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This Week in IDEA | August 11, 2011

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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Nominate Your Company for the 5th Annual Richard Buzun Award by August 19

The annual Richard Buzun Award is the only eBusiness award in the electrical industry.  The award recognizes a ­manufacturer and distributor­ company for reaching the highest standards in eBusiness and promoting eBusiness best practices in the electrical supply chain. Winners will be recognized on stage at the IDEA E-Biz Forum on September 28, and will join a prestigious group of past winners: Crescent Electric, ERICO®, Leviton Manufacturing, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Graybar, Rockwell Automation, Van Meter Industrial and Viking Electric Supply.

To be considered for the award, please email your nomination to Barbara Prince at ­ by August 19th.

­Find out more about the award criteria and process>

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Refer-a-Friend to the Forum and Win until August 31

Who do you want to see at the E-Biz Forum?  For each new person you refer, you will be entered in a raffle to win a 40” Toshiba HD flat screen TV.  The more friends you refer, the more chances you have to win because you have unlimited entries into the drawing.  Tell your friends to indicate your name as the Industry Peer referral and they'll be entered for a chance to win too.  Attendees must register by August 31. The runner- up will receive 50% off their hotel room for the duration of their stay at the Hilton Ballpark in St. Louis, MO.

Attendee List>

Copy and paste the template below to quickly message your network.

I just wanted to let you know about the IDEA E-Biz Forum, the only eBusiness event dedicated to B2B leaders in the electrical industry that will be held this year from September 26-28 in St. Louis, MO.  This is the place to meet with your trading partners, learn about new technology, and fix data issues on the spot.  You can take look at the agenda for a schedule of events and check the attendee list to see who is already going.

If you’d like to go, just indicate I referred you on your registration and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a new 40” Toshiba HD LCD television.  On the application, select “Industry Peer” next to “Referred by” and type my name.  Make sure to register by Tuesday, August 30 and you’ll be entered to win this great prize.

I hope you can make it!

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The New Relationship between Distributors and Technology

Content courtesy of Industrial Distribution Magazine

Industrial Distribution’s “64th Annual Survey of Distributor Operations” illuminated their increased usage of technology including online web ordering.  

Some top findings:

  • 78% of distributors surveyed consider their website vital to the future success of their business
  • 59% said they currently use online web ordering and 33% said they plan to adopt some type of web ordering system within the next two years
  • 62% consider eCommerce a priority (a 10% increase from last year)
  • 75% anticipate internet sales will increase in the upcoming year
  • 87% said they buy their products using the internet

Read the complete survey study online – pg. 22-26>

Helgi Thor Leja, Senior Account Executive with Fortna, Inc., confirms the trend and contends that distributors need to rethink their business-to-business strategies to incorporate tactics previously used only for direct-to-consumer plans.  Leja details evolving customer expectations for online purchasing and the questions distributors should be asking themselves to adapt and succeed in her article, “The Impact of eCommerce on Industrial Distributors.”

Read the article on>

Do the survey results reflect your business observations?  What’s your response to Leja’s observations and questions?  Comment on this article to let us know what you think.

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Business Customers are Digital -- Shouldn’t Your Marketing Be?

Content courtesy of Harvard Business Review

Still think that Twitter and Facebook are only effective marketing tools for direct-to-consumer campaigns?  Beth Comstock, GE’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, and Linda Boff, Executive Director of Global Digital Marketing, cogently argue otherwise.  The frequency and influence of online searches as well as changing purchasing attitudes dictate that digital and social media initiatives will quickly become top strategies to draw new customers and maintain existing ones.  Comstock and Boff explain the three core qualities needed for a successful digital marketing plan for business customers: Radical Transparency, Micro-Relevancy and Open Collaboration.

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New Synchronization Customers

New IDW Customer

HD Supply, a wholesale distribution company, became an Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) customer on August 10, 2011. HD Supply provides a broad range of products and services to professional customers in the infrastructure & energy, maintenance, repair & improvement and specialty construction markets. With a diverse portfolio of industry-leading businesses, HD Supply is one of the largest diversified wholesale distributors in North America, with approximately 770 locations. 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 23 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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