News & Events

This Week in IDEA | May 13, 2009

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.


Subscribe to This Week in IDEA

New IDEA and IDEA IRD Customers

IDEA announces two new IDEA customers and three new IDEA IRD customers. Read more about these companies and how you can begin trading with them electronically to expand your business.

New IDEA Customers

General Wholesale Electric Supply Company (GWES) from Livermore, CA, and Great Lakes Electrical Equipment, Co. from Superior, WI became IDEA customers on May 4, 2009. GWES will take advantage of the cost savings and reliability the Industry Data Exchange (IDX) and will rely on Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for their product and pricing needs. GWES is a proud member of NAED. Find out more at

Great Lakes Electrical Equipment, Co. will also rely on Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for their product and pricing needs. Welcome aboard!

New IDEA IRD 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 three suppliers:

These companies will be trained to use IRD CERICOMX®, an IDEA branded product for supporting and uploading supplier product information into the GS1 Registry® and GDSN via the 1SYNC Data Pool.

If you would like to find out more about the CERICOMX® product, please contact , IRD Product & Customer Support Manager, at .

Tags for this post: idw customers idx ird great lakes electrical equipment general wholesale electric supply

Back To Top

New Video Post! IDEA's President Discusses Net Pricing Challenges & Solutions

IDEA continues to listen to your ideas and comments about IDEA’s eCommerce and data synchronization services. This month IDEA’s president, Bob Gaylord, addresses a distributor from Wisconsin who wants to stress the importance of electrical suppliers submitting their net pricing through IDW. His response covers ways for electrical suppliers to get their net pricing to their trading partners in the most efficient way possible. Bob makes three key points that you don’t want to miss.

“From our perspective, I would tell [suppliers] that the best way to submit net pricing is partner-to-partner, B2B documents – straight EDI – from one person’s system to another system. That’s going to be your best process,” said Bob Gaylord, president and CEO.

Listen to Bob’s response and submit your comments at

Tags for this post: bob gaylord net price

Back To Top

Going Beyond the Basics: Sell More with Catalog Data

Catalog data extends each specific product’s identity beyond the basic transactional data fields to enhance your sales effort. Some of you know catalog data as attributed or marketing data, but regardless of the term you prefer, this is the data that can take your company to the next level of competiveness.

To truly see the value in how your data fits into the sales process, you must be familiar with the meaning and purpose of catalog data.

Basic transactional data includes the product attributes that are required to conduct basic B2B sales transactions. These include, but are not limited to: UPC, catalog number, basic invoice description, packaging and price. Catalog data goes above and beyond transactional data - it includes the attributes that differentiate the product in the eyes of trading partners as well as end users. These attributes include, but are not limited to: images, technical spec sheets, MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets), warranty information and long descriptions used for keyword searches.

Catalog data is a must for companies that need data for print catalogs, eCatalogs, website store fronts, and inside sales resources. This data expands the sales opportunity both in the store as well as electronically by enabling your customers to more easily find, recommend and purchase products.

Think about the last item that you personally purchased online. Did you view an image, read an extended description or browse for other detailed product attributes (i.e., size, color, operating instructions, etc.)? If the information you need to make a buying decision is more than a few clicks away, do you continue searching or just move on to the next product?

B2B decision makers have come to expect the same experience as online consumers (Read more in the article “Next Generation B2B eCommerce”). So how do your customers find and select your products electronically? For the electrical manufacturer, the answer is to provide all the catalog data that you have on each of your products to the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). Distributors depend on IDW Catalog data to make smarter buying decisions and to help sell more products to end users.

The next time you provide or request IDW product data for your company don’t stop at the basics, go beyond the basics and take full advantage of all the catalog data available. This initiative will help to make your products easier to find and sell at each point of contact in the supply chain.

You can access the full list of IDW Catalog data fields in the Product Descriptor Data (PDD), NEMA # section 6.110.

Tags for this post: idw b2b ecommerce catalog data

Back To Top

Complete Forum Agenda and Online Registration Now Available

IDEA recently released the agenda and opened registration for the E-Biz Forum 2009, featuring all new user groups, hands on training sessions and a new buy two, get one free promotion. Discover the value you and your company will gain by registering for the revamped event.

“The Forum gets better each year, which I attribute to IDEA's ability to be as dynamic as eCommerce itself,” said Mark Richards, Director of eCommerce, Leviton Manufacturing.

The 2009 agenda features keynote presentations from industry experts and focused educational and training sessions for specific interests, including executive session tracks.

“I encourage our customers, industry partners and other electrical channel leaders to prepare now for better economic times by investing in their future. This Forum offers a crash course on how to survive and thrive today while increasing competitiveness for a better tomorrow,” said Bob Gaylord, president and CEO, IDEA. “New user groups and training sessions were developed to provide more opportunities for our customers. Attendees will receive hands on assistance and learn valuable cost-cutting strategies through usage of the products, new services and new programs. Your team will come back better prepared to cut your costs and increase your revenues - help them to help you.”

Check out the 2009 Forum agenda to see everything the event has to offer or download the schedule at a glance for the CliffsNotes version.

Register you and your team by June 30th and save $100! Don't forget - buy two registrations and receive one FREE!

Current sponsors of the Forum are: Activant Solutions, Unilog, DATAgility, Hubbell, OSRAM SYLVANIA, ILSCO, Crescent Electric, Schneider Electric, Hoffman, Border States, and Eaton.

Tags for this post: ebiz forum news

Back To Top

IDW Hot Fact: Ways to Share Product Images

Manufacturers can provide product images to distributors in IDW one of three ways: load a URL to the manufacturer website, email the image to IDEA for load onto our servers or send the image to IDEA via FTP. The recommended way is to load a URL to the manufacturer website.

Guidelines for adding the manufacturer website URL to IDW:

  • URL should point directly to an image without requiring further navigation on the part of the user
  • URL should point to just an image, and not an image within a spec sheet or brochure
  • IDW stores only one image per SKU, so the higher the resolution, the better (distributors can downsize them to create thumbnails and web images)
  • URL should not be behind a secured site

Some manufacturers don’t have readily accessible images. In this case, you can email images to load onto IDEA’s servers.

Guidelines for emailing images to load onto IDEA’s servers:

  • Your image should be in .jpg format
  • Resolution should be between 72 and 300 dpi
  • Size should be between 300x300 and 1000x1000

If you have many images that will exceed email attachment limits, you can send them using your own or IDW’s FTP site.

Contact your account manager to share product images with your valued trading partners today.

Tags for this post: idw hot facts catalog data

Back To Top

Need more info?

Customer Service:

View Latest eBusiness education and news for the electrical supply chain. Become an eBiz expert today! subscribe >