Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for Distributors
The Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) is an online application that enables you to securely access accurate and timely product and pricing data directly from suppliers in one place and in one format. Over 3,000 distributor locations across the US and Canada use the product data from the IDW to power their internal business systems, catalogs, web storefronts and mobile apps. The result? They make more sales and knock out national chain competitors.
Built by the industry, for the industry.
The IDW was developed through a collaboration of electrical manufacturers, distributors and service providers, with a mission to satisfy the needs of all members of the supply chain and cut costs from the channel. The IDW application, and the industry eBusiness standards in which it was built upon, is supported by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). The product data in the IDW is provided or approved by the manufacturer to ensure accuracy, and enhance collaboration.
- Increase sales with direct access to manufacturer-provided product data
- Receive product and pricing data from all your suppliers in one place and one format
- Reduce order errors, returns and related operational expenses
- Increase efficiencies and strengthen relationships with suppliers
Manufacturers provide product data for over 1500 brands electronically through the IDW to inform you of new products and communicate updates throughout the product lifecycle. We provide manufacturers with tools to monitor and maintain their product data quality, so you can be sure the IDW data you use is accurate and current.
Viewed upon log-in to the IDW, the distributor dashboard summarizes recent data loads from manufacturers as well as extraction activity.
The Catalog page of the Product Details screen displays product information as it would appear on a web storefront. In addition, each time a manufacturer adds/updates data, this will appear on the homepage dashboard of all their authorized distributors.
Distributors can assign both global and manufacturer-specific preferences.
Once you start using the IDW, you can seamlessly keep your business system up-to-date and in sync with your suppliers. Manufacturers update the IDW regularly (many on a daily or weekly basis), and some have automated processes to ensure IDW data matches their business system in real-time. You can even automate the cumbersome process of obtaining net cost from your suppliers.
- Transparency in the source of your product data
- Reduce order errors and operating expenses by only using product, pricing and packaging data that is provided by the manufacturer
- Know whether the product data was uploaded by the manufacturer or if it was approved by them
- Access to marketing content
- Populate your internal systems, catalogs, web storefronts and mobile apps with marketing content from the IDW such as spec sheets, attributes, images and descriptions, videos and RoHS compliance information
- Prepare for future growth in areas such as mobile computing
- Find out which manufacturers are providing marketing content by reading more about the IDW Bands of Excellence Program
- Data tracking and reports
- View summaries of recent manufacturer data loads and extraction activity
- Easily export to Excel or print directly from the screen you're viewing to improve information sharing
- Access detailed reports on all data import and export activities
- Automate data downloads with the IDW built-in scheduler, with the option to download only the items that have been added or changed since your last download
- Multiple levels of data access
- Assign supplier-specific settings for data extraction and multiple price sheets options
- Receive net costs efficiently and securely
- Find out about price changes and replacement parts before they go into effect so that you can keep your own business system up-to-date
- Standards-based validation
- All IDW product data has been scrubbed and validated against industry eBusiness standards to ensure quality and consistency
- Speak one common language with your suppliers and avoid time and effort spent translating or reformatting electronic documents
- Intuitive interface
- Access from any desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device
- Enjoy full-featured use with minimal training needed
- Quickly search product data
- Platform and format independent
- Extract product data regardless of what system or file formats you use - XML, EDI, Flat File, or others
- Continue to use your current business system and software , but get more results from it
"We now utilize IDW data for price updates because of the accuracy and timeliness of IDW data compared to our previous provider. This change has allowed us to improve our own internal service levels. IDEA has helped us improve many of our vendor partnerships by providing a data bridge and we feel very strongly that our IDEA investment is providing a payback." — Rich Passmore, Viking Electric Supply
"I believe IDEA is the only way that we can be truly successful in taking the inefficiencies out of our organizations as it relates to product data and communication standards. It is the responsibility of the manufacturers to develop and administer their data, and the IDW gives them the opportunity to do that. Any third party that gets in there and messes with that data adds inefficiencies to the business relationships." — David Crum, Crum Electric Supply
"You don't want your people to get to the job site and then find out that you didn't buy the right thing. Then you have to take it back, get credit for it, and order something else. So accurate information is important. My plate is full, and I need to find all the content I can to make my job more efficient." — Dan Poss, , Frisbee's Inc. an electrical, plumbing and HVAC contractor, who accesses IDW product data from his distributor's website
"IDW enables on-line catalog ordering systems, more customer self-service and faster access to information - while reducing our cost of sales and improving accuracy, efficiency and productivity for all of us." — Barry Nelson, Border States
"IDEA has provided a very efficient model for us to capture each of our manufacturer's data in one place right at our desktop. They have helped us build relationships with our suppliers so that we can get the data we need to keep our customers happy." — Joe Wallace, Van Meter Industrial
You don't need to make any upfront investments such as hardware or software to use the IDW application - it's all web-based and the implementation process is simple:
- Attend an orientation webinar tailored to your needs.
- Receive consultation on configuring your account and authorizations.
- Test the application with different trading partners to ensure a seamless flow of product data into your business system.
- Start discovering the benefits of IDW!
If you still have questions after reading the answers below, please contact us.
- What data is available in the IDW?
In addition to core transactional product, pricing and packaging data, manufacturers provide marketing content to help you sell more products including, but not limited to:
- Specification documents - Specification sheets or product brochures that provide technical details about a product, including what the product is and does
- Attributes (defined in the industry's Electrical Attribute Schema) - Product information based on its characteristics, such as: brand, voltage, size, material, application, color, etc., which enable customers to search and select products
- Images - A good visual of the product that customers can view to confirm they are making the right choice
- Descriptions - An easy-to-understand text summary of a product's key features that help define and/or differentiate it from other like products
The IDW Bands of Excellence rating system measures each manufacturer's completion percentage for providing this marketing content through the IDW. The levels (Bronze, Gold and Platinum) indicate the percentage of their stock items in the IDW that now contain the "SAID" elements, so you can see which of your suppliers are providing the content you need.
In addition to this content, we encourage and give manufacturers the opportunity to share other product details and marketing content that will help you sell more products such as Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliance information and installation or product videos.
- How can I access IDW data?
Once you have been authorized by a manufacturer, you can view summaries of recent manufacturer data loads and extraction activity, make download requests or schedule automatic data downloads 24/7.
You can extract IDW data using the EDI 832 Price/Sales Catalog transaction, a pipe delimited flat file format (e.g. EZView), or custom formats using the IDW map function. The custom map function enables you to create a format that is compatible with your business system so that importing the data is simple and seamless.
- Can IDW provide secure, location-specific net costs?
Yes, the IDW enables distributors to receive supplier-specific net pricing files. You can learn more about your options to receive net price electronically by taking our complimentary Net Price Synchronization eLearning module. The IDW passes security audits with the highest possible ratings, and the IDW is annually reviewed against security best practices protocol obtained from leaders in technology security to ensure your net costs aren't available to other distributors.
- What role do standards play in the IDW?
The IDW is based on eBusiness standards created and maintained by electrical manufacturers and distributors on the IDEA Industry Standards Committee (ISC). The ISC has developed various templates and whitepapers for manufacturers to use when uploading their product data into the IDW to streamline the data sync process and maintain stronger communication with you. For example, IDEA released a guide to communicate a standardized set of product descriptors between trading partners which is based on the global UNSPSC® product categorization system, the Electrical Attribute Schema. The Schema helps you develop filters for product drill-downs on your website, and helps manufacturers provide you the rich content (e.g. brand, size, voltage, wire range, color, etc.) needed for your products to be found through web searches.