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This Week in IDEA | November 4, 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 and ElectricSmarts Network Finalize Partnership

Earlier this year, IDEA announced that we were working with ­ElectricSmarts on a strategic partnership which would help fully synchronize the electrical channel including manufacturers, distributors and end-users. Good news – the partnership has been finalized, and IDW users will be reaping the benefits soon.

How this will affect you:

  • End-users will have ac­cess to IDEA’s manufacturer-authorized Industry Data Warehouse (IDW), a product catalog to use for specifying, bidding, online ordering from their distributors, etc.
  • Distributors with IDW subscriptions will have access to ElectricSmarts’ Smart eCat web-based eCatalog to use on their websites and will enjoy enhanced coverage at no cost.
  • Manufacturers will increase their return from synchronizing product information via IDW because the information they authorize will be used and available in more places. Reaching end-users and specifiers helps promote manufacturer products to be included in more jobs.

Through the IDEA / ElectricSmarts partnership, ElectricSmarts will be the exclusive value-added supplier of IDEA data to the contractor/end-user market. ElectricSmarts will begin to:

  • Add IDW product information to the Smart eCat, enabling users to view a list containing the UPC, Catalog #, Description, and other valuable information for almost every item.­­ ­ ­ ­
    • Smart eCat users will be able to build project lists from a single catalog or across multiple catalogs.
  • Create groups and a variety of other methods for customers to find each manufacturer's products. This will be supported by adding video demos, eLearning modules, configurators, MSDS sheets and other important collateral information when appropriate and available.
  • Leverage its relationship with NetPricer™ contractors, distributors and estimating software companies throughout the country to offer them the ability to import and use IDW manufacturer-authorized content to find and add products to their databases. This will increase their productivity and allow end-users and specifiers to add products well beyond the limited data that is typically seeded by the software vendor.
    • Smart eCat will work seamlessly with NetPricer™ allowing end-users to pull in their unique pricing for any material list from the distributors they do business with.

IDEA will be sending an authorization request to manufacturers in the next few weeks. Please take a minute to approve this request so that you can help close the loop in the supply chain by securely authorizing end-users to access your product information. You'll also enable distributors to synchronize their systems with end-user demand systems and provide customer-specific pricing more efficiently than ever before.

Please email   if you have any questions about this new partnership.

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CIPH Welcomes IDEA as a Solutions Partner

In response to one of the strategic objectives identified in the most recent Long Range Plan, the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) Technology Committee and Board have developed a partnership with IDEA to provide technology services to CIPH members. IDEA will offer the CIPH community a lower-cost solution to communicate via electronic data interchange (EDI) with their trading partners. CIPH members will have access to IDEA’s Industry Data Exchange (IDX), an online document exchange solution enabling communications with both EDI and non-EDI customers. In addition, CIPH and IDEA will work together to create a framework for members to establish and adopt industry data standards.

About CIPH: Founded in 1933, CIPH is a not-for-profit trade association committed to providing members with the tools for success in today’s competitive environment. More than 250 companies are members of CIPH, including manufacturers, wholesale distributors, master distributors, manufacturers' agents and allied companies who manufacture and distribute plumbing, hydronic heating, industrial, waterworks and other mechanical products. CIPH wholesalers operate more than 700 warehouses and showrooms across Canada, and their total industry sales exceed $5 billion annually.

CIPH is committed to the success of its members and to the true representation of their interests. CIPH supports its members by influencing codes and standards development, sharing of best practices, career development and education, commitment to the environment, and engagement with governments and other organizations to safeguard consumers, the industry, and the Canadian economy. Find out more at

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Forum Breakout Sessions on YouTube

In addition to videos of the 2011 E-Biz Forum general sessions, videos are now a­vailable for several breakout sessions. Save the date for the 2012 Forum so that you can maximize our Forum resources -- September 25-27 in Dallas, TX!

