News & Events

This Week in IDEA | April 9, 2008

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

New Industry Data Warehouse and IDEA IRD Customers

New Industry Data Warehouse Customers


NESCO, Needham Electric Supply, from Canton, Massachusetts, recently expanded their eCommerce services and will now depend on Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for their product, pricing and catalogue data needs.

NESCO is a full-service distributor of electrical products. Their customers include electrical contractors, national accounts, commercial and industrial companies, institutional accounts, and OEMs. NESCO has 15 branch locations throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, and retail national account offices in California, Michigan, New York, and North Carolina. Find out more at  

OSRAM SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting

OSRAM SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting from Hillsboro, NH, recently expanded their eCommerce services and will now provide their product, pricing and catalogue information to Industry Data Warehouse (IDW).

The OSRAM SYLVANIA and OSRAM GmbH Global Automotive Lighting business is the world's largest manufacturer of automotive light sources. Together they produce over 400 lamp types for cars, trucks, and electronics in facilities throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Find out more about OSRAM SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting.

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 seven 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 .

Tags for this post: idw customers ird osram sylvania nesco

Back To Top

Rockwell Automation and Billtrust: Sponsors of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2008!

IDEA would like to thank Rockwell Automation for their Silver level sponsorship and Billtrust for their Bronze level sponsorship of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2008.

Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK), is a leading global provider of industrial automation control and information systems and services that help manufacturers achieve a competitive advantage in their businesses. The company brings together leading brands in industrial automation, including Allen-Bradley controls and services and Rockwell Software factory management software. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., the company employs about 20,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries. Find out more at  

Headquartered in Jamesburg, NJ, Billtrust is a leader in outsourced billing solutions. The company’s flagship product and service suite, called CompleteBilling, consists of paper, fax and e-mail billing as well Invoice Gateway, a hosted online billing and payment service. In addition, the company provides expert bill design, in-bill marketing services, and an integrated online customer service tool called CustomerCare. These comprehensive tools automate the billing process, enabling businesses to save money, increase productivity, improve cash flow, and seamlessly migrate to electronic delivery. More than 250 companies nationwide rely on Billtrust for their billing needs. Find out more at  

Tags for this post: ebiz forum sponsors rockwell automation billtrust

Back To Top

Be the First to Sign-Up for the eBusiness Event of the Decade

The IDEA E-Biz Forum 2008 registration gates are OPEN for you to “Celebrate the past and accelerate the future” as a sponsor, exhibitor, and attendee. Discover the daily agenda, straight-forward sign-ups and a simple way to nominate your company for the industry’s esteemed eCommerce award.

A Day in the Life of an Attendee


Imagine...arriving first class on a red carpet surrounded by luxurious gold columns before heading into some of the best educational sessions to date – all over looking an abundance of plant life, streams and fountains overlooking the historic Potomac River. That is just a peek of your attendee experience at the Gaylord National Resort. Want a visual? Take a tour of the newest Gaylord attraction.

Agenda highlights:

General Sessions

  • Be an Innovator: Integrate Quality Throughout Your Organization
    Tim Sanders, Former CSO, YAHOO
  • The Next Digital Decade
    Michael Rogers, Practical Futurist, MSNBC
  • Data Synchronization Panel: Size Doesn't Matter
    Moderator: Gene Randall, Renowned Television Journalist

Check out the General Session Speaker Bios.

Networking Activities

  • Forum Golf Tournament - Renditions Golf Course
  • "Casino Royale" Night Out in Old Town Alexandria
  • IDEA 10 Year Anniversary Gala *cocktail attire event

Break-out Sessions

  • Data Supply vs. Demand
    Phil Barrios, Hubbell Inc.
  • Case Study: Increased Trading Partner Profits via Industry Data Warehouse
    John Wilson, OSRAM SYLVANIA; Phil Hale, Elliott Electric
  • Beyond EDI - the Next Generation of eBusiness
    Matt Petersen, SAP America
  • Business Dimensions of Data Synchronization
    Steve Bieszczat, Activant Solutions

Want the daily breakdown? View the complete agenda.

Get More Bang for Your Buck: Sign-up Early

Whether your goal is to position your company as a forward thinking leader, demonstrate your service capabilities, grow professionally or all of the above, we can help. Visit the registration page to sign-up as a sponsor, exhibitor and attendee.

Perks of Early Sign-up:

  • Early sponsors receive recognition in pre-event promotions and have first choice of a sponsored events
  • Exhibitors select booths on a first come, first serve basis – $500 off booth fee!
  • $100 off registration fees!

Now Accepting Nominations for the 2nd Annual Richard Buzun Award for Leadership and Innovation in eCommerce

Last year IDEA introduced an industry eCommerce award named after the late Richard Buzun, an industry role model and former IDEA Chairman and CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation. The award honors a manufacturer and distributor company that strives to improve the industry through eCommerce initiatives. The 2007 manufacturer and distributor winners were OSRAM SYLVANIA and Viking Electric Supply.

