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This Week in IDEA | March 14, 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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IDW Webinar for Manufacturers this Thursday – Register Now

Better Data. Better Business: The Industry Data Warehouse
Thursday, March 14, 2013 2:00PM EDT - 3:00PM EDT

Join us this Thursday as we take a closer look at IDEA’s Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) and how manufacturers can use this application to easily communicate accurate product and pricing content to their trading partners in near real-time. We'll clarify any questions you may have about the IDW and you'll find out what’s being done in the channel, and globally, to help manufacturers increase sales with high-quality marketing data in the IDW. We’ll take you through an exclusive demo of the IDW including the new Supply Chain Analytics tool that manufacturers can use to pinpoint data quality issues in real-time and fix them at the source.

Register for the webinar “Better Data. Better Business: The Industry Data Warehouse” now>

Speakers: Robert Hollands, Lead Data Quality Analyst, IDEA; Justin Smith, Development & eCommerce Solutions Manager, IDEA

Guest Speakers: Dennis Linden, National Sales Manager, Electri-Flex Company; J.R. Tapper, Director of MIS, J.H. Larson Company

Who should attend?: Marketing managers, IT/eBusiness managers/coordinators, product managers, or data sync coordinators at electrical manufacturing companies that use or are considering using the IDW to send product and pricing data to their trading partners

Visit the Webinars webpage to see additional series>

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New IDEA Resources Available: IDW, Standards, Canada

We’ve revamped and added to the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) webpages to make them focused for manufacturers and distributors, and added to the Standards Adoption webpages to include details on popular resources published by IDEA’s Industry Standards Committee (ISC) including the Attribute Schema, EDIPro guidelines, and Net Price exchange methods.

In addition, the following documents have been added to the Resource Center on the IDEA website:

For Manufacturers: All about the Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) – IDEA’s applications help manufacturers to quickly and securely share product information with their partners. Use this handy one-pager for an overview of how IDEA’s applications work for manufacturers.

Download the brief>

For Distributors: All about the Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) – IDEA’s applications help distributors automate daily tasks, confidently display product catalogs from anywhere, and compete with the national chains. Use this handy one-pager for an overview of how IDEA’s applications work for distributors.

Download the brief>

Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for Canadian Manufacturers – IDEA and Electro Federation Canada (EFC) are working together to grow adoption of the IDW in Canada to connect electrical manufacturers and distributors. This document explains how Canadian manufacturers can use the IDW to securely share product and pricing data with distributors and other trading partners electronically.

Download the brief>

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New UNSPSC® Code Set Released for Electrical Industry and Used in IDW

A new version of the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®) classification code set, a global standard for product categorization, was recently released. The product descriptors in the Electrical Attribute Schema are based on the UNSPSC® codes which are required to load new product data into the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). The UNSPSC® v15 release is now available for public access and download from the Standards Resources webpage.

IDEA’s Industry Standards Committee (ISC) submitted code change requests to the UNSPSC® that were approved and are included in v15. If you've requested new codes and received a placeholder code, your Data Quality Analyst (DQA) will be reaching out to you shortly to make the switch to your data. The Audit tab section in the file highlights the changes in yellow. No other deletions or moves affect the electrical industry.

These new codes will be included in the next update of the Attribute Schema, which will be released later this year. In the meantime, manufacturers can still provide up to 10 non-Schema attributes with the placeholder code.

Special note: The v15 code set contained an error that will be modified by the UNSPSC® in their late spring release. They have authorized IDEA to release a copy with the corrected codes (Version 15.1101a) that can be utilized in the meantime before the next version. Version 15.1101a is what is being using in the IDW and is available for download from the Standards Resources webpage or through your Data Quality Analyst (DQA).

Please contact or your DQA with any questions or for more information.

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Job Opening: eBusiness Standards Program Management Assistant (Part-Time)

Are you looking for a way to make a direct impact on the electrical industry and contribute to industry eBusiness standards initiatives? Join the IDEA team in this new career opportunity. 

