News & Events

This Week in IDEA | April 29, 2009

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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New IDEA IRD Customers

IDEA announces four new IDEA IRD customers. Read more about these companies and how you can begin trading with them electronically to expand your business.

New IDEA IRD 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 four 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 find out more about the CERICOMX® product, please contact , IRD Product & Customer Support Manager, at .

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IDEA Teams with Affiliated Distributors (A-D) to Offer Synchronization Pilot Program

Pilot aims to address and improve synchronization processes at A-D member organizations

IDEA and Affiliated Distributors (A-D), a wholesale buying and marketing group, recently announced plans to begin a pilot program under which IDEA will assist A-D members with recommendations on improving their synchronization processes.

Prior to the announcement, IDEA had been working with four A-D members over a 60 day period to help both organizations define the scope of the program – which is exclusive to A-D for the 2009 calendar year.

The program is part of IDEA’s comprehensive commitment to enable individuals and companies in the electrical channel with a roadmap for synchronization. The pilot is broken down into three phases: analysis, recommendation, and execution.

"A-D is very pleased to join forces with a partner who is committed to synchronization within the electrical channel. Leadership from both organizations understands that in a globally competitive economy, businesses must be innovative and leverage opportunities to invest in, and use, critical tools and resources that eliminate operational costs and increase sales. We continue to be committed to providing our members with such opportunities to thrive," said Bill Weisberg, CEO, Affiliated Distributors.

IDEA is working closely with A-D and participating members to ensure that the pilot program is a success. IDEA will introduce the program industry-wide after the A-D pilot program is completed.

“Affiliated Distributors is taking an innovative approach to helping their members achieve efficiencies in a difficult and uncertain economic time. The one certainty in these times is that any company, regardless of how big or small, can gain undeniable efficiencies and cost savings with transactional synchronization - and the time to take advantage of that synchronization is now.” said Bob Gaylord, president and CEO, IDEA.

About Affiliated Distributors

Affiliated Distributors is the largest wholesale buying and marketing group in North America, comprised of over 530 independent distributor companies with over 3,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The A-D membership commands over $27 Billion in sales across six industries: electrical supplies; industrial supplies; plumbing supplies; HVAC equipment and supplies; drywall and drywall related products; and pipe, valves and fittings.

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Mark Your Calendars: Forum Registration Opens May 6 with New Added Promotions!

Mark your calendars and set your reminders to register for the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2009 on Wednesday, May 6. The 2009 schedule and event details will be released next week along with online registration. For now, take a sneak peek.

This year's agenda features keynote presentations from highly sought-after experts and focused educational and training sessions that cover your specific interests we've received requests for. This year IDEA is introducing a new Industry Data Exchange (IDX) User Group and adding IDEA training sessions to the agenda to increase ROI for customers. Some event highlights include:

Keynote Presentations:

  • “How to Compete in a Global Economy” - Todd Buchholz, Renowned Economic Advisor and Author
  • “The Human Aspects of Change” - Ray Bender, former VP and Research Director for Gartner Group North America
  • “Why Settle for the Balcony? Get a Front-row Seat in Life!” – Marilyn Sherman, UpFront Presentations

Breakout Sessions:

  • How to do More with Less Using eCommerce
  • Executive Session - Capturing Your "Green" Opportunity
  • Attributes for Dummies: How Product Category Codes and Attributes Sell Your Product
  • Next-Generation B2B eCommerce (B2B 2.0)

Special Events:

  • NEW! Industry Data Exchange (IDX) and Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) User Groups
  • Showdown at Wild Horse Ranch
  • Tech Center Passport Tour

Take advantage of the event promotions and discounts to get more for less as you plan your trip.

2009 Event Promotions:

  • NEW! Buy two registrations, get the third FREE!
  • New customers (joined IDEA after September 1, 2008) get one free registration
  • 5% discount on air travel with American Airlines. Code: A1999AD
  • Discount on a private shuttle direct from airport to Forum location. Group Code: IDEA
  • Avis Rent A Car discount seven days before and after the Forum. Code: G028443

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New EDI and Data Content Standards Resources Released

The IDEA Industry Standards Committee (ISC) recently published two new best practices documents: “Recommended Practice for Special Circumstance Scenarios with EDI 850 Purchase Orders” and “IDEA Standards for Product Life Cycle Management Benefit Analysis”. These documents are now available for public use on the IDEA Portal.

