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This Week in IDEA | June 9, 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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Get Your Products on Retailers’ Shelves with IDEA’s Data Management Service

Have you been tasked to manage the data synchronization process for your company? Are the pressures of demand partner requirements and deadlines keeping you up at night? Many manufacturers and suppliers depend on IDEA’s data sync experts to get their products on the shelves of top retailers like Walmart and Lowe’s. Get the steps in the process and hear what two hardline suppliers are saying.

IDEA’s Data Management Service (DMS) is a professional solution provided exclusively to IRD CERICOMX® users. It gives suppliers that are requested to comply with GDSN® standards and/or demand-side mandates, the option to outsource the data synchronization process to IDEA – giving them more time to focus on what they do best. IDEA manages the product catalogs and notifies the supplier on the status of the items including when they are published and synchronized with demand-side partners like Lowe’s, Walmart and McLane. What suppliers are saying:

  • “IDEA has proven to be a valuable partner for W. W. Henry through their Data Management Service. The response time from the IDEA support team exceeded my expectations and the quality of their work is second to none. They are always willing and able to answer all of my data synchronization questions - even when they’re out of scope. I’m completely confident in the service they provide which allows me to focus on other priorities,” said James Masterson, Director of Operations, W.W. Henry Company.
  • “For MAPEI, the IDEA Data Management Service has provided the data synchronization infrastructure that we needed. Their customer service is outstanding. The IDEA support team is very responsive which makes the data synchronization process so much easier,” said Will Wooten, National Account Manager, MAPEI.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Suppliers provide IDEA with the required product information such as the GTIN, UPC, Item Name, etc.
  2. IDEA uploads the data in the proper format and manages the entire data synchronization process through IRD CERICOMX® which includes: compiling data, finding proper codes, validating data against GDSN® rules, publishing and sorting through retailer messages, etc.
  3. IDEA notifies the supplier on the status of the items including when they are successfully published and synchronized.
  4. IDEA will keep the supplier’s product catalogs up-to-date based on item modifications and additions that are provided.

Download the Data Management Service datasheet to learn more. 

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Last Piece of the Category Code Puzzle

The attribute schema is based on the lowest level of the UNSPSC code, the commodity level (last two digits of the complete eight-digit code), which makes it the last piece of the puzzle needed to implement and maximize the schema. If an item doesn’t have a complete UNSPSC code in IDW by June 30th, it will stay in IDW but no updates or new items will load until the code is populated.

A UNSPSC code is represented by an eight-digit structured numeric code which indicates a products location in the taxonomy and how it is uniquely categorized on a global-scale.

For example, here’s how the UNSPSC code for a florescent light fixture “39111501” breaks down:

  • 39 (Electrical Systems and Lighting and Components and Accessories and Supplies) - A two digit segment: a logical aggregation of product families
  • 11 (Lighting Fixtures and Accessories) - A two digit family: a commonly recognized group of inter-related commodity categories
  • 15 (General Lighting and Fixtures) - A two digit class: a group of commodities sharing common characteristics (all products in IDW were required to be populated to the class level on December 31, 2009)
  • 01 (Fluorescent Fixtures) - A two digit commodity or category: a group of substitutable products or services (all products in IDW will be required to be populated to the commodity level by June 30, 2010)

Once populated, the UNSPSC codes and attributes are expected to help manufacturers and distributors increase sales in-store and online. Attributed data enables:

  • Websites, custom software systems, spreadsheets and databases to search for specific products based on characteristics (or attributes) of the product.
  • Customers to navigate to products based on menus or classifications, enabling quick searches for specific product attributes.
  • Customers with a general knowledge of a product to drill down to the exact product they need.
  • Customers and distributors to identify the exact products they need and eliminate mistakes in product selection.

We are here to help manufacturers complete the population of UNSPSC codes and help distributors maximize their use. Here’s how to learn more:

  • Take the Attribute Schema eLearning module course when it’s convenient for you.
  • Attend a free live training session that occurs every Thursday at 2:30PM EST. Please contact your account manager to sign up for the next one on June 10.
  • Take advantage of our UNSPSC assistance service – download datasheet.

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Save $400+ with Forum Cost-Saving Tips – Early Bird Rates End June 30th

There is less than a month left to take advantage of our early bird rates. Find out what other cost-saving tips could help you get travel approval.

Ways to save $400+ per attendee in 2010:

  • Register by June 30th to save $75 per attendee
  • Use the “Buy two registrations and get one half off” promotion
  • Take advantage of our 5% discount with American Airlines - Promotion Code: 7890AD
  • Reserve your room with our discounted room rate - only $149/night
  • Book your airport shuttle transportation on the Forum website - only $13 each way with discount
  • Sign up for Omni’s free Guest Loyalty Program to receive complimentary internet, morning beverage delivery, pressing, bottled water and much more 
  • Spend less time out of the office - event has been shortened by a half-day
  • Dine at the main hotel restaurant, Trevi’s, and receive 10% off

Dallas is a centrally located and affordable city - visit the Forum location page for more details.

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Electro-Federation Canada: Sponsor of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2010

Thanks to Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) for their Bronze level sponsorship of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2010. EFC is also a co-host of the event. This company demonstrates their support of the training and educational event where B2B leaders in the electrical supply chain and other related verticals discover how to utilize the latest eBusiness strategies and technologies. Their leadership and support is greatly appreciated by all. The Forum, themed “eOptimizing Performance and Profitablity”, will take place on September 20-22 in Dallas, TX.

Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) is a national, not-for-profit industry association. Together, its five councils represent over 300 member companies that manufacture, distribute, and service electrical, electronics, and telecommunications products; contributing over $50B to the Canadian economy and employing more than 130,000 workers in more than 1,400 facilities across Canada. Find out more at  

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New B2B eCommerce and Synchronization Customers

IDEA welcomes two new IDX and 13 new IRD CERICOMX® customers. Read more about these companies and how you can begin trading with them electronically to expand your business.

New IDX Customers

Royal Electric Supply Company of Philadelphia, PA, became an Industry Data Exchange (IDX) customer on May 18, 2010. Since 1919, Royal Electric has continuously provided electrical supplies and equipment to industrial and manufacturing customers around the world. They will be taking advantage of the cost savings and reliability of IDX to exchange B2B documents. Royal Electric is a proud member of IMARK. Find out more at Welcome aboard!

Coburn Supply Company of Beaumont, TX, became an Industry Data Exchange (IDX) customer on May 28, 2010. Coburn Supply operates locations in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee serving the needs of the construction industry. They will be taking advantage of the cost savings and reliability of IDX to exchange B2B documents. Coburn Supply is a proud member of IMARK. Find out more at Welcome aboard!

New IRD CERICOMX® Customers

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 13 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 like Lowe’s and Walmart.

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