Title: Program Management Assistant, Part-Time Position (20 hrs/week)

Department: eBusiness Standards

Reports to:  Director, eBusiness Standards

Function: Assist the Director, eBusiness Standards with the management, maintenance, development and coordination and adoption of eBusiness Standards and related activities to support and advance electronic commerce initiatives in the electrical wholesale industry and other vertical markets.


  • Work with the Director, eBusiness Standards, electrical industry manufacturers, consultants and the IDEA support team to facilitate the development, maintenance, harmonization and adoption of eBusiness and data standards. 
  • Coordinate Global Data Standards alignment project aligning the Electrical Industry Attribute Schema, based on the UNSPSC® (United Nations Standard Product and Services Code) categorization system with the European Technical Information Model (ETIM). 
  • Manage the UNSPSC®-based Electrical Industry Attribute Schema normalization project working with manufacturers and consultants to determine common UNSPSC® assignments for products across manufacturers.  Develop a recommended assignment standard for manufacturers to use when assigning UNSPSC® codes to their products in IDW.
  • Assist in the management and maintenance of the IDEA Electrical Industry Attribute Schema and the associated revision process.
  • Assist in the management and maintenance of the UNSPSC® Product Code Revision process.
  • Facilitate communications of standards, best practices and white papers to customers and other interested parties enabling rapid adoption of eBusiness standards. 
  • Coordinate logistics of, and facilitate, Industry Standards Committee meetings. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned. 


  • Minimum 5 years electrical wholesale industry experience.
  • Bachelors Degree in business, marketing or Information Technology helpful.
  • Background in E-commerce and/or Information Systems/Technology.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with manufacturer data, and the communication methods used to exchange the data as an asset. (Technical familiarity with EDI and XML).
  • Proficiency in MS Excel, Access, Word and PowerPoint.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.
  • Strong analytical, research and problem solving skills.
  • Team player that is self-driven with strong work ethic.
  • Ability to interact with individuals at different levels within and outside the organization. 

    If you are interested and qualify for this position, please forward cover letter and resume to Mary Shaw, Director, eBusiness Standards, at .

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    Your 100% Honest Opinion Wanted in IDEA Survey

    Your feedback is critical in helping us understand how IDEA's applications impact your day-to-day business so that we can prioritize our efforts in 2013 and beyond.

    You should have received a personal email with the survey link two weeks ago. If you did not receive it, please email for your personal link.

    The survey will close tomorrow on Friday, March 15th. We really would appreciate hearing from you before we close the survey. It should take 10 minutes or less to complete and your responses will be kept confidential.

    We appreciate your time and thank you for sharing your opinions. Four survey respondents will be selected randomly to receive $25 Visa cards as thanks for your input. 

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    Growing Mobile Integration in the Electrical Industry

    Although eCommerce is probably the most visibly impacted by mobile technology, the following articles provide industry perspectives on how mobile efforts can potentially revitalize all aspects of a business, including customer service and sales.

    10 Trends that Will Shake the Industry: Electrical Wholesaling recently identified key macrotrends that can change how the electrical industry will do business in the next few years. Among the trends discussed, the effect of consumer mobile behavior was predicted to influence how distributors will manage their back-end product information on web storefronts and engage with new marketing tools.

    Read the article on>

    WESCO’s Mobile App Takes Aim at Data Center Challenges: WESCO recently designed an interactive problem-solver app to help data center operators find information on the solutions they need and improve profitability. The free app has had hundreds of downloads by IT professionals, system integrators, consultants, manufacturers and contractors since its launch.

    Read the article on (p. 50)>

    3M Launches NEMRA RepFiles Application: 3M is the most recent NEMRA Manufacturer to utilize the NEMRA RepFiles application to provide their sales team with mobile access to sales and marketing collateral while in the field. Demos of the application are available on this .

    Read the press release here>

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