Videos recently added to IDEA’s YouTube Channel:

Day 1 – Tuesday, September 27­

  • The Evolution of the Industry's First Data Management Platform (DMP) - Melissa Longnecker, IDEA
  • iConex: IDEA’s New Touchless Order System – Brent Halverson, EC Markets; Mike Wentz, IDEA; James Wilkinson, McNaughton-McKay Electric Co.
  • A Practical Guide to Data Syndication in the BIM Environment - Marty Brett, Wheatland Tube; Angela Baraks, DATAgility
  • Utilizing Mobile Technologies to Become More Effective – Rick Sundahl, Grey Wolf Systems
  • Global Distribution: Top Trends and Priorities - Steve Bieszczat, Epicor
  • Digital Marketing Strategy – Ride the Groundswell or Crash and Burn? - Sonia Coleman, Coleman Unlimited; Amanda Johnson, IDEA
  • Industry Data Exchange (IDX) User Group – Barbara Prince, IDEA
  • Achieving Smarter Commerce through Optimized Buy and Sell Processes – Scott Lewis, IBM
  • Seize the Opportunity with the Industry's Electrical Attribute Schema and eCommerce Standards - Mary Shaw, IDEA
  • Lean Distribution: A Change in Thinking; Lean Forever – Howard Coleman, MCA Associates
  • Attack Data Quality Issues with the B2B Partnership Rating Program (PRP) – Mary Shaw, IDEA; Denise Keating, DATAgility

Day 2 – Wednesday, September 28­­

  • Greening the Business Process – Steve Hatajlo, Faxinating Solutions
  • The Progress of eCommerce in the Electrical Industry - Milos Jancik, M. Jancik Consulting
  • Competing on the Web in the Electrical Industry – Mark Keenan, Technicon
  • Drive Your Mobile CRM with IDW Data – Joe Raventos, Sales Management Plus

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Make it Easy for Customers to do Business with You

Content courtesy of TopTenWholesale blog

According to Claudia Bruemmer, a professional writer experienced with SEO optimization and B2B, successful companies in the intensely competitive environment of the wholesale industry realize that visibility to customers and ease of business are key variables in whether a company effectively retains customers and grows revenue from existing customers. Equally important, a company must streamline its business processes for electronic document exchange. Bruemmer identifies and discusses how eCommerce integration, punchout integration, purchase-order integration, invoice exchange, price and product availability verification, and EDI integration can each be optimized for a business strategy.

Read the article on>

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2011 IMARK Distinguished Performance Awards

Content courtesy of the IMARK Group

IDEA extends its congratulations to the following companies that were recognized by IMARK Group for distinguished performance during IMARK Group’s 2011 fiscal year (July 1, 2010 thru June 30, 2011). The award winners were announced on October 16, 2011 during the IMARK Annual Meeting at Indian Wells, California.

Member(s) of the Year: United Electric Supply - New Castle, DE; Dickman Supply - Sidney, OH; Republic Companies - Davenport, IA; Electric Wholesale Inc - Ames, IA.

Excellence in Sales and Marketing: Stoneway Electric Supply - Spokane, WA; Wabash Electric - Wabash, IN; Yesco Electric Supply - Youngstown, OH; Mid-West Electric Supply - Arkansas, KS.

GainShare Achievement: Walters Wholesale Electric - Signal Hill, CA; Alameda Electrical Distributor - Hayward, CA; Blazer Electric Supply - Colorado Springs, CO; Yale Electric Supply - Canton, MA.

Purchasing Power Award: Elliott Electric Supply - Nacogdoches, TX; Bayou Electric and Specialty - New Iberia, LA; Sequel Electrical Supply - Meridian, MS; FSG Lighting - Austin, TX.

IMARK Group recognized the following IMARK supplier companies for their distinguished performance.

Supplier (s) of the Year: Acuity Brands Lighting - Conyers, GA; 3M Electrical Markets Div. - Austin, TX; Klein Tools - Lincolnshire, IL.

Excellence in Marketing and Communications: Pass and Seymour/Legrand - Solvay, NY; RAB Lighting - Northvale, NJ; ILSCO - Cincinnati, OH.

Sales Leadership: Leviton Manufacturing - Melville, NY; Arlington Industries - Scranton, PA; Klein Tools - Lincolnshire, IL.

Excellence in Service and Support: Southwire Company - Carrollton, GA; IDEAL Industries - Sycamore, IL; ILSCO - Cincinnati, OH.

Excellence in On-Line Training: Crescent Stonco (a Philips Group brand) - Union NJ; Broan-Nutone LLC - Hartford, WI; Acme Electric Inc - Menomonee Falls, WI.

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New Synchronization Customers

New IDW Customer

Cementex USA, a manufacturer from Burlington, NJ, became an Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) customer in October 2011. Since 1950, Cementex has defined its core competence in insulated safety hand tools and specializes as a double-insulated hand tool supplier. Find out more at

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 32 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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