Top 10 Topics of 2013

Did you miss some of our top articles from 2013? We've recapped our most popular topics that interested our visitors and newsletter subscribers. Not a subscriber? You can update your email subscription preferences to ensure you get the latest education and news from IDEA and the industry. 

1. How Non-Specific UPC’s Help Manufacturers Stand Out from the Batch

When a contractor is bidding on a contract and they make pricing requests to distributors, they simply need to price out a job, time and materials, in hopes that they win the contract. The reality is that this is our environment and we are not going to change a 100-year old habit. However, the manufacturer can change how the decisions get made.

2. Sense the Movement

A message from Bob Gaylord, President and CEO of IDEA, about recent IDW product content enhancements and updates on IDEA's Innovating for the Future Plan.

3. 50+ Electrical Manufacturers Reach the IDW Platinum Band of Excellence

The marketing content in the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) has increased over tenfold since the ‘Bands of Excellence’ program initiated. Over 50 electrical manufacturers have achieved the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) Platinum Band of Excellence. These manufacturers have helped increase the marketing content available to their trading partners through the IDW by more than ten times in the last six months.

4. IDEA Announces New IDW Bands of Excellence Rating Criteria

IDEA, with support from owners NAED and NEMA, introduced the IDW Bands of Excellence program last summer as part of a continuous effort to populate the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) with more robust marketing content. In 2013, banding criteria tightened to provide increased visibility for manufacturers providing marketing content for 85-100% of their stock products in the IDW.

5. IDEA Establishes an Innovation Advisory Council Comprised of Electrical Industry Thought Leaders

IDEA recently established the Innovation Advisory Council, comprised of innovative thought leaders in the electrical wholesale distribution space from leading distributor and manufacturer companies. The council will initially focus on an Innovating for the Future Plan to enhance manufacturer product content available to distributors through the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW).

6. IDEA Licenses the 98-Series UPC Numbers from GS1 US

IDEA has licensed the UPC prefix blocks, which is commonly known in the wholesale electrical industry as the 98-series generic UPC numbers, from GS1 US, the official provider of company prefixes and bar code numbers. This capability provides electrical manufacturers the opportunity to control the association of their products to what the industry end-users consider as commodity or generic products.

7. Setting the Standard for Success: Q&A with the ISC Chair Ann Jaehn

Ann Jaehn, Director of Pricing at Thomas & Betts Corporation, is a familiar name to anyone who has been involved in the IDEA Industry Standards Committee (ISC) in the past decade. Along with her work at Thomas & Betts, an IDEA Platinum-banded manufacturer, Ann recently added ISC Chair to her resume. Calling from Memphis, TN, Ann took some time to speak about her role at Thomas & Betts, the ISC, and what motivates her within the electrical industry.

8. Calling All Cross-References!

IDEA is building a one-way cross-reference database populated with manufacturer-provided information to meet distributors’ sales needs. Many manufacturers already maintain internal cross-references to their competitors’ products, which helps their sales teams to work better with customers. Manufacturers can also use their internal cross-references to identify their own products that may be interchangeable with one another. We are asking manufacturers to provide that cross-reference information to IDEA so that we can provide it to their authorized distributors in a consistent format through the IDW.

9. IDEA Announces a More Granular Electrical Attribute Schema Version 4.0

IDEA announces the release of the Electrical Attribute Schema 4.0. The product categories in the newly enhanced Schema increased by almost 50% from the previous 3,468 product categories to more than 5,000. This increased granularity provides a more precise product categorization process for manufacturers and helps distributors to better represent products on their eCommerce sites.

10. Faces of IDEA: Jeff Skiles, Director of Information Technology and Shared Services, Kirby Risk Electrical Supply

I started at Kirby Risk about 32 years ago and worked my way through almost every department of the company, from the warehouse of a branch to managing all of their technology at headquarters. I’ve actively participated in three business system conversions, and have been involved with industry eBusiness efforts for over 10 years. I’m currently serving on IDEA’s Innovation Advisory Council to help shape the future of the IDW with other manufacturer and distributor thought leaders.

For more recaps of 2013, check out the stories below:

Top Ten News Stories of 2013 – Electrical Wholesaling (requires verified registration)

Electrical Wholesaling's picks for the most interesting news stories in 2013, including distributor mergers and acquisition activity, global markets and more. 

Top 20 Stories of 2013 Blog Series - tED magazine

Every weekday in December, tED magazine counted down by publishing the top 20 stories of 2013. Start with the first post in the series: Google joins in the B2B marketplace.