Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for Manufacturers

The Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) is an online application that enables you to securely share accurate and timely product and pricing data with distributors and other trading partners electronically in one place and in one format. Hundreds of manufacturers representing over 1,500 brands use the IDW to differentiate their products, inform trading partners of new products, and communicate updates throughout all stages of the product lifecycle. The result? Products move off the shelf faster and with more efficiency.

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 on which it was built, is supported by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). The IDW provides manufacturers with analytical tools to measure product data quality, pinpoint errors, and quickly fix any errors uncovered at their source to ensure all future updates are accurate. All manufacturer product data in the IDW is only released if it has been authorized by the manufacturer.

Key Benefits:

  • Differentiate your products from competitors
  • Speed up your sales cycle
  • Reduce order errors, returns and related operational expenses
  • Strengthen relationships with trading partners

Distributors, manufacturer reps and OEMs use the product data they receive through the IDW to sell more of your products in store and online. Over 3,000 distributor locations across the US and Canada use product data from the IDW to power their internal business systems, catalogs, web storefronts and mobile apps.

Once you start using the IDW, IDEA will host, secure and distribute your product data based on your unique requirements. You'll have complete control over your product and pricing data including who has access to it, and you can even automate the cumbersome process of sending net pricing to your distributors.

Host and distribute various types of product content
  • Share transactional product, pricing and packaging data to reduce order errors
  • Differentiate your products by providing marketing content (e.g. spec sheets, attributes, images, and descriptions) in a standardized format
Product lifecycle management
  • Ensure proper phase in and phase out of products
  • Reduce operating costs and errors
  • Notify trading partners of price changes and replacement parts before they go into effect
Standards-based validation and data quality tools
  • Scrub and validate data against industry standards before making it available to trading partners
  • Measure the completeness and quality of your IDW product data based on industry standards
  • Drill down to pinpoint and correct specific errors at their source for all of your trading partners
Top security ratings with multiple levels of access to data
  • Rest easy knowing your data and transactions are secure - 100% uptime since its inception
  • Authorize partners before they receive product information so it doesn't end up in the wrong hands
  • Grant access to public and/or private pricing structures for each trading partner
  • Send net-into-stock pricing efficiently and securely
Platform and format independent
  • Send and receive product data regardless of what system or file formats you use - XML, EDI, Flat File
  • Continue to use your current business system and software, and get more results from it
Data tracking and reports
  • 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 uploads on a regular schedule with built-in scheduler
Intuitive interface
  • Access from any desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device
  • Enjoy full-featured use with minimal training needed
  • Quickly search and edit product data or correct minor data entry errors on the spot

When you begin providing product data to your trading partners through the IDW, you'll gain access to IDEA's Catalog Management Services. These services help to ensure the product data you're sharing with thousands of distributors is as accurate and complete as possible.

Supply Chain Analytics: This on-demand assessment tool empowers your team to evaluate the quality of your product data in the IDW through the eyes of your distributors.

  • Pinpoint data quality issues in real-time & fix them at the source: The Supply Chain Analytics error checks take the data evaluation beyond traditional validation rules, assessing critical fields that have been selected and weighted according to industry eBusiness standards and their importance to distributors. The analytics reports are available for export so that you can correct the errors in your business system to ensure all future updates are accurate.
  • Increase ROI from the IDW application: This tool helps ensure that the data you spend time populating in the IDW meets your distributors' needs so that it can be used to make sales right away.
  • Increase visibility amongst staff across the globe: You can give your non-technical staff (e.g. marketing, product managers) limited access to the IDW so that they can take advantage of this user-friendly tool to measure and improve the product data for which they are responsible.
  • Measure & promote your progress: You can use this tool to see where you stack up against other IDW manufacturers and share your progress. The comparison data and the appraisal rating are private and can only be viewed by you upon login.

Data Services: This service provides you with access to IDEA's data quality experts, who can help you quickly fix any product data errors that you uncover, guaranteeing that your data housed in the IDW is clean and error-free.

  • Receive exemplary service from a dedicated Data Quality Analyst (DQA): Your DQA can assist you with your data uploads, error corrections, and much more including:
    • Data extracts/authorization reports
    • Custom reports
    • UNSPSCĀ® code identification/loading
    • Data scrubbing/formatting before loading into IDW
    • Facilitating meetings with your distributors
    • Support issues related to IDW and Data Management Platform (DMP) integration
  • Increase visibility of what matters most with monthly reports: Access custom monthly reports with data quality metrics, and receive alerts for incomplete or obsolete active items in the IDW to help you prioritize your data improvements moving forward.

