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This Week in IDEA | June 26, 2012

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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On-Demand Webinars and “Next Generation Data Sync: The DMP” Highlights

Past webinars are now available to view on-demand! Find out more and submit your requests to watch past webinars on the IDEA Webinar website. Once we receive and approve your request, you will be sent an email with a link to watch the webinar. 

The last live session in IDEA’s Webinar Series, the “Next Generation Data Sync: The DMP,” was hosted by Melissa Longnecker, Program Manager, IDEA and Boris Ivanov, Partner, Digital Business Architects (DBA) and featured guest speakers Dawn Wright-Perry of Milbank Manufacturing and Jason Archbold of Border States Electric. Attendees were invited to learn about the industry’s new Data Management Platform (DMP) and received an exclusive demo. Here’s a few session highlights from our Twitter and SlideShare pages:

Tweets from the event :

  • 71% of manufacturers surveyed during the webinar say reformatting product data is their biggest challenge.
  • Dawn Wright-Perry, Milbank, guest manufacturer: Favorite feature of the DMP is that electrical standards are built right into the software.
  • Dawn Wright-Perry, Milbank, guest manufacturer: Milbank will be exporting DMP product data directly into print catalogs.
  • There are multiple ways and formats for manufacturers to add product data to the DMP including: the DMP app, EDI, Excel and XML.
  • Jason Archbold, Border States, guest distributor: The DMP helps us communicate how we’ll be using the manufacturer’s product data.
  • 85% of distributors surveyed during the webinar say manual consolidation of product data from multiple sources is their biggest challenge.
  • It took Kirby Risk 5,000 man hours to source 15,000 products for their catalog. Manufacturers using DMP could provide all that in minutes.

Find out about upcoming webinars, including a new session on EDI, “Automating Order Management,” coming this August, by ­subscribing to this newsletter or following us on .

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Forum Early Bird Rates End July 13th

Just a little over two weeks are left to take advantage of the Early Bird rates for the 2012 E-Biz Forum. Sign up before July 13th to save $100 on registration.

Who should attend? Manufacturers and distributors in these fields:

  • eCommerce / EDI
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing
  • Product Management
  • Operations

Download the attendee list from 2011>

Agenda Highlights:

  • New in 2012 “Trading Partner Speed Networking”: Are you new to the Forum or do you come back every year and speak to the same people? We’re introducing a new kind of breakout session that can help get you out of your comfort zone, establish new relationships, and discover new ways to increase productivity with trading partners. This session will be a twist on traditional speed-dating. We’ll pair up manufacturers with distributors and give each company representative some time to network with the other. And, if you’re not sure what questions to ask, we’ll have conversation starters ready for you.
  • Education from Manufacturer and Distributor Leaders:
    • “Connecting the Links of the Supply Chain” -- Border States Electric
    • “The Road to Automation & the DMP” -- Cooper Industries
    • "There's an App for That" -- Mayer Electric Supply
    • “Industry Schema Optimizes Your Web Storefront” -- McNaughton-McKay
    • “How to Sell the Importance of Data” – Milbank, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Cooper
  • Erik Wahl – “The Art of Vision”: Wahl, a “graffiti artist,” author and entrepreneur, will open the Forum and present his dynamic message on profitability through innovation by utilizing on-stage painting as a visual metaphor. Wahl’s paintings auction from $7,000 – $27,000 and Forum attendees will help decide which charitable cause will receive the proceeds.

View more of the agenda online and download the agenda and activities brochure (PDF)>

"The networking opportunities at the Forum are second to none. It’s the only event where you can get a clear vision of where the industry is heading on multiple fronts, not just solely from a technological perspective," said Kyle Johnson, Marketing Manager, Viking Electric Supply.

More comments from past attendees>

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Should You Use Pinterest?

First, what exactly is Pinterest? Pinterest describes itself as “a content sharing service that allows members to ‘pin’ images, videos and other objects to their pinboard” as well as browse, like and comment on the pinboards of other members. To join, Pinterest requires an invitation sent through a request on their website or an email link from an existing member. According to tED magazine, Pinterest, at only two years old, is one of the fastest-growing websites in history and a growing driver in referral traffic. Like any good social media strategy, it’s best to research and evaluate if Pinterest would be a valuable tool for your company. Here are some recent articles we recommend reading to help you evaluate the business implications of this new social media website.

­Should you show interest in Pinterest?

