June 24, 2015

How IDEA and the IDW Assist Manufacturers with Brand Management and Speed to Market

As technology and business practices continue to evolve, so, too, do customers’ buying habits, and companies are finding new avenues, both online and offline, through which to display their products to those customers. Suddenly, the way your brand is maintained digitally is just as important as more traditional marketing platforms.

Through a subscription to the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) for Manufacturers Annual Support Program (IDW-M), you can access tools that can help you make your product point-of-sale data and digital marketing assets (e.g., pricing and packaging information; spec sheets; images; installation video URLs, etc.) look their best. Providing all of your product data to the IDW will take coordination and time upfront; however, building up your IDW product profile is essential to successfully managing your brand, working with distributors to sell your products online, and influencing contractors’ purchasing decisions.  

Why is this information about your products essential? Consider this:

When searching for a job, a well-structured and professional-looking résumé is essential to help you stand out from the competition. Though creating this résumé can be time-intensive and may seem daunting at times, you will not be considered for the job if your potential employer cannot readily see all of your skills, past jobs, activities, etc. After you land the job, your résumé must then be continually updated throughout your career to accurately reflect the best of what you have to offer.

You need to follow this same mentality when approaching your IDW product profile. Providing all of your products’ up-to-date transactional and descriptive information (attributes) in the IDW allows your trading partners to consistently promote your brand in the best light possible. Plus, with the IDW, you can be sure that your data is accurate whenever distributors need to access it, as the IDW hosts, secures, and distributes current product information 24/7/365. Through IDW-M, IDEA provides you with resources to create the best product profile possible, including:

  • IDW Analytics Tool. This tool enables users to self-assess the quality of their own product data in the IDW and fix data quality issues at the source.
     
  • IDW Compliance Module. This tool enables users to evaluate the item-level completeness of their data in the IDW and identify missing data in any of the 43 critical fields measured in IDEA’s Data Certification Program.
     
  • IDW Data Quality Checks. Data in the IDW is subjected to two quarterly quality checks – one programmatic and one visual. These checks ensure that your products are ready for distributor web store catalogs, trading partner business systems, and contractor estimating systems.
     

So, what else makes working with IDEA better than going it alone?

  • One-to-Many. Rather than supplying hundreds of trading partners with product information individually, manufacturers can supply all with catalog and transactional information and additional marketing materials through one location – the IDW. Providing multiple distributor trading partners, contractor estimating systems, and eCommerce platforms with accurate, high-quality product information at one time and in one location increases speed to market and eliminates the errors and inefficiencies of slowed business transactions due to manual entry.
     
  • Data Certification Program. The Data Certification Program measures the completeness and quality of data in the IDW, guiding manufacturers in providing trading partners with the data they need to sell to contractors. Once a manufacturer has achieved milestones in the program, IDEA promotes that achievement, boosting brand visibility at no additional cost.
     
  • Progress and Quality Reports. As part of IDW-M, manufacturers can receive actionable topline reports each month to monitor their own data quality progress. Additionally, the IDW’s Data Quality Issue reporting tool allows users (manufacturers and distributors alike) to report item-level data quality concerns for one or multiple items within the IDW directly through the system. This facilitates constant communication among trading partners, all from one centralized location.
     
  • Dedicated, Personalized Support. Through IDW-M, manufacturers gain access to a variety of support options, e.g., data loading services; IDW educational video programs; onboarding implementation services; annual business reviews; dedicated monthly Data Management Specialist time. The IDEA team works in-step with your own to assist with all of your data needs.
     

The avenues through which you must manage your company’s brand are continually expanding. Quality and consistent product data is the key to preserving customers’ high expectations of your company. IDEA, a trusted industry partner, is here to help assist manufacturers with the process of ensuring that their trading partners not only have the right data, but the best data.

For more information about the IDW for Manufacturers Annual Support Program, or other IDEA services, please contact us at idwsupport@idea4industry.com