News & Events

This Week in IDEA | August 13, 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.


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New IDEA and IDEA IRD Customers

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

New IDEA Customers

Cayce Mill Supply, from Hopkinsville, KY, became a customer on July 31, 2008. They will depend on Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for their product and pricing needs and will take advantage of the cost saving features and reliability of Industry Data Exchange (IDX). Since the inception in 1913, Cayce Mills has become a regional industry leader, distributing a wide range of electrical, plumbing, HVAC, kitchen, bath, and custom interior products. They are a proud member of IMARK and NAED. Find out more at Welcome aboard!

Marshall E. Campbell Company, from Port Huron, MI, became an IDEA customer on August 1, 2008. They will depend on the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for their product and pricing needs. Marshall E. Campbell is a full line distributor of industrial, cutting tools, fluid power, electrical related products and other MRO supplies, servicing OEM, utility, industrial and contractor needs for over 100 years. They are a proud member of NAED. Find out more at Welcome aboard!

Locke Supply, from Oklahoma City, OK, became an IDEA customer on August 4, 2008. They will take advantage of the cost saving features and reliability of Industry Data Exchange (IDX). Locke Supply is a wholesale supplier of plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical supplies, whirlpool baths, refrigeration supplies, tools and more. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Locke has expanded over the years to other locations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas to better serve its customers. Find out more at Welcome aboard!

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 2 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 cayce mill supply marshall e. campbell locke supply

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Going Global with UNSPSC – What’s in it for you?

Five years ago, IDEA and the ISC (representing over 30 companies within the industry) recognized the need and began working on industry adaptation of the Global Standard UNSPSC code for product categorization. Now it’s time for you to get involved. Learn more about UNSPSC and how it benefits your company.

What is the UNSPSC?

The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code is a hierarchical convention that is used to classify all products and services. It is the most efficient, accurate and flexible classification system available today for achieving company-wide visibility of spend analysis, enabling procurement to deliver on cost-effectiveness demands and allowing full exploitation of electronic commerce capabilities. The UNSPSC was jointly developed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Dun & Bradstreet Corporation (D&B) in 1998.

What are the benefits of coding products and services?

Today’s customers – internal and external – demand faster fulfillment at a lower cost; increasingly business is becoming eBusiness. The need to approach procurement more strategically has never been greater. All of these combine to make fast, simple, accurate classification of goods and services and imperative in the marketplace. The UNSPSC is a single coding convention that all companies can draw from to speak the same language in order to speed-up and rationalize processes.

When the UNSPSC is inserted in various electronic trade documents and media such as product catalogs, web sites, purchase orders, and invoices used throughout the supply chain, sellers, buyers, procurement specialists, and other users can perform analysis and make decisions in time-critical ways that would not be possible without using the UNSPSC. The UNSPSC is an open standard and is available for use by interested parties free of charge. Companies and organizations worldwide are encouraged to incorporate the code into their business systems. This code set has been widely adopted by the healthcare industry and has shown proven benefits throughout the supply chain. Read the healthcare case study to find out more about their experience.

What does UNSPSC do for me?

By embedding UNSPSC classification standards into your management systems - purchase orders, invoices, electronic documents, product catalogues, websites – all parties throughout the extended supply chain benefit.

  • Procurement can keep an eye on how much is spent buying what. This information is readily available to them to analyze the specifics in the buying process at the level of detail that most suits the business needs in a timely and precise manner. They can cut in half the time it takes to find the products needed by searching by commodity code through brokers, on line exchanges, business partners, etc. across the globe. They can spot buying patterns across departments or business units to leverage better conditions from suppliers and realize overall savings.
  • Marketing is able to get field data fast for market research, product development, and sales analysis, ultimately delivering to the company's bottom line via customer satisfaction.
  • Sales can monitor sales channels and distribution all the way to the store shelf or end user. They can gather market intelligence quickly via electronic platforms for accurate sales analysis. They can extend the reach of their products to customers across the globe by publishing e-catalogues, registering with search engines or third-party market places.

How does UNSPSC work?

The UNSPSC is a hierarchical classification with five levels. The electrical industry is only focused on the first four levels as the 5th is for services rather than products.

These levels allow analysis by drilling down or rolling up to analyze expenditures. Each level has its own unique number.