This tED magazine article provides an electrical industry perspective on how distributors can leverage Pinterest, including how to increase traffic to a website and improve search engine optimization (SEO). The helpful “how-to” guides provide realistic tactics and concrete examples on getting started and using Pinterest in your marketing strategies. Read the tED magazine article online on p. 34 for distributor tips>

26 Tips for Using Pinterest for Business shares an “A-Z guide for creating a business presence on Pinterest” on their blog. With screenshots and easy explanations, the post offers best practices for this new social media. Links to additional resources on Pinterest from Monetate, Shareaholic and media bloggers are also shared. Read the post for all 26 tips>

Pinstagram Arrives for iPad Before Instagram, Pinterest

Launched just last month, this Mashable post discusses the newest ventures for two growing social media – Pinterest and Instagram. Instagram is a photo-sharing app created to take photos, apply filters/effects and then share them via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr on your phone. The two have launched a mashup called Pinstagram, which combines features from both applications in an iPad app. This is the first iPad app for both startups, although previous web and mobile versions are available. Find out the latest news about Pinterest and Pinstagram on>­

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IDW Hot Fact: Monthly URL Validation


As a result of the industry’s commitment to populating the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) with robust product marketing content, over 1.3 million URLs have been added to the IDW since early 2011, with the amount continuing to grow daily.

To support this initiative and ensure the flow of accurate standardized product data, IDEA checks the integrity of each URL on a monthly basis to ensure the URLs display working web pages or materials. A manufacturer’s assigned Data Quality Analyst verifies the URLs, and works with the manufacturer to help correct or remove any invalid links.

The IDW can store manufacturer URLs for the following:

  • Brochures
  • Technical Bulletins
  • Technical Drawings
  • Full Engineering Drawings
  • Installation Instructions
  • Line Drawings
  • MSDS
  • Pallet Configuration Drawings
  • Images
  • Spec Sheets
  • Video Clips
  • Warranty
  • RoHS-Material Composition

An example of a product image from Kirby Risk captured via URL

If you would like to learn more about our URL validation process, please contact your assigned Data Quality Analyst directly or call Tom Guzik, Director of Products and Services, at .

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DATAgility, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Southwire and Mayer Electric: New Sponsors of the E-Biz Forum

­­­IDEA is excited to announce DATAgility as a new Gold sponsor, OSRAM ­SYLVANIA and Southwire as Silver sponsors, and Mayer Electric as a Bronze sponsor of the 2012 IDEA E-Biz Forum. Thank you to our sponsors!


DATAgility, a data management service company, aims to help companies drive significant sales growth, build brand loyalty and increase profits, by unlocking the power of high quality product data. DATAgility has worked with an extensive number of companies to maintain and improve their competitiveness, efficiencies, and profitability, through the implementation of cost-effective data management solutions. DATAgility’s solutions include enriched catalog content & attribute fulfillment services, description building, data alignment, and data governance services to leverage product data as a powerful asset. Find out more at

OSRAM SYLVANIA creates lighting solutions that feature innovative design and energy saving technology. The company sells products for homes, businesses and vehicles primarily under the SYLVANIA brand name, and also under the OSRAM brand. OSRAM SYLVANIA is part of the world’s second largest producer of LEDs. Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American operation of OSRAM GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens AG. For more information, visit or follow SYLVANIA on Facebook and Twitter.­­

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Southwire Company is one of North America's largest wire and cable producers. Southwire® and its subsidiaries manufacture building wire and cable, metal-clad (MC) cable, FlatWire Ready® products, cord products (through Tappan Wire & Cable Inc.), utility cable products, industrial power cable, OEM wire products, SCR® copper and aluminum road, and continuous casting technology. Southwire also supplies MAXIS® wire and cable installation tools to the commercial, industrial and utility construction markets. To learn more about Southwire's products, community involvement and its vision for a sustainable Southwire, please visit


Mayer Electric Supply is a who­lesale electrical distributor headquartered in Birmingham, AL and continuing to expand in the Southeast. The company is a third-generation family-owned business. Founded in 1930, Mayer provides electrical equipment and supplies, lighting, factory automation, tools and communications. One of the nation’s largest, and most rapidly expanding distributors of electric supplies, Mayer serves customers in eight southeastern states from 50 branch locations and has over 850 associates. Find out more at

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New Synchronization Customers

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 18 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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