Data Certification Program Responds to Customer Needs

Data Certification Program Responds to Customer Needs

This piece was originally published in the September 2016 issue of electroindustry.

Colleen Psomas, Marketing Manager, IDEA


Imagine this: A potential buyer visits a car dealership looking for the latest model, but the dealer only has specs for a previous model. Though similar, the outdated specs do not include the enhanced safety features or environmental certifications available in the new model. The buyer may then go elsewhere to find the information. To avoid completely losing the sale, the dealer could offer a comparable car from a different maker, although that would take a sale away from the first automaker and possibly damage the relationship between that maker and the dealer.

Similarly, electrical distributors require comprehensive, accurate, and well-maintained product details from their manufacturers. If manufacturers provide their trading partners with information that has gaps and errors, those partners must then devote resources to correcting that data or else run the risk of passing bad data to end users. Sloppy or outdated product data can make trading partners less willing to do business with a manufacturer, ultimately costing that manufacturer sales and negatively impacting its brand.

On the other hand, sharing complete and current pricing and marketing content from the start reduces errors and unnecessary operational expenses. Distributors and end users value manufacturers who make their jobs easier. With continually updated, accurate product information, distributors can sell more of your products.

Sloppy or outdated product data can make a manufacturer’s trading partners less willing to do business with them.

This need for accessible, high-quality data was a motivating factor behind the development of IDEA’s Data Certification Program. Superior quality is the program’s primary goal for 2016, as IDEA works to help manufacturers achieve programmatic excellence: once a manufacturer’s item is compliant—that is, its product and pricing data are completely populated within the industry data warehouse (IDW)—the quality of that data is assessed.

In the first of two quality checks—the “programmatic excellence” check—industry standards and IDEA best practices (a combination of industry standards, best practices, customer feedback, and IDEA expertise) are applied to data at the item level.

Achieving and Maintaining Quality

To assist manufacturers as they work toward programmatic excellence, IDEA offers a number of data management resources:

  • Tools within the IDW: The IDW Excellence Module and the Data Quality Reporting Tool help manufacturers identify and address quality issues at the source. A guide of the most common programmatic excellence errors and respective error resolutions is also available.
  • IDW training: IDEA hosts live and recorded webinars that provide an overview of programmatic excellence and a demo of the IDW Excellence Module. Quick Reference Guides and videos are also available, so manufacturers can easily refresh their training.
  • Data management specialist consulting and support: IDEA’s data management specialist team provides manufacturers with actionable reports to identify excellence issues and help them improve the quality of their data.

Top manufacturers have always understood the importance of providing complete and accurate product and pricing information to their trading partners. IDEA is here to help them in their pursuit and maintenance of superior data quality.

Read the September 2016 issue of electroindustry.

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