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This Week in IDEA | January 31, 2013

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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The Value of Sharing Marketing Content through the IDW

In this new case study, representatives from ILSCO, Electri-Flex, Crum Electric Supply, Border States Electric, JH Larson and Frisbee’s Inc. share their perspectives on how more marketing content in the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) can benefit everyone throughout the supply chain.

The marketing content in the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) has increased over tenfold in less than a year thanks to the manufacturers leading IDEA’s Bands of Excellence initiative. The robust content they’re providing is flowing downstream to thousands of electrical distributors and their customers in the contractor, industrial, and MRO markets, helping them buy and sell the best products for the job.

“Going to JH Larson’s website is faster for us, and we can be assured that we have the right information because it is coming directly from the manufacturer through our distributor versus some unverified website out there. Ultimately, it is a lot simpler to go to one website, instead of having to go to three or four places to find the marketing content I need.” – Dan Poss, Purchasing Manager, Frisbee’s Inc.

“The goal is: how do we provide better information to the customer? The more data we can get to the customer, the more likely they are to buy from us. And, the less administrative work we have to do in the background to support it, the better.” – J.R. Tapper, Director of MIS, J.H. Larson Co.

“Some of our key customers brought it to our attention that the attributed data was really important to their business. We gathered all the powers within our company—leadership, sales, marketing, IT—and dedicated the resources to make it happen.” – Dennis Linden, National Sales Manager, Electri-Flex Co.

“The electronic efficiencies are vast. The extended data in the IDW—unit of measures, weights of products, pricing, descriptions, images— makes our product information consistent and increases efficiency all through our business transactions including ordering, management, and billing. As the data improves, our staff can handle more volume and important tasks with fewer errors.” – Jeff Hockin, President, Crum Electric Supply.

Read the case study online on the IDEA website>

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Tags for this post: idw border states ilsco bands of excellence electri-flex jh larson crum electric supply frisbee's inc.

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IDEA's Star Employees of 2012

IDEA recently recognized five employees with the first annual IDEA Star Employee Award. These employees were recognized by their peers for their many contributions to the channel. From a friendly voice on the other side of the phone to behind-the-scenes work that keeps IDEA running smoothly so we can better serve you, chances are you’ve benefited from the work of our winners.

Please join us in congratulating the 2012 IDEA Star Employees: Robert Gregg, Office Administrator; Robert Hollands, Senior Data Quality Analyst; Edwin Lopez, Customer Service; Amanda Kiely, Marketing Manager; and Colleen Psomas, Marketing Associate.

2012 IDEA Star Employees from left: Robert Hollands, Amanda Kiely, Colleen Psomas, Robert Gregg, and Edwin Lopez (not pictured).

This new award recognizes individuals that have advanced the goals and purposes of IDEA and the industry through excellent performance. These winners had the most nominations from their peers based on the following guidelines:

  • Special recognition of staff by members for service to their industry, including outstanding individual effort leading to the accomplishment of major industry goals.
  • Development of new program(s) that have proven beneficial to our customers.
  • Leading a successful team effort that accomplished an important IDEA objective.
  • Performance throughout the year that has been clearly above what is considered routine or typical for that job category.
  • Actions and innovations that have led to significant cost savings and/or increased efficiencies.
  • Consistently exceeding demanding deadlines.
  • A “team” attitude demonstrated by a consistent effort to reach out to help others.

Congratulations to the winners! Feel free to leave a comment below and add your own personal congratulations.

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Orlando-bound for the 2013 E-Biz Forum: Save the Date!

Looking forward to warm weather? Save the date for the 14th annual IDEA E-Biz Forum in Orlando, FL from September 25-27, 2013. This is your opportunity to exchange knowledge and discover new ways to increase efficiency, productivity and profitability. And it’s the only place you can network with eBusiness, IT, marketing, operations and senior leadership contacts in the electrical industry all at once. We encourage you to join us in learning new innovative eBusiness strategies and technologies that can help reach your business goals faster.

What attendees said after the last Forum:

“The IDEA E-Biz is a tremendous opportunity to network with manufacturers and distributors. Every year, I have the opportunity to learn something new, to solve a business problem, or find a way to improve transactional efficiencies for my company and my customer.” – Ann Jaehn, Director of Pricing, Thomas & Betts

“This was the first time that I attended an IDEA E-Biz meeting. I have been in the industry a long time and I now realize what I had been missing by not attending this meeting sooner. I will definitely be back next year.” – Stacey Pandeloglou, Strategic Accounts, xTuple ERP

“No matter how much technology surrounds us, it is the basic human social skills that enable its success. The IDEA E-Biz Forum is the platform that ties the two together.” – Mark Richards, eCommerce Director, Leviton Mfg. Co.

"I loved the focus on content. It creates a lot of inertia for trading partners." Nick Becker, Data Analyst, Standard Electric Supply Co.

Sneak Preview of Session Topics:

  • User groups for IDEA’s applications including the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW), Industry Data Exchange (IDX), IRD CERICOMX®, iCIMM2 (new web storefront solution) and Supply Chain Analytics (new analytics tool for manufacturers).
  • How product data is being using throughout the supply chain by manufacturers, distributors and end-users.
  • Standards updates on the Attribute Schema & ETIM Partnership.
  • Best practices for eBusiness and electronic data interchange (EDI).
  • Digital marketing topics including search engine optimization (SEO), and creating more engaging presentations.
  • Technology sessions covering mobile applications and devices.
  • Courses on leadership and creativity to rejuvenate your career.
  • Speed networking to connect familiar and new faces in the industry.
  • Announcement of Richard Buzun Award winners – nominate your company for the only eBusiness award in the electrical industry. Find out more about the Richard Buzun award>
Online registration begins May 6th. See you in Orlando!

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The Latest in Social Media Marketing

We’ve gathered some updates on social media marketing so that you’ll stay in the know and ahead of your competitors. For those of you who are just getting started with social media, check out this helpful article by, “26 Tips for Getting Started with Social Media Marketing.”

Facebook SEO Comes to Life as Graph Search covers one of Facebook’s most recent big changes with the limited beta release of Graph Search. The article outlines the new features, demonstrates some example searches, and predicts what impact it will make on businesses using Facebook as a marketing tool. Read the article on>

Preparing for the New LinkedIn Design: How to Optimize Your Page and Profile – With a recent homepage redesign, profile and company page redesigns, new mobile apps and the introduction of notifications and endorsements, LinkedIn is positioned to grow as a resource for businesses. The article discusses best practices for utilizing the LinkedIn profile page and company page. Read the article on>

The Future of the Animated GIF – A new app from Twitter, , just went live and promises to add extra dimension to the Twitter environment. Vine allows users to embed six-second video clips that continuously loop. It’s similar to a graphics interchange format (GIF), but has higher fidelity, optional sound, and requires virtually no technical experience to make. Read the review on>

The New Skill Every Social Media Marketer Must Possess: Jay Baer of Convince and Convert Consulting suggests that social media will soon become a skill rather than a job, similar to how the role of telephones and computers have changed in the workplace. However, he also believes that organizations will always have specialists to implement social media marketing. Baer shares the essential skill a Social Media Manager needs to be successful. Read the post on>

Have any breaking news about social media marketing you’d like to share with our readers? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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