Channel

The Industry