August 5, 2009

New and Improved Benchmark Pricing Service Now Available

Distributors have a new database and service available to them through Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) called the Benchmark Pricing service. IDEA’s new Benchmark Pricing service reflects feedback from many industry experts and was proven beneficial via a beta test cycle.

This service provides transactional data for brand-neutral items and is used to simplify and speed up the sales process between a distributor and their customers for items such as conduit, fittings, hardware and building wire. The benchmark database has been revamped, expanded, and wherever possible, attributes are populated according to industry-approved standards. Furthermore, new attributes have been added to make benchmark pricing data easier to search, track and utilize.

All of the key fields used for purchase and sales orders are included in the service. Some examples include: unique product key, catalog number, packaging, published pricing, product categorization fields and short and long descriptions. Distributors use this kind of data as the starting point for preparing quotes for their customers – speeding up the sales process.

The beta test cycle ensured that data attributes, pricing levels and added content meet the industry’s requirements. Here are the top benefits you can expect from our new and improved service:

More informative and useful descriptions

  • Two types of descriptions tailored to your ERP system
    • Short Description field (35 abbreviated characters)
    • Long Description field (80 characters)
    • Only IDEA Standards Committee (ISC) approved abbreviations (from the ISC “Descriptive Field Guidelines”) were used for the descriptions (Note: This document is located on the IDEA Portal)
  • Non-technical administrative staff at distributor company or their customers can easily identify items sold
    • Faster payment when invoices are verified
    • Faster order fulfillment with easy to identify items

Modernized database of products

  • Expanded the number of items in which we provide benchmark pricing based on industry feedback
  • Expanded the types of Items to include popular materials used for commercial and residential construction
  • On-going maintenance with frequent updates to both pricing (market price fluctuations will be monitored daily) and non-pricing fields

More robust product categorization fields

  • Three types of product categorization fields in IDW’s PDD format are provided including Seller Class Codes, Seller Subclass Codes and United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®)
  • Twelve Seller Class Codes are used as hierarchical categories for a more detailed set of categorization found in the Seller Subclass Codes
  • UNSPSC codes have been reviewed and reflect the current GS1 US standards
  • All product category codes provide multiple ways to filter data which enables data analysis of customer sales, employee purchasing history and the information you need to grow sales and save operational costs

More choices for unique keys to use within your business system

  • The Benchmark Pricing service includes two types of unique keys which are different from other services
    • Customers can use a unique 12-digit number (which includes the UPC check digit) that can be used internally within the distributor’s system as the private unique key
    • Two other unique keys provided for every item in the IDW
      • IDW Index ID which is a 10-character field
      • Catalog Number which is a 5-character numeric field beginning with a “B”

The new Benchmark Pricing service is available at no additional cost to IDW customers, but you must request to be set-up to receive the data.

In order to facilitate use of the benchmark data, we will link your current file keys with the unique indexes now available. Please contact John Etrie at to start the conversion process.

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