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This Week in IDEA | March 17, 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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IDEA Releases the Electrical Attribute Schema v2.0

Electrical manufacturers can now populate standardized marketing content for nearly 2500 product categories as a result of IDEA’s release of the Electrical Attribute Schema v2.0. The Schema was developed in collaboration with DATAgility and Unilog, and with the review and approval of the IDEA Industry Standards Committee (ISC). This expanded version increases product coverage by 64% from the previous version.

The original Schema standardizes descriptive product information for the following product areas:

  • Electrical systems and Lighting and components
  • Motors & cable
  • Industrial controls
  • Data Comm

NEW -- Version 2.0 includes additional product areas requested by our customers:

  • Solvents & adhesives
  • Plumbing/HVAC
  • Tools
  • Safety & security
  • Test & measuring equipment

Version 2.0 also includes a revised abbreviation table and has a “segment-level” column to make it easier for users to identify the UNSPSC category code.

The Schema provides manufacturers with a guide to communicate a standardized set of product descriptors to their trading partners the way THEY want to differentiate and describe THEIR products through IDEA’s IDW Data Synchronization Platform, enabling better marketing of their products to the end user. And now with the Schema attributes provided by the manufacturer, distributors can build THEIR own long descriptions and populate THEIR own catalogs, e-storefronts, ERP systems, etc. the way THEY want. The product descriptors are based on the product’s United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC), a global standard for product categorization. The benefits of Schema v2.0 can be realized by manufacturers and distributors now that manufacturers are loading UNSPSC codes into the IDW at the category level, which is the foundation for the Schema.

The Schema is a living document and will continue to expand and improve as other product areas are identified as needed by electrical manufacturers and wholesale distributors.

You can now access and download the Schema v2.0 on the IDEA Portal. Please contact your or data quality analyst if you have any questions.

Additional resources:

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2011 Forum Website Launched: Tim Sanders to Return as Keynote

IDEA launched the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2011 website with a new design and simplified navigation, creating a consistent user experience with the main IDEA website. You can now access 2011 event information at The latest: Tim Sanders, New York Times bestselling author and former Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo!, returns to the Forum as the opening keynote speaker on day two.

Sanders made his last appearance at the 2008 Forum where he received rave reviews from attendees. This year he will arm attendees with seven principles that will help you be the first to bounce back with post-recession tactics.

General Session Preview -- Phoenix Companies: How To Be The First To Bounce Back

Confidence in leadership, a “we will win” attitude, is the key to success during this recovery cycle in business. The opening keynote session will focus on instilling a solutions-oriented culture that moves things forward, leading to innovations that either drive efficiencies or capture market trends. Highlighting bold and innovative companies that found ways to move forward while their competitors stayed put, Sanders will show how this has been a proven post-recession tactic since 1911. Sanders’ 7 principles, if followed, give a boost in confidence, increased productivity and a drive to take it to the next level.

7 Principles from Today We are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence

1 – Feed Your Mind Good Stuff

2 – Move The Conversation Forward

3 – Exercise Your Gratitude Muscle

4 – Give To Be Rich

5 – Prepare Thy Self

6 – Balance

7 – Promise Made, Promise Kept

To sponsor this keynote session or Sanders’ book giveaway at the Forum, please contact Kristin Ballance at or .

About Tim Sanders

Tim Sanders speaks for strong business relationships, both internal and external. "Get them right," he says, "and you’ll grow your business during good and bad times alike." His relevant point of view makes him one of the most in-demand keynote speakers. His Los Angeles-based company, Deeper Media, conducts research on business trends, new media and human behavior.

Tim has valuable experience in cutting-edge businesses, sales and marketing. He's weathered the quality movement as well as the dotcom crash and emerged with precious insight. He was the Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo! and later their Leadership Coach. Prior to these senior positions Tim created and led the Yahoo! ValueLab, an in-house "think tank" which delivered futuristic insight on technology and human behavior. He was also an early member of Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner's, the most successful opening day IPO in history.

