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This Week in IDEA | April 26, 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.


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Climbing the eBiz Mountain


The 2012 winners of IDEA’s Richard Buzun Award, Cooper Industries and Border States Electric (BSE) share their unique success stories and tips to help other manufacturers and distributors make an impact in NEMA’s latest issue of electroindustry.

With a vision of uniting its divisions to operate as “one company—one face,” Cooper cleaned up and certified product data for their trading partners, automated electronic data interchange (EDI) processes, and developed a consistent process to populate the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW across divisions. BSE worked with more than 100 manufacturers to automate the product data retrieval process so that they could meet customer expectations in regards to product catalogs and eCommerce capabilities. Cooper and BSE discuss the best practices they embraced throughout each phase of their eBusiness initiatives: grasp the big picture, determine pr­iorities, involve customers and follow-up with directives to “commit, communicate, innovate.”

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NAED Exec Guide: Strategically Managing Online Presence


NAED’s Strategic Technology Task Force recently published the “Executive’s Guide to Strategically Managing Your Company’s Online Presence” to provide distributor executives with the critical questions and best practices needed to create an impactful online presence. The guide addresses topics such as: e-commerce websites, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile and tablet optimization, and web analytics.

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Congratulations to NAED Annual Award Winners!

NAED’s Annual Awards recognize “distributors who have made an outstanding contribution to both the electrical channel and NAED.” This year, NAED awarded Tom Cloud, Chairman of United Electric Supply (UES), with the highest honor, the Arthur W. Hooper Achievement Award.

Larry Stern, President of Standard Electric Supply, was presented with the Distributor Distinguished Service Award for his service on NAED’s Boards and task forces as well as those of many other organizations in the industry. Stern isthe current IDEA Chairman through which he is helping to enhance the richness of marketing product data for the industry.

Liz O’Grady, National Sales Manager of Thomas & Betts, was presented with the Associate Service Award for her promotion and support of NAED as part of an electrical manufacturer. Grady was particularly acknowledged for her contribution to launching the “Women in Industry Group” and her enthusiasm for NAED’s resources, training opportunities and conferences.

Legrand was recognized with the Industry Award of Merit as an outstanding NAED member who actively promoted, supported and improved the electrical distribution channel. When the Manufacturer Associate Program was created, Legrand was the first manufacturer to represent on the NAED Board and has continued to demonstrate initiative and dedication to the industry.

Congratulations to all the NAED Annual Award Winners: Tom Cloud of UES, Larry Stern of Standard Electric Supply, Liz O’Grady of Thomas & Betts, and Legrand!

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Erik Wahl Announced as Keynote Speaker of the 2012 E-Biz Forum

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 Erik Wahl's video tribute to Steve Jobs

Erik Wahl, an internationally recognized graffiti artist, author and entrepreneur, will open the ­2012 IDEA E-Biz Forum on September 26th in Dallas, TX. Wahl redefines “keynote speaker” by incorporating on-stage painting as a visual metaphor of his core message, encouraging organizations toward profitability through innovations and superior levels of performance. Wahl’s paintings auction from $7,000 – $27,000 – Forum attendees will help us decide which charitable cause will get the proceeds.

The Art of Vision

The best sustainable edge in business is the ability to differentiate yourself from your competition. Through this entertaining and highly practical program, we will uncover new ways to make your organization more creative, innovative and profitable, but more-so, help your employees to see the need to become better storytellers within your company and towards your industry.

Professionals at all levels, who embrace innovative strategies, can achieve superior levels of performance by creatively and visibly differentiating themselves from the competition. No matter what kind of organization—from small companies to large corporations—employees at all levels will better embrace the future by becoming more innovative, more productive and ultimately more profitable.

About Wahl­

­ ­Wahl’s understanding of vision was originally born in the school of disappointment. After an eight-year career as a partner in a corporate firm, he became frustrated by the lack of innovative thought and corresponding profits he saw in business. So, he set out to challenge companies to change their way of thinking, while simultaneously pursuing his own individual passions. He rediscovered his love for art, and now plays in th­e business world by working through his art. Find out more about Wahl>­

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GE and ILSCO are new Sponsors of the E-Biz Forum


IDEA is proud to announce new sponsors of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2012. Thank you to GE ­and ILSCO for their Bronze sponsorship.

Leading the future of electrification around the globe, GE Energy's Industrial Solutions division forges strong relationships with customers, identifies challenges then solves them, and invests in innovative technologies that help create a cleaner, smarter and more efficient electrical infrastructure. Residing in more than 60 countries, our dedicated teams from Electrical Distribution, Industrial Services and Motors manufacture and service products for residential, commercial and industrial applications. Find out more at


ILSCO serves the following markets in the electrical industry: OEM's, MRO's, Utilities, Construction & Industrial (C&I), Residential, Telecom as well as Renewable Energy. ILSCO’s aggressive entrepreneurial spirit has been a guiding force, sustaining and growing the company. With a strong record of investment in new products, capital equipment and e-commerce, ILSCO is helping to ensure prosperity now and in the future. ILSCO was established in 1894 as the Incandescent Light and Stove Company and, as technology has advanced over time, their manufacturing capabilities and expertise have advanced as well. Find out more at ­ or follow ILSCO on , , and .

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New IDEA Team Members

­­­­­­Amy Brennan, formerly of Epicor Software Corporation, has joined the Sales & Marketing team as the Senior Sales Representative. Brennan will serve a new business sales territory and focus on helping manufacturers and distributors evaluate IDEA’s solutions and services.

With over 24 years of experience combined at Epicor and their acquisition companies, Brennan is intimately familiar with the industrial distribution channel and has specialized experience in ERP system product lines including Eclipse and Prophet21. Brennan is a Connecticut native and enjoys contributing to her community by serving the educational system and sports organizations. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and Business from Skidmore College (NY).

Amy can be reached at or at .

­Justin Smith will define project objectives and oversee quality control throughout the life cycle of IDEA’s synchronization solutions as the Data Synchronization Platform Project Manager. In addition, he will evaluate emerging technologies and their potential application to IDEA solutions and services. Smith will be coordinating the efforts of team members, third-party contractors and consultants to deliver innovative solutions and maintain quality assurance for IDEA customers.

Most recently, Smith was the Chemical Inventory Database Manager for the Biochemical Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (N.I.S.T.). He also works as a freelance puzzle constructor. His creations are available on his website ( and have been recognized in publications such as the NY Sun and GAMES Magazine. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida and enrolled in the PhD program for Chemical Engineering at Cornell University.

­Justin can be reached at or at .

Please join us in welcoming Amy and Justin to the IDEA team!­

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New Synchronization Customers

New IDW Customer

Tacoma Electric Supply, a full-service electrical distributor headquartered in Tacoma, WA, became an IDW customer on April 19, 2012. Since the company was founded in 1981, Tacoma Electric has expanded to two branches in Tacoma and Puyallup and is consistently recognized in Electrical Wholesaling as one of the top 200 largest distributors in the nation. They will utilize the IDW to obtain product and pricing information from their suppliers. 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 10 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.

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