sponsor & Exhibitor form to learn about more benefits>

View more information about sponsorship online> 

For questions, comments and personal service regarding sponsoring or exhibiting, contact Kari Thomas at or .

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General Cable Reaches the IDW Platinum Band of Excellence

Congratulations to General Cable for recently achieving the IDW Platinum Band of Excellence. They are now providing marketing content for 75% - 100% of their stock items in the IDW. View all manufacturers with Bands of Excellence ratings>

Contact your Data Quality Analyst or email to find out where your company stands and how to achieve IDEA’s Platinum banding level. 

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