    1. Segment - The logical aggregation of families for analytical purposes
    2. Family - A commonly recognized group of inter-related commodity categories
    3. Class - A group of commodities sharing common characteristics
    4. Commodity - A group of substitutable products or services

    All UNSPSC entities are further identified with an 8-digit structured numeric code which both indicates its location in the taxonomy and uniquely classifies it. An additional 2-digit suffix indicates the business function identifier.

    How is IDEA involved in this global standard for product categorization?

    IDEA entered into an agreement in June 2004 with GS1 US, formerly the Uniform Code Council, to develop and support the global classification standards of the United Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC). GS1 is a leader in facilitating efficient international business and is the code manager of the UNSPSC. The agreement marked the first time the electrical industry came together to support one global standard for classification.

    Under the agreement, IDEA is responsible for the development and support of the global classification standards of the UNSPSC for the electrical industry and its trading community.

    The committees work began in early 2005. Involvement ensured that the majority of products were represented during the review and development process. Distributors were included so that in the review manufacturers could envision how their products were truly represented and seen in the downstream marketplace. This input was invaluable to the team during the review phase.

    A final submission of 307 changes, and/or additions to UNSPSC was made in November. The electrical industry revisions were accepted and published in the January 2006 release of the UNSPSC code set. The product areas reviewed were as follows:

    • Data and Communication
    • Electric Motors
    • Electrical Distribution
    • Electrical Hardware
    • Electrical Supplies
    • Electrical Wire Management
    • Electrical Wiring Devices
    • Hand and Power Tools
    • Industrial Controls
    • Lighting Products
    • Safety Equipment

    These areas are currently under a second review by the Product Code Sub-Committee:

    • Electrical Wire and Cable
    • Test and Measuring Instruments
    • Chemicals

    The responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the electrical product categories in the UNSPSC is still the sole responsibility of IDEA.

    If you are interested in participating in the ongoing development and maintenance of the UNSPSC code set and their associated attributes, please contact at .

    Tags for this post: unspsc standards isc gs1

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    Syncing the Industry One Panel at a Time

    There is a need and a solution to synchronize data with trading partners. It helps decrease ordering errors and increase sales no matter your company size. A diverse group of panelists will combine their expertise to bring the industry’s data synchronization hardships and proven solutions to the stage at the E-Biz Forum 08’.

    Make sure you are in the front row during this interactive discussion between a manufacturer, distributor and service provider. They will present their realized value of data synchronization by discussing the efforts and the rewards witnessed. This session will also explore the progress of data synchronization and what the future holds.

    Panelists will answer questions such as:

    • What is it that your customers, suppliers and trading partners want when it comes to business information? And how does data synchronization play into this?
    • Can growth be tied to data quality and synchronization?
    • How can distributors overcome infrastructure challenges to support their need for data sync?
    • When the need of data synchronization is realized, what are the next steps?
    • What can be done to get this movement going full speed ahead?
    • How can we work together to achieve mass-adoption?

    Register Now

    About the Panel

    Moderator: Gene Randall, Renowned Television Journalist

    Gene Randall's professional broadcast journalism career can be measured by the major stories he covered; among them: the Solidarity strikes in Poland in 1980, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, and daily coverage of four U.S. Presidential Campaigns from 1988 through 2000.

    In the 2000 campaign, Randall hosted CNN's celebrated "This Week In Politics”, a favorite with campaign insiders. With a broadcasting career that spanned four decades and much of the world, Gene Randall's speeches combine historic moments he has witnessed, the offbeat incidents that never made the evening news, the current political scene, and the effects of September 11, 2001 on our political fabric. Through his company, Gene Randall Enterprises, he is also offering a wide variety of services to trade associations and corporations. They include convention hosting, moderating panel discussion, live audience interviews of keynote speakers, webcast and closed-circuit television anchoring and videoconference hosting.


    Denise Keating, President, DATAgility

    Denise Keating is the Co-Founder and President of DATAgility where she oversees all aspects of the business operations. Her mission is to assist DATAgility’s manufacturer and distributor customers with developing formal company plans to prepare, share, and sync quality data with their trading partners to maximize sales opportunities and reduce operating inefficiencies. She has more than 20 years experience in providing business consulting services for EDI, VMI, Product Data Governance business strategies.