His first book, Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends is a New York Times and international business best seller, translated in a dozen languages. It stresses the importance of knowledge sharing, networking and compassion.

His follow up, The Likeability Factor explains the concept of emotional talent and the importance of creating an engaging experience. It was the basis for a PBS Special, produced by leading affiliate WQED.

Saving the World at Work, examines the external relationship between a business, its people and society. It makes a strong business case for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability initiatives being at the top of a company's strategic agenda. The book was named as one of the top 30 business books of 2008 by Executive Soundview.

Tim’s work is frequently featured in the media, most recently in The New York Times, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company.

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DATAgility and Lutron: First Sponsors of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2011

Thanks to DATAgility for their Platinum sponsorship and Lutron for their Bronze sponsorship of the IDEA E-Biz Forum 2011. These companies demonstrate their support of the only eBusiness event dedicated to business-to-business leaders in the electrical supply chain. Their leadership and partnership is greatly appreciated by all. Join the ranks of these eBusiness leaders - take a look at the sponsor benefits to select your company sponsorship and submit the sponsor form to secure your sponsored event. Early sponsor benefits end April 1!

DATAgility, the leading data management service company, helps companies drive significant sales growth, build brand loyalty and increase profits, by unlocking the power of high quality product data. If your company has staff dedicated to correcting purchase orders, resolving price differences, adjusting invoices - poor quality product data is likely the culprit! If the information you are sharing on your website is not being easily conveyed to your trading partner websites and B2B systems, you are losing critical sales opportunities. DATAgility has enabled an extensive number of companies to maintain and improve their competitiveness, efficiencies, and profitability, through the implementation of cost effective data management solutions. Contact DATAgility to learn more about our cost-effective enriched catalog content & attribute fulfillment services, description building, data alignment, and data governance services to leverage your product data as powerful asset.  


Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., headquartered in Coopersburg, Pa., is the world leader in the design and manufacture of lighting control solutions for both residential and commercial applications. The company offers a wide variety of lighting controls, whole-home and whole-building dimming systems, and controllable window treatments as well as energy saving products. In homes and public buildings around the world, Lutron products save energy while enhancing the appearance and atmosphere of any space, from a single room to an entire structure. Find out more at  

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MDM Reports on the Future of IT for Distributors

Tom Gale, publisher and executive editor of Modern Distribution Management, shares key points from technology consultant, Geoffrey Moore’s session at the Activant Summit 2011. Read his latest post in the MDM Technology Blog.

“The essence of distribution is relationship management and troubleshooting,” Moore says. “They are truly connective tissue” in our economy. That requires increasingly better communication, coordination and collaboration.

Read Gale’s blog post, “Future of IT for Distributors” in the MDM Technology Blog>

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Portal Tip: EDI Capabilities Chart Updated

IDEA updated the EDI Capabilities Chart which communicates the Inbound and Outbound EDI, Flat File and EDIFact transactions that a company supports -- over 80 electrical manufacturers and distributors are represented in this new chart. The document specifies the transaction types each company is capable of conducting today and those that are being testing for future use. For example, Distributor X is capable of conducting Inbound EDI transactions for Invoices (810), Outbound for Purchase Order (850), and is testing the Price Authorization Acknowledgment/Status (845) transaction set for future use.

This information is extremely valuable for companies that are trying to prioritize ways in which they can drive costs out of their supply chain. It enables you to pinpoint the processes you can automate with your strategic trading partners so that you can contact them to set up the EDI workflow.

The updated EDI Capabilities Chart is now available on the IDEA Portal. You can download the document by logging in with your user name and password, navigating to Training>IDX>Resources.

If your company is not represented on the EDI Capabilities Chart, please contact to let her know you want to be added and send a list of the EDI transactions you support. This process will be automated in 2011 to ensure accurate and current information; we will provide an update once this is completed.

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New Synchronization Customers

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

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 five 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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