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This Week in IDEA | July 28, 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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New Outsourcing Service for Manufacturers Facilitates Faster, More Efficient Population of the IDW

IDEA is introducing the Attribute Fulfillment Service (AFS) to give manufacturers the opportunity to outsource some or all of the work involved in populating standardized product marketing content into the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). Previous case histories have shown that the AFS outsourcing option helps manufacturers populate the IDW with marketing content in half the time and one-third the price compared to using internal resources.

“We listen to manufacturers and distributors daily, and through these conversations, we recognized a need in the channel,” said Robert Gaylord, president and CEO, IDEA. “Most manufacturers understand the value and ROI associated with providing marketing content to distributors, but they can’t just push a button and it’s done; there is a lot of work involved behind the scenes, and many just haven’t had the time or resources to dedicate to the project. As the electrical-industry data experts, it’s our job to help them make it happen.”

The AFS includes populating the industry-approved attributes defined in the industry’s Electrical Attribute Schema. With the launch of the Schema 2.0, manufacturers have new opportunities to differentiate their products, and help their distributor trading partners and end-users make better buying and selling decisions. The Schema is an internationally-harmonized template that is based on a global product categorization standard and provides a guide to populate marketing content for nearly 2,500 product categories.

Through the Attribute Fulfillment Service, IDEA is helping manufacturers to populate the Schema, freeing up their time and resources to devote to other projects, while providing distributors the information they need to sell more products from the warehouse to the web. IDEA partners with DATAgility, a leading data management service company, to deliver the Attribute Fulfillment Service. ILSCO Corporation was the first manufacturer to leverage the AFS.

“I knew the importance of utilizing the Schema and tried to undertake the project internally at first. However, I quickly realized that this was going to take more resources than were available, so I turned to IDEA for support. The team I’m working with is very responsive and has kept me involved throughout the process. The AFS has proven to be valuable for our company; instead of waiting at least another year to reap the benefits of the Schema, we expect to see results by the end of the summer,” said Randy Shelley, Product Specialist, ILSCO.

Read more about the Attribute Fulfillment Service (AFS) and contact your Account Manager at to request a personal consultation including a customized ROI analysis to determine your potential savings.

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DAC Service Revamped to Offer Additional Levels of Support

The Data Audit & Certification (DAC) service was created to help manufacturers populate and maintain high quality product information in the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). IDEA has completely revamped the program to provide a higher level of proactive support, including a dedicated Data Quality Analyst (DQA) and custom monthly IDW reports.

Did you know? All manufacturers that leverage IDEA’s DAC service receive:

Dedicated Data Quality Analyst (DQA)

  • Your DQA will help you develop a plan to prioritize what product information to populate, train you how to launch the population process, and actively follow-up after each Load Summary as well as assist with correcting errors.
  • Your DQA is available to format and load data for you so you can focus your time and resources elsewhere.
  • Your DQA is committed to your product information. Their ultimate goal is to make sure you load the highest quality data in the most efficient way.

Exclusive access to monthly reports and analysis

  • Detailed summary reports highlight and help correct errors so you can prioritize your product data improvement strategy.
  • Reports indicating the percentage of fields populated will enable you to analyze the product information according to your distributors’ needs and compare key components of your data.
  • The automated reports continually monitor important aspects of the data that can be overlooked once data is sent to the IDW. Essentially, the DAC provides continuous data scrubbing so that you can catch and correct potential errors on the spot.

In addition, your product information will be labeled as “Certified” in the IDW so that distributors know they can expect hassle-free transactions when using your data to make buying and selling decisions.

Download the new Data Audit & Certification (DAC) datasheet and contact your Account Manager at to find out how you can leverage the new DAC service to take a proactive approach to data quality.

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Nominate your Company for the 2011 Richard Buzun Award by Aug, 19th

We’ve opened nominations for the electrical industry’s only eBusiness award – please nominate your company by Friday, August 19th. The annual Richard Buzun Award recognizes a manufacturer and distributor company for reaching the highest standards in eBusiness and promoting eBusiness best practices in the electrical supply chain. Past winners include: Crescent Electric, ERICO®, Leviton Manufacturing, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Graybar, Rockwell Automation, Van Meter Industrial and Viking Electric Supply.

Nominees are evaluated based on achievements in:

  • B2B eCommerce
  • Data Synchronization
  • Standards Adoption

To be considered for this prestigious award, tell us how your company has implemented eBusiness best practices developed for and by the industry. Detail 3-5 best practices that have improved your business processes and explain the benefits realized. Please email the document (1-2 pages maximum) to Barbara Prince () by Friday, August 19th.

Find out more about the Richard Buzun Award and the nomination process>

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Colleen Psomas Joins the IDEA Team

Colleen Psomas has joined the Sales and Marketing Department as the Marketing Associate. Psomas will help develop and advance manufacturer partnerships, and will support special educational projects that will benefit the entire electrical supply chain. She will interact with manufacturers regularly to help them take a proactive approach to data quality, and to ensure the product information they provide to distributors through the IDW is accurate and complete.

Psomas is a graduate of The George Washington University (DC) with a BBA, focusing in International Business and Marketing. Psomas has experience conducting market research, creating and managing social media marketing campaigns, maintaining organization websites, and developing strategic marketing plans.

Colleen can be reached at  or at . Please join us in welcoming Colleen to the IDEA team!

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New Synchronization Customers

New IDW Customer

Madsen Electric, a distributor from Los Angeles, CA, became an Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) customer on July 21, 2011. A full line provider of electrical supplies since 1931, Madsen is dedicated to serving customers solutions to boost efficiency, cut costs, and reduce down time. They will utilize the IDW to obtain product and pricing information from their suppliers.

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 twenty-two 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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