Electrical Industry
Data Standards

IDEA’s Standards Group develops industry-specific data standards and best business practices in e-commerce and data exchange. IDEA is fortunate to have participation from some of the best technical and business resources from our manufacturer and distributor subscriber community. The group's objective is to be responsive to IDEA subscriber needs, take costs out of the channel, and increase efficiency throughout the electrical market supply chain.

IDEA Standards are the Foundation of a Better Buying Experience

As the guidelines to manage, use, transmit, format, structure, and tag product data, IDEA data standards ensure clean, accurate data flows through IDEA Connector and Exchange. When manufacturers use different formats, distributors must invest a lot of time to fix the data on their e-commerce sites.

Data standards enable you to speak the same technical language as your customers. End user customers see normalized, consistent product information so they can compare products and make informed buying decisions with less hassle and frustration.

We move the electrical industry forward by providing data standards for your business, helping you to communicate—successfully and consistently—with trading partners locally and around the world.

Harmonized Data Model

In partnership with NEMA and NAED, this initiative to create a single, unified data model will evolve IDEA Connector into a next-generation data syndication platform capable of efficiently supporting multiple syndication formats.


IDEA's e-Business Data Specifications

Classification Attribute Specification (CAS)

Based on the United Nations Standard Products and Services Codes (UNSPSC) global categorization system, this specification is the industry standard for the management and exchange of electrical product attribute information. It enables manufacturers to communicate standardized physical and performance attributes to their trading partners through IDEA Connector.

IDEA Data Dictionary

As the foundation for the IDEA Connector platform’s format, specifications, and guidelines, the IDEA Data Dictionary, also called the Product Attribute Specification (PAS), provides a template that defines how product-centric data should be exchanged in the channel.



This set of industry-specific guidelines based on the ANSI X12 standards for EDI (electronic data interchange) provides a standardized way of automating the exchange of traditional business documents electronically, between trading partners, through IDEA Exchange and to and from IDEA Connector.

Net Price

IDEA has developed four standardized net pricing exchange methods for manufacturers to securely send confidential pricing to their trading partners. Using these methods reduces time and money spent on data manipulation and streamlines the invoice-to-payment process.

Business people are meeting for analysis data figures to plan business strategies. Business discussing concept.

IDEA Partners with Standards Experts

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GS1 is a global organization that develops standards-based solutions for communicating information across the supply chain. IDEA represents the wholesale industry’s needs as a member of GS1 US and a participant on GS1’s global standards committees.


An international model for the standard classification of product data, ETIM enables the efficient exchange of product information by product groups, classes, synonyms, features, values, and units throughout the entire ecosystem of the electrical industry.

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EFC is a not-for-profit association of electrical, electronics and telecommunications manufacturers and distributors in Canada. EFC and their members collaborate with IDEA to incorporate Canada’s unique requirements into the standards.

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The UNSPSC, managed by GS1 US™, is an open, global, multi-sector standard for classifying products and services. IDEA, on behalf of the wholesale industry, is responsible for maintaining the product categories that pertain to our industry’s products.

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X12 is an organization, chartered by the American National Standards Institute, to develop and maintain EDI transaction standards. IDEA represents the wholesale industry’s needs on X12’s Supply Chain committee.

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NEMRA is an association of independent manufacturers’ representatives. IDEA provides EDI services to NEMRA through the IDEA Exchange and will be working with them
to align our two Point of Sale transaction standards.