    Denise has demonstrated leadership in the development and implementation of data standards in multiple industry sectors including Electrical, Healthcare, HVAC, Heavy Duty Truck, and the Aftermarket. Denise organizes and operates programs for enablement of the AAIA Category Management, SEMA Data Sync, and IDEA Data Sync Programs.

    Ray Huber, CIO, Eaton

    Raymond L. Huber is the Chief Information Officer for Eaton’s Electrical Group. Eaton is a global multi-billion diversified industrial manufacturer. He was promoted to his current assignment as Vice President, IT & e-Business for the Electrical Group in 2002.

    Huber began is career in 1987 with Westinghouse Electric Corporation in the Technical Sales and Marketing program. Beginning in 1989, he spent three years as a Field Sales Engineer in Allentown, PA. In 1995, after Eaton acquired Westinghouse’s Distribution and Control Business Unit, he was promoted to manager of the Customer Support Center for the Commercial Operations Division. In 1997, Ray was promoted to Manager, Product Configuration in the Information Technology group. Huber was named the Director of e-Business for Eaton in 2000. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science of Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

    Huber is a board member of the United Way for Allegheny County and Three Rivers Connect (3RC), a non-profit in Pittsburgh. Ray also served as board member for IDEA for the past six years.

    Greg Hames, President, Viking Electric Supply

    Greg Hames has proudly served Viking Electric Supply, Inc., an operating division of Sonepar USA based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for 33 years. He spent 20 years in an outside sales role, calling on the Twin Cities’ electrical contractor market. Greg was promoted to the Executive Vice President position and was a shareholder in Viking before the company was sold to Sonepar in June, 2000.

    Hames became president of Viking after the Sonepar acquisition. He has led the company in an expansion plan that now includes 24 locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Hames also participates in many of the Sonepar Executive Councils and has been actively involved in distributor/manufacturer advisory groups. He currently serves as a Board Member and Past Chair of the North Central Electrical League.

    Hames holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota and he and his wife, Cindy, have three children ages 26, 24, and 20.

    Tags for this post: ebiz forum news data synchronization speakers

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    Business Solutions at your Fingertips

    IDEA's annual Tech Center, held in conjunction to the E-Biz Forum, will bring in more exhibitors than ever before. Make sure to stop by all 25 booths to get solutions and ideas to grow your bottom line. These companies will have representatives at the Tech Center that will be ready to learn about your business and share their expertise:

    • Activant
    • Billtrust
    • BlueVolt
    • ByteManagers
    • Catapult by Coe-Truman Technologies, Inc.
    • Computer Pundits Corporation
    • DATAgility
    • Diamond Mind
    • DISA
    • eMobileCat
    • Endeca
    • Enterworks
    • Enventure
    • epaCUBE
    • Faxinating Solutions
    • Heiler Software
    • IDEA
    • Infor
    • Lawson
    • LG CNS
    • SMP
    • Stibo
    • Supplier-Info
    • Trade Service
    • Unilog Content Solutions

    Find out more on how these companies can help your company advance.

    Tags for this post: ebiz forum news tech center

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    Did You Know? IDW Hot Facts

    IDW keeps all pricing (Future, Current and Expired) separate and easy to access for lookups and downloads. During the setup of the new price sheet for the manufacturers, there is a feature which allows you to link the Future price sheet to a Current price sheet. Manufacturers are encouraged to setup their Future price sheets 4-6 weeks ahead of the price effective date to take full advantage of IDW's capability to store concurrent Future, Current and Expired prices.


    Current and Future price sheets should always be linked to allow you to take advantage of several great benefits which include:



    The Current price sheet is automatically expired at 12:00am PST the morning that the linked Future price sheet becomes effective. At that point, the Current price sheet becomes an expired price sheet and the Future price sheet becomes a Current price sheet.



    The IDW provides a comparison database to help manufacturers identify what should be the price increase or decrease. This is very important when a manufacturer has two Current price sheets because they need to identify the right linkage between new and old pricing for the purpose of price increase and decrease flags (+ -). When multiple Current price sheets exist, it is impossible for IDW to know which price sheet came before the new one. The price sheet linking feature provides that control and accuracy for the manufacturer.



    IDW automatically moves all authorized trading partners from the Current price sheet to the Future price sheet when the two are linked. This saves time for the manufacturer and ensures Future pricing is fully assessable to authorized trading partners.

    Please contact at if you have any questions about linking your price sheets in IDW.


    Tags for this post: idw hot facts pricing data

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