News & Events


IDEA Dictionary: What is a Flat File?

Flat Files Banner

When dealing with data, and all related terminology, you may feel like you’re trying to speak a foreign language. In the interest of keeping things clear and simple, we will introduce commonly-used terms in each newsletter that will help you navigate the data shorthand and learn the lingo. This week, we bring you: flat file.

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From Factory to Floor: The Basics of Product Packaging Information

Packaging Banner

Complete and accurate packaging information is essential for an efficient sales cycle. Many larger retailers (e.g. WalMart, Lowes, Home Depot) have recognized this and will not do business with companies that do not provide detailed packaging information. In this article, we review the basics of a packaging hierarchy, why this information is so vital, and how the information should be formatted before being loaded into the IDW.

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Technology Trends: Cybersecurity

Tech Trends: Cybersecurity Banner

In 2014, we saw large retailers and private companies around the nation fall victim to cyber attacks. In response, the beginning of 2015 has seen several politicians, including President Obama, propose data security legislation meant to protect private citizens and businesses alike. This week’s articles outline some of those proposals and potential weak points in the suggested measures against digital hacking.

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Press Releases

IDEA Announces New Leadership Appointment

  • 25 Nov 2014

Today, the Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) announces a new leadership appointment for the organization. IDEA’s Board of Directors have named Paul Molitor, of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), as Chief Executive Officer and President of IDEA, effective December 15th.

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IDEA Announces Expansion to Industry Data Warehouse Standard

The Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) announces an expansion to the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) standard. IDEA’s management and Board of Directors have mandated the population of a set of 43 critical data fields that distributors have identified as necessary to conduct business today. Manufacturer compliance to this updated standard will be measured as part of IDEA’s new Data Certification Program, the first comprehensive IDW metric for data quantity and quality.

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IDEA Announces Leadership Transition

  • 05 Aug 2014

The IDEA Board of Directors, chaired by Jack Carlson, president of Southwire’s North American Business, announced today that president and CEO Bob Gaylord has stepped down to pursue other areas of interest.

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IDEA in the News

IMARK Now article - The Drive for Data: A Manufacturer’s Perspective

  • 30 Jul 2014

In this article from IMARK's IMARK Now, manufacturers share their insights and best suggestions for how distributors can work with them to cultivate data that is timely, accurate, and reliable. The discussion includes the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW), the SAID elements, and IDEA's Innovation Advisory Council.

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NAED South Central Region Conference

February 17-19, 2015 - JW Marriott Hill Country, San Antonio, TX - More info

IMARK Showcase 2015

March 24-26, 2015 - Rosemont, IL - More info

NAED Women in the Industry Spring Bootcamp

April 23, 2015 - 3M Austin Center, Austin, TX - More info