Be sure to nominate your company for the 2nd Annual Richard Buzun Award. Winners will be announced on the last day of the Forum and recognized long after. A few minutes of your time could result in endless possibilities for your company. Find out more about the award or take the first step and nominate your company.

Tags for this post: ebiz forum events richard buzun awards

Back To Top

Make the Impossible Possible with Outsourced Integration Technology

NINE MONTHS. It may take that long to set up an electronic trading connection to a major supplier or customer. Nine months for each and every one? This may be a familiar scenario at your company because you are engaged in doing all the integration and connections yourself. Worse, those connections - whether via email, the Web or EDI - may all be supported by different and ultimately inefficient processes inside your company. Some companies have to chase down orders via phone, fax or email or manually key in electronic data interchange (EDI) data into their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system – not very efficient and prone to errors and delays.

Plenty of today’s supply chains are slowed and even crippled by entrenched manual processes and disconnected enterprise systems. An Aberdeen Group report from late 2006 showed that 60% of companies described their current supply chain processes as manual, spread sheet intensive, only partially automated and dependent on different software systems within their own companies. The reason for the disconnect (s) are many: the company may be struggling with their own ERP applications never mind connecting to and integrating with their partners. Again the Aberdeen survey indicated that complete internal integration would give them a competitive advantage – if only they could manage to do it.

Most back office enterprise systems were not designed to support the multi-application external facing services that real time supply chains require – they are pretty inflexible. Whether you realize it or not those that think that they can connect multiple external systems, have the staff and money to do it and the communication protocols like EDI and XML will somehow integrate their supply chain information for them are not in tune with mainstream thinking. Fortunately there are hosted third party solutions that can blend the traditional capabilities of a Value Added Network with supply chain information. Whether using EDI, Flat File, EDIFACT or XML standards these systems act as a gateway for partner to partner collaboration – a single electronic connection to all customers and suppliers. This strategy has so transformed the possibilities in supply chain networking that companies that have not investigated it have an obsolete understanding of the market.

In a July 2006 survey by IDC, companies were asked how many ways do they collaborate with their supply chain partners; 88% cited email, 73% fax, 62% telephone and 50% stated mail. These methods, which depend on manual labor, have prevented many companies from capitalizing on real B2B collaboration. Of the so called high tech methods Microsoft Excel was cited as the most popular supply chain planning system – Yikes! As most know Microsoft Excel is not scalable and it does not promote collaboration either internally or externally.

While EDI has been a staple for many decades many companies shied away from adopting EDI because of the costs that have made EDI via a Value Added Network very expensive and complex.

With the advent of Industry Data Exchange (IDX), a web-based communications service, companies can communicate through a single location to all their trading partners, suppliers and customers that are using other VAN or exchange services. IDX can also complete a direct connection to trading partners that have set up their own system connection such as AS-2. Order management information may also be delivered from Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) via IDX at no charge to the customer. Product and pricing data obtained from IDW is used for completing purchase orders in either, EDI, Flat file or XML formats, which are subsequently routed to the trading partner via IDX. Both IDX and IDW are designed to interface with all ERP applications with set up and implementation at the users pace – even as fast as 1-3 days.

Implementing IDW and IDX requires a few basics:

  1. Computer or business operating system
  2. Internet Service Provider and Web Browser
  3. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application

If you plan to implement EDI you would need:

  1. EDI translation software or
  2. EDI module that may be part of your ERP program

Alternatively, if you don’t want to invest in EDI translation software or an EDI module you can adopt industry Flat File standards and use those file formats for exchanging purchase orders, invoices etc.

The big advantage to using IDX and IDW is the ability to communicate with different communication protocols found in today’s supply chain. For example, one company may communicate in EDI while another is using Flat File or XML. IDX enables the front end translation from one language to another at no charge as long as the customer is using the industry standards and maps (custom maps may be created at a nominal fee).

The IDX Tracker also provides tremendous document visibility and summary information that keeps the customer abreast of specific business document activity.

Many companies are locking on to the IDX and IDW way of doing business with their suppliers and customers. And given the results to date, no one wants to go back to the old days of sending emails and faxes.


Tags for this post: edi idw idx erp

Back To Top

Did You Know? IDW Hot Facts

The top five attributes that cause the most destruction when improperly prepared for trading partners:

Life Cycle Item Status Code – distributors need to be warned before a product is no longer in production to ensure all orders are fulfilled and inventories are minimized

The GTIN and Catalog Number – these numbers must be assigned according to all GS1-US requirements - they have a life-time relationship and cannot be changed or the wrong product could be ordered

Price – future prices must be sent to the distributor before the price becomes effective or money is lost

Price Unit of Measure – this needs to stay consistent because if it is overlooked it could cause a gross pricing errors or incorrect inventory estimations

Detailed Descriptions – distributors depend on detailed descriptions for primary product names and information that is used to help close the sale

If you follow the guidelines published by the IDEA Standards Committee to ensure these attributes are prepared correctly and use Industry Data Warehouse to continuously sync data with your trading partners – you will experience continuous cost savings.

Tags for this post: idw hot facts product life cycle pricing data gtin

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 >