February 3, 2010

Standards Committee Releases Digital Image Guidelines

In the age of “Generation Y” and digital technology, the Internet has become the predominant method for obtaining product information. Paper catalogs are no longer the main source for buying and selling of products – in fact, they are environmentally unfriendly and becoming obsolete.

Most manufacturers host digital marketing data on their websites and have experienced sales growth from doing so. Just think of how product sales could multiply if that same marketing data was found on all the websites of the companies that distribute the products. More distributors are developing and enhancing online catalogs to meet consumer demand and they need product attributes, digital images, and electronic marketing documents in a standardized format to fuel their efforts. The growing demand of digital product information is trickling up the supply chain to the manufacturers because standardized formats are imperative to reduce the costs associated with managing this electronic information. IDEA has been working with distributors and manufacturers to reach a consensus on the guidelines.

The IDEA Industry Standards Committee (ISC) recently approved a standard format for digital images and released a white paper on how to provide standardized digital images to distributors for electronic use through the IDW Data Synchronization Platform.

Download the new white paper titled “Enhanced Attributes – Digital Images Guideline” now or access it later on the IDEA Portal under Training>Standards.

The ISC is currently working to establish a standardized format for additional digital marketing information including Specification Sheets, MSDS Sheets, Warranty Information, etc. and will release the next white paper this spring. Please contact Mary Shaw, Standards Director, if you have any questions about the standardization of digital marketing data.