January 20, 2011

2010 Year in Review – Focus on Adoption and Optimization

The value of IDEA’s solutions and services increase exponentially as more and ­more companies adopt them, increase usage, and optimize processes internally and with trading partners. Thank you for helping to make 2010 a year of adoption and optimization for IDEA’s community. Here are some of the accomplishments in which we are most proud.

Flexibility and speed improve usability of solutions

  • Multiple IDW software enhancements added flexibility for manufacturers and distributors. Manufacturers now have the ability to communicate future price group codes, seller class codes, and their effective date. Other enhancements include the ability for distributors to extract product data by price sheet and the option for manufacturers to hide expired price sheets.
  • Increased catalog and marketing content in IDW.
  • Populated United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC) for over 96% of all active items in IDW. Over 82% of all active items and 88% of electrical items have a complete code assigned to the Category level – the lowest level of the UNSPSC code is used as the foundation for the Electrical Attribute Schema and is essential to its adoption.
  • Released Industry Data Exchange (IDX) enhancements to increase flexibility and visibility of electronic document exchange processes. By enabling a large document alert notification and the option to block EDI documents based on document size, type and trading partner ID, you can prevent unwanted and/or unnecessary charges.
  • Released two software enhancements to IRD CERICOMX®. The releases incorporated customer-inspired performance enhancements with the most notable being the data load speed increase.
  • Welcomed IDEA’s 1,000th IRD CERICOMX® customer.
  • Visited over 20 customers and participated in over 20 industry events. IDEA uses the insights gained from the conversations at these events to help prioritize solution enhancements and to examine potential new solutions and services.
  • Take action: Contact your account manager if you are interested in learning more about how to take advantage of these solution enhancements or if you have ideas for new ones.

IDEA Industry Standards Committee focuses on standardizing marketing information

  • Developed the second version of the Electrical Attribute Schema (scheduled to be released tomorrow!). The new version expands coverage to nearly 2,500 product categories, a 64% increase from the inaugural release in October 2009. The schema will continue to evolve as it expands to cross-over markets such as Plumbing and Industrial.
  • Submitted 36 new code requests to UNSPSC on behalf of the electrical industry­ which are expected to be available in the February release, version 14. The need for these product category codes was identified through UNSPSC code adoption and the development of the attribute schema.
  • Developed a cross-reference between the European Technical Information Model (ETIM) product classification code list and the UNSPSC code set used in our attribute schema. The cross-reference helps support the needs of customers who have international presence.
  • Released numerous whitepapers on how to standardize and synchronize product information in IDW including “Catalog Descriptive Field Guidelines” and “Digital Images Guidelines.”
  • Take action: Download all standards, whitepapers and guidelines released by the standards committee on the IDEA Portal. Please contact Mary Shaw if you can’t find what you’re looking for or have any questions about how to adopt these eCommerce standards.

Collaboration results in new services and industry efforts

  • Introduced two new services to help identify roadblocks to optimum performance for manufacturers and distributors through close, consultative partnering with customers.
  • Partnered with NEMA and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) to create a global Building Information Modeling (BIM)-compliant open standard for electrical industry data.
  • Take action: Contact your account manager to find out how you can leverage IDEA’s expertise to improve and/or outsource your B2B eCommerce and Synchronization efforts.

New education and training resources help industry optimize IDEA solutions & services

  • Released four new eLearning modules for customers to learn at their own pace 24/7 on the web:
      • The Electrical Attribute Schema Module reviews the schema benefits, walks through the schema components, and explains how manufacturers and distributors can apply the schema to their business model.
      • The Net Price Synchronization Module educates on the benefits of net price synchronization and the standardized options IDEA provides to facilitate a more efficient exchange. This module helps the industry understand how net price is used in business today, identify roadblocks of net price synchronization, and clarify the ways net price can be exchanged between trading partners.
      • The Industry Data Exchange (IDX) Tracker Module navigates users through IDX Tracker functions such as: how to search for incoming and outgoing transactions, search by specific document type, track and view all documents on and off the network, and download transaction information for creating metrics or performing data analysis. *Available exclusively to IDX customers once logged on to IDEA Portal.
      • The IRD CERICOMX® Module helps suppliers to understand the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) and the roles of 1SYNC and IDEA, how product data is synchronized based on standard criteria, how to register products with the GDSN, and how to use IRD CERICOMX® to publish and synchronize item data with demand partners such as Walmart, Lowe’s and McLane. *Available exclusively to IRD CERICOMX® customers once logged on to IDEA Portal.
  • Industry trade publications turned to IDEA’s community for insights on the latest trends in B2B eCommerce – nearly 40 article contributions in 2010.
  • Over 150 professionals from IDEA’s community convened in Dallas, TX for the 12th annual IDEA E-Biz Forum. Save the date for the 2011 E-Biz Forum, September 26-28 in St. Louis, MO at the Hilton Ballpark.
  • IDEAL and Kirby Risk shared their experience of how they leveraged Standards Adoption to optimize performance, increase electronic activity and automate more of their business processes in the case study “Collaborative Standards-Based Solutions Build a Strong Foundation for Growth.”
  • Take action: Contact your account manager if you need a login for the IDEA Portal and contact IDEA Communications if you are interested in sharing your eCommerce experiences with IDEA’s community.

These accomplishments would not be possible without our partners and customers — thank you for your leadership and contributions throughout 2010. We look forward to continuing our partnership in the New Year.