The new document published for the EDI 850 standard provides best practices for the following special circumstances:

  • Drop Ship Orders: an order that needs to be shipped directly to a location different than the point of purchase (e.g. a distributor branch needs to ship an order to an end user or construction site).
  • Emergency Orders: an order that needs to be shipped to its destination faster than the normal shipping process can accommodate.
  • Promotion Orders: an order that may require special handling, outside of a regular product sale (e.g. discount orders for a trade show or holiday promotion).

Download “Recommended Practice for Special Circumstance Scenarios with EDI 850 Purchase Orders” now  or access it later on the IDEA Portal >My Training and Support>Standards.

The product life cycle benefit analysis provides recommendations to address common problems that occur in a distributor’s business system when the following actions are not properly communicated between trading partners:

  • Changes in product life cycle status (e.g. new, on hold, phasing out, obsolete, replaced by, etc.)
  • Introducing replacement products (e.g. this is suggested replacement for…)
  • Notifications of price changes (e.g. effective date, what will change and by how much…)

The analysis drills down to the purpose, common problems, recommended solutions and benefits of each item status code and provides best practices for catalog number changes. Manufacturers are encouraged to adhere to these guidelines to improve the usefulness and quality of the data shared between trading partners, resulting in lower operating costs, superior service and increased sales opportunities for all companies involved.

Download “IDEA Standards for Product Life Cycle Management Benefit Analysis” now or access it later on the IDEA Portal>My Training and Support>Standards.

The ISC holds their next meeting at the Graybar Office in St. Louis, MO on May 5-7, 2009. Join a Committee to get involved.

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IDW and IDX May ‘09 Training

This month IDEA continues to offer training sessions for Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) and Industry Data Exchange (IDX). The May training details are now available.

On-Demand IDW Training

IDW training will move from scheduled weekly sessions to on-demand one-on-one sessions. This change has been made to accomodate customer schedules and to encourage a more customizable approach to learning the application. The new trainings will be divided into two parts for manufacturers and distributors. Part one will review the essential business elements of IDW and part two will dive deeper into the application. This two-part approach will give customers time to practice in the application between sessions so that all questions and additional toolds can be covered in part two. Niche training (e.g. net price, inbound mapping, etc.) is also available upon request.

Customers interested in scheduling a one-on-one training session for IDW should contact , DSP Support Administrator, at .

Scheduled IDX Tracker Training

Tuesday, May 5: 1:30-2:30 PM
Tuesday, May 12: 1:30-2:30 PM
Tuesday, May 19: 1:30-2:30 PM
Tuesday, May 26: 1:30-2:30 PM

Times don't work for your schedule? Contact our flexible IDX training expert, at to schedule a one-on-one training at a time that works for you.

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IDW Hot Fact: Data Source Identifier Codes Added

As part of IDEA’s data sourcing efforts, the IDW team is working with a third-party vendor to source more data attributes for existing and new IDW manufacturers. Data source identifier codes are now available in IDW to denote whether data was provided direct from the manufacturer or via a third-party. The codes used to identify the data source are shown on the IDW profile screens under the new Data Source field. The codes include:

  • MfrDir - Manufacturer Direct Data
  • 3rdPS - Third-Party Sourced Data
  • Mfr3PS - Manufacturer Direct Data with Third-party Sourced Marketing Content (a hybrid of the two)

Data provided by a third-party is further identified in the seller class code field based on the status of manufacturer approval. The seller class codes for third-party provided data include:

  • 3PSMA - Manufacturer Approved
  • 3PSMP - Manufacturer Approval Pending
  • 3PSNA - Not Manufacturer Approved

IDEA will maintain these codes during all data sourcing efforts to help manufacturers identify data they need to provide/approve and to communicate data origination to distributors.

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