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This Week in IDEA | March 15, 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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IDEA and Unilog Partner to Offer a Robust Web Storefront Solution

Through a strategic partnership with Unilog Content Solutions, best known for their data cleansing and data quality consulting work in the electrical industry, IDEA will become the exclusive provider of Unilog’s robust web storefront solution to electrical distributors, “iCIMM2” (catalog information material management). This solution enables distributors to manage their catalog content, publish multiple versions of the content to one or more mediums, and provide robust search engine capabilities to their customers.

“IDEA has been the leader of product data synchronization within the electrical industry for over a decade, and a logical extension is to help companies leverage that data to see tangible business results,” said Bob Gaylord, president and CEO, IDEA. “I believe in this product and in Unilog’s ability to customize it to highlight each company’s competitive strategy. More and more business is won online, and we want to help our customers get found and stand out from all the clutter.”

The content management piece of the solution will be pre-populated with the manufacturer-owned and validated product information from the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). This integration will be seamless for IDW users who decide to leverage the iCIMM2 solution. iCIMM2 also integrates with most enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems including: Epicor Eclipse, Infor SX Enterprise, JD Edwards and Netsuite, and logistic and payment companies such as: FedEx, UPS, Bank of America, Google Checkout and PayPal.

“Combining Unilog’s software development and user experience expertise with IDEA’s industry-specific knowledge and standardized product marketing content will result in a truly unique solution. Integrating iCIMM2 with the IDW will help distributors quickly build the foundation for their web storefront, and give them confidence the product information is accurate – a differentiator that becomes even more essential when it’s directly linked to payments and shipping,” said Suchit Bachalli, vice president of sales, Unilog.

Mayer Electric Supply, an electrical distributor headquartered in Birmingham, AL is an early adopter of iCIMM2.

“I knew we needed to enhance our eCommerce capabilities quickly, and when I found out that IDEA and Unilog were teaming up to provide a web storefront solution pre-populated with IDW data, it was a slam dunk! I’ve been impressed with the quick turnarounds and responsiveness of the implementation team, and would definitely recommend this solution to other electrical distributors,” said Mr. Barry Carden, VP and CIO, Mayer Electric Supply.

If you’d like more information about iCIMM2, please contact your IDEA Account Manager or email .

View the press release online and download the PDF>

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Last Week to Register for “The Digital You” Webinar

­­­­­­Webinar: The Digital You: Building a Strong Web Presence ­
Date: March 21, 2012
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm EDT
Speakers: Mary Shaw, Standards Director, IDEA and Denise Keating, President, DATAgility ­
Manufacturer Guest: Peter Vient, Data Sync Coordinator, OSRAM SYLVANIA
­ Register>

Learn about the industry-inspired solutions that can help manufacturers and distributors build a strong web presence and create a consistent brand experience, such as leveraging the industry's Electrical Attribute Schema and integrating marketing conten­t from the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) with eCatalogs and web storefronts.

Webinar agenda:

  • Review related challenges faced by manufacturers and distributors and the overall environment in which they compete.
  • Identify ways to prioritize how you build product marketing content so that goals are realistic and manageable.
  • Overview of the industry solutions that are available to help you reach your goals including the Electrical Attribute Schema and the Attribute Fulfillment Service (AFS).
  • Overview of how product marketing content can be integrated and leveraged in various mediums such as web storefronts and eCatalogs.


­­­­­­­­­Mary Shaw, Standards Dire­ctor, IDEA
has been involved with the electrical industry for over 25 years including a 14-year career at the electrical manufacturing company, Panduit. She plays an instrumental role in the development of industry eCommerce standards as a leader of the IDEA Industry Standards Committee (ISC).

­Denise Keating, President, DATAgility has over 20 years of experience in consulting for the development and implementation of successful EDI, VMI, and product data governance business strategies. DATAgility is an IDEA strategic partner and a primary developer of the industry’s Electrical Attribute Schema.

Manufacturer Guest:

Peter Vient, Data Sync Coordinator, OSRAM SYLVANIA, has over 17 years of experience with OSRAM and is currently in the Business Development group synchronizing accurate data for all sales channels. Vient is also the Sales Operations EDI advocate and handles NAFTA reporting for the company.

Visit the IDEA Webinar page for a sneak peek at two webinars coming soon: “Automating Order Management” and “Next Generation Data Sync.” Please comment on this post or (Don’t forget to mention us @IDEAeSolutions and start using the #IDEAwebinars hashtag)!

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Susan Streich Joins the IDEA Team

Susan Streich, formerly of Epicor Software Corporation, has joined the Sales & Marketing team as National Sales Manager. Streich brings over a decade of electrical channel experience to IDEA and will be leading an expanded sales team at a time when our solution suite for the channel is dramatically growing. She joined the IDEA team on March 5, 2012 and reports to Mike Wentz, VP of Marketing and Operations.

“I’m passionate about educating manufacturers and distributors in how to increase sales, improve marketing efforts, eliminate errors and take costs out of their day-to-day business by implementing IDEA’s solutions. These tools are for so much more than eBusiness. From pulling data for print catalogs to helping countermen find products more easily and quickly, IDEA’s services offer distributors and manufacturers the opportunity to help their entire business process run more efficiently,” said Streich.

During her tenure at Epicor, Streich was integral to Vista Information Services initiatives and spearheaded the market research project in the electrical industry. She engaged manufacturers in need of distributor product sales data and analytics. Prior to Epicor, she dedicated 8 years as Marketing Manager and then New Business Development Manager to a large buying group consortium in the food industry, and began her career conducting market research for A.C. Nielson, a global leader in measurement and information services. Streich has also been active for many years in the NAED “Women in the Industry” group and will continue to participate while working key industry events.

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

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Could Video be the New Spec Sheet? Omni Cable Thinks So

Content courtesy of­


The Omni Cable crew films an informational video­­­

Distributors looking for new and innovative ways to present their product information may want to take a look at Omni Cable Corporation. In a recent interview with, Pete Comber, Executive Vice President of Marketing, explained how the company goes beyond printed catalogs and specification sheets by producing videos in which Omni Cable sales staff answers specific product questions and helps clarify some of the nuances of their products. According to Comber, distributors and their customers are responding positively to the new video initiative and Omni has received a 25% increase in website traffic as a result. Comber goes on to share the driving force behind the initiative and the website’s future roadmap.

Read the blog post>

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New B2B eCommerce and Synchronization Customers

New iCIMM2 Customer

Mayer Electric Supply, an electrical distributor headquartered in Birmingham, AL, recently became an iCIMM2 customer. Founded in 1930, Mayer serves customers in eight southeastern states from 50 branch locations and has over 800 associates. As an early adopter of iCIMM2, Mayer will leverage the IDW integration to build the content for their web storefront, publish multiple versions of the content to one or more mediums, and provide robust search engine capabilities to their customers. Find out more at and read the iCIMM2 press release for more information.

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 four 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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