News & Events

This Week in IDEA | January 21, 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 six new IDEA IRD customers. Read more about these companies and how you can begin trading with them electronically to expand your business.

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 six 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 Standards Committee Enhancements

The IDEA Standards Committee (ISC) recently announced changes to its business unit. This will include a revised and restructured ISC and sub-committees, new communications and logistics, and top priorities to create an industry attribute schema standard.

The ISC made some significant strides in fall 2008, beginning with the transition to a new Chairman, Phil Barrios, Hubbell Incorporated, and Vice‐Chairman, Tammy Paters, Werner Electric Supply. The IDEA Board of Directors completed a new Strategic Plan, positioning the IDEA Standards Committee as a formal “Business Unit”.

The committee’s first undertaking was to reassess the structure and effectiveness of the ISC to enable more efficient and timely development of standards and guidelines. The challenges of an economic recession underscored the need to use industry volunteers as efficiently as possible. For 2009, the following changes have been made to reshape the new business unit structure and support the revised ISC approach to standards and guideline development:

Revised ISC Charter

  • Definitions of committee purpose and structure
  • Required volunteer commitment levels and responsibilities
  • Clearer voting rules, project reporting and accountability

Consolidated Sub‐Committees (restructure)

Three process focused sub‐committees with job specific work teams

  • Data Content & Quality: IDW/PDD, White Papers & Best Practices
  • B2B Communications: EDI, EDIFACT, XML
  • Product Information: Product Codes (UNSPSC), Product Identification

Logistics and Communications

  • Consolidated physical meetings (face‐to‐face)
  • Added self‐registration to allow committee/sub‐committee sign-up, participation commitment level and contact information
  • Updated ISC email distribution list for active participants
  • Launched quarterly ISC newsletter to keep the industry informed of activities & results
  • New standards request form - all requests for development will need to be submitted to the ISC for review

Top Priorities Moving Forward

Develop an industry attribute schema standard

  • Provides manufacturers with a standardized list of attributes (name and value structure) for populating IDW for use by the distributor community
  • Enables distributors to know what attributes they can expect from suppliers
  • Based on the lowest level product categories of the current UNSPSC code

The ISC, with support from the IDEA Board, opted to fast‐track development and contracted a third party company to provide a consolidated schema template. The Product Code work team will finalize and submit those changes for the next release of the UNSPSC, in spring, 2009 (the IDEA ISC maintenance of the electrical industry product categories of the UNSPSC is an on‐going process, started in 2004). Once approved, the schema will be incorporated into the IDW Product Descriptor (PDD) standards for industry use. The population of the UNSPSC field will be mandatory in IDW effective January 1, 2010.

The focus and goal of the ISC and its sub-committees is to benefit the electrical industry with cost savings through standardization and automation. Participation in the ISC is open to anyone in the industry who wants to be part of a team that truly wants to help the industry cut costs out of the supply chain through eCommerce standardization. If you are interested in becoming a committee member or would like additional information, please complete the standards registration form.

Join a committee now!

If you have any questions regarding the IDEA Standards Committee and/or its standards and guidelines development, please contact , Standards Director.

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2009 Forum Website Launched

Mark your calendars for the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2009 on September 22-24 in Tucson, Arizona. General information on the event is now available at  

The IDEA E-Biz Forum ’09 website provides you with the information you need to lead the change in 2009. The 11th annual event is your opportunity to share ideas and educate yourself on the latest technologies and most cost-effective approaches to business in the electrical wholesale and retail industries. Website highlights:

  • New FAQ page
  • New Forum alert subscription (sign up to get Forum specials, updates and important deadline reminders)
  • Reserve your flight and hotel now
  • Get details and register as a sponsor and exhibitor

Don’t let change come between you and greater profits… lead the change by participating in the Forum as a sponsor, exhibitor, speaker or attendee.

Visit the '09 Forum Website now and sign up to get the next E-Biz Forum alert.

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ILSCO: Sponsor of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2009!

IDEA would like to thank ILSCO for their Silver level sponsorship of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2009. This company demonstrates their support of the electrical industry’s only annual event focused on advancing the industry through eBusiness and the latest technologies. Their leadership and support is greatly appreciated by all.

ILSCO is the largest direct supplier of mechanical connectors to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in the United States and Canada. Through Electrical Distributors, ILSCO also supplies connectors, tools and accessories to the commercial and industrial construction market as well as for maintenance and repair. The UTILCO Division of ILSCO is a major supplier of underground and overhead secondary distribution products to Electrical Utilities.

Founded in 1894, ILSCO's strong record of investment in electronic commerce, capital equipment, new product development, and state-of-the-art cellular manufacturing matches its aggressive entrepreneurial spirit. Find out more at  

Interested in joining this industry leader in their support of eBusiness advancements? Take a look at the sponsor benefits to select and confirm your company sponsorship.

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IDW and IDX February ‘09 Training Schedule

This month IDEA continues to offer focused training sessions for Industry Data Exchange (IDX) and Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). The February dates for these trainings are now available.

IDX Tracker Training Sessions:
Tuesday, February 3: 1:30-2:30PM
Tuesday, February 10: 1:30-2:30PM
Tuesday, February 17: 1:30-2:30PM
Tuesday, February 24: 1:30-2:30PM

IDW Distributor Training Sessions:
Wednesday, February 4: 1:30-3:00PM
Wednesday, February 18: 1:30-3:00PM

IDW Manufacturer Training Sessions:
Thursday, February 12: 1:30-3:30PM
Thursday, February 16: 1:30-3:30PM

Net Pricing Training Sessions:
Thursday, February 5: 1:30-2:00PM
Thursday, February 19: 1:30-2:00PM

Inbound Mapping Sessions:
Wednesday, February 11: 1:30-2:30PM
Wednesday, February 25: 1:30-2:30PM

Times don’t work for your schedule? Contact our flexible training experts to schedule a time that works for you.

IDX Training Sessions: Contact at
IDW Training Sessions: Contact at

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Did You Know? IDW Hot Fact

IDW can disseminate expired, current and future pricing on-demand. Manufacturers and distributors that take advantage of this feature can help improve processes such as sales, billing, troubleshooting and contracts.

Although it is not common for a manufacturer’s business system to store historical pricing, distributors have different pricing needs and frequently need access to expired, current and future pricing as they provide customer service for sales, purchasing, contracts, returns and price discrepancies or disputes.

Future pricing from manufacturers is essential because distributors have several operational changes to make each time a manufacturer has a major price change including:

  • Analyzing price changes
  • Applying price changes to their own internal databases
  • Adjusting pricing for existing customers’ pricing and contracts

All of these steps take extra time and are critical to maintaining profit margins. For this reason, IDEA requests that manufacturers respond to the industry’s request to release future pricing to Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) four-six weeks prior to the effective dates.

This future pricing gives the distributor the time they need to do their own internal system processing and pricing for customers so that unnecessary mistakes and costs are not incurred during a price change.

Data requests for future pricing are performed at the same data request screen in IDW as requests for current and expired data – each data request must be made individually.

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