"The IDW updates distributor systems with changes to our product and pricing information in near real-time, thanks to flexible integration features and standardized formats - much faster than other solution providers. Only IDW gives us the ability to synchronize product, pricing, packaging and marketing information in one location. By having both manufacturers and distributors on the same standardized platform, costs are cut out of the supply chain." — Stacie Braffet, IDEAL

"Providing clean and complete marketing data through the IDW makes it easy for our distributors to access all the information they need to promote our products. This not only helps project our brand in a consistent manner across various media, it is also the most efficient way for us to help our distributors meet their customers' needs." — Charbel H. Tagher, Specified Technologies, Inc.

" Think of your product information as a strategic asset that will help drive up sales. Use IDW as the means to deliver your strategic asset to your trading partners in the most cost effective way. Your distributors can read everything that is out there in the marketplace, but it makes more of an impression when it comes from you." — Tim Powers, Hubbell Inc.

"The IDW's standardized format makes it easier to get the product information we need to go-to-market effectively. We are able to develop a web presence with proper searching of products as well as have the right pricing and most up-to-date products on our system." — Marc Hurtubise, Ideal Supply

"The manufacturer certainly benefits from adoption of IDW through increased marketing support from distributors that proactively market products with tools such as on-line catalogs, printed catalogs, niche market product information brochures, etc." — Barry Nelson, Border States

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:

  1. Attend an orientation webinar tailored to your needs.
  2. Receive consultation on configuring your account and authorizations.
  3. Test the application with different trading partners to ensure a seamless flow of product data into your business system.
  4. Start discovering the benefits of IDW!

If you still have questions after reading the answers below, please contact us.

What data should be provided to the IDW?

The more clean and accurate product data you load into the IDW, the better. In addition to core transactional product, pricing and packaging data, distributors need the following content, at a minimum, to effectively market and sell your products:

  1. Specification documents - Specification sheets or product brochures that provide technical details about a product, including what the product is and does
  2. 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
  3. Images - A good visual of the product that customers can view to confirm they are making the right choice
  4. 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 IDW manufacturer's completion percentage for providing this marketing content to their trading partners through the IDW. The levels (Bronze, Gold and Platinum) indicate the percentage of your stock items in the IDW that now contain the SAID elements. Once you have reached one of the above levels, you will be promoted on our website, social media sites, industry trade publications, and industry events.

In addition to this content, we encourage and give manufacturers the opportunity to share other product details and marketing content that will help distributors sell more products such as Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliance information and installation or product videos.

What is the format for IDW data?

The IDW accepts your business information in any electronic format. The electrical industry standard is the EDI/832 format or a pipe delimited flat file format (e.g. EZVIEW). These standards were developed to enable the exchange of common data fields and terms between all industry-trading partners.

Can I use the IDW to share product data with trading partners outside of wholesale distribution (e.g. retail, healthcare, direct to customer, etc.)?

Yes. Manufacturers can use the Data Management Platform (DMP) to trade with other sales channels such as retailers and healthcare providers. The DMP application integrates seamlessly with the IDW -- your distributors that use the IDW will have access to the data you populate in the DMP. In addition to the electrical wholesale standards of the IDW, the DMP can validate your product data with Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) standards required by major retailers such as Lowe's and Walmart, and it enables you to define other internal or customer-specific mandates as needed.

How do I know my product and pricing data is secure once in the IDW?

The IDW passed security audits with the highest possible ratings, and the IDW is annually reviewed against security best practices protocol obtained from leaders in technology security. The IDW also enables manufacturers to authorize access for each distributor, ensuring that product and pricing information doesn't end up in the wrong hands. These authorizations include multiple levels of access to pricing structures and secure transmission of net-into-stock pricing. You can learn more about your options to provide net price electronically by taking our complimentary Net Price Synchronization eLearning module.

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 you to use when uploading your product data into the IDW to streamline the data sync process and get your products to market faster. For example, IDEA released a guide to communicate a standardized set of product descriptors to trading partners which is based on the global UNSPSCĀ® product categorization system, the Electrical Attribute Schema. You can learn more about the Schema by taking this complimentary Electrical Attribute Schema eLearning module.

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