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This Week in IDEA | December 15, 2010

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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Focusing on the I in Building Information Modeling

In the December cover story of NEMA's electroindustry, leaders in the electrical industry examine the opportunity Building Information Modeling (BIM) represents as a competitive tool that would increase market presence and sales. BIM seeks to gather and integrate information on all aspects of a building, combining both visuals and product data for the lifecycle of the building. To propel the industry forward in this emerging technology, NEMA is working with IDEA to create a global BIM-compliant open standard for electroindustry data, in partnership with the buildingSMART alliance, a council of the congressionally- authorized National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

Excerpts from the electroindustry article:

“BIM started out as a visualization tool, but what we’re really focusing on now is the ‘I in BIM,’ the information side, and how that information can be used to improve the way we do business. For example, after a building is completed, all the information about products in the building would be captured and delivered to the facility manager.”

Dana “Deke” Smith, executive director of the buildingSMART alliance

“IDEA already had expertise with housing the data and the infrastructure to move the data back and forth, as well as auditing the data. Since many members of NEMA already populate into the IDW, we found that much of the data is already there. Couple that with the strength of NEMA’s industry consensus process, and we achieved our initial objectives.”

Marty Brett, marketing manager for Wheatland Tube and chairman of NEMA’s BIM Task Force

“We have taken this a step further with the NEMA/IDEA solution. The heart of this next generation application is making available actual manufacturer’s data on all aspects of their products. This will enable more exact matching of needs to products in a building, ultimately saving owners money over the lifecycle of a building.”

Jim Lewis, manager of NEMA High Performance Buildings, the NEMA BIM Task Force

“Getting involved upfront is better than trying to come in at the tail end. If manufacturers pay no attention to BIM now, they will be behind the curve. They will have to live with the results of what’s being decided, whether they are happy with those requirements or not. BIM is going to move forward. The market is going to move that direction, so it’s important not to be left behind.”

Jim Pauley, vice president, industry and government relations for Schneider Electric and chairman of the NEMA High Performance Buildings Council

Go to Trade News to download the complete article and read the rest of the December electroindustry issue>


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NAED President on Streamlining the Electrical Industry

NAED President & CEO, Tom Naber, encourages the industry to adopt the Electrical Attribute Schema in one of his latest blog posts. Find out why schema implementation is a C-level priority and how you can get more involved.

Excerpt from his post:

“Having the UNSPSC standards gives an advantage to all sides of the supply chain. By reducing redundancy errors and streamlining transactions, companies are given the opportunity to become more profitable. In order to take the standardization process to the next level, we need all of our distributors to insist that their suppliers use the attribute schema.”

Read his blog post and share your comments at


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New Resource to Supplement Distributor Data Requests

In last week’s issue, we mentioned the direct correlation between the amount of distributor data requests and a manufacturer’s level of participation in the IDW Data Synchronization Platform. The more requests a manufacturer receives, the more apt they are to provide the detailed and standardized product information distributors are demanding. IDEA created a document to help distributors introduce IDW and its benefits to suppliers that are new to data synchronization – the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for Supply Partners datasheet. A distributor can send this resource with their personal data request to help suppliers jump-start data synchronization initiatives.

The IDW for Supply Partners document presents:

  • Why IDW was created
  • The benefits of providing product information to IDW
  • IDW features that are relevant and important to suppliers
  • A 10-step data preparation plan
  • Links to find out more and to contact an IDEA representative

Download Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for Supply Partners now or access it later in our Resource Center.


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New B2B eCommerce and Synchronization Customers

IDEA welcomes two new IDX customers, one new IDW customer and seven new IRD CERICOMX customers. Read more about these companies and how you can begin trading with them electronically to expand your business.

New IDW and IDX Customer

Electrical Distributors of Dallas, TX became an IDEA customer on December 10, 2010. Electrical Distributors is an independently-owned and operated electrical supply company. They provide electrical components from manufacturers to the electrical contractor, industrial, institutional and end user markets. They will take advantage of the cost savings and reliability of Industry Data Exchange (IDX) to exchange B2B documents electronically, and will utilize the IDW Data Synchronization Platform to synchronize product and pricing information with their supply partners. Electrical Distributors is a proud member of NAED. Find out more at  

New IDX Customer

Mar-Bal, Inc. of Chagrin Falls, OH became an IDEA customer on December 10, 2010. Mar-Bal has been a leader in the thermoset manufacturing industry since 1970. Mar-Bal provides thermoset custom molded parts and molding compounds for electrical distribution, industrial automation control devices, and the appliance industry. They will also take advantage of the cost savings and reliability of Industry Data Exchange (IDX) to exchange B2B documents electronically. 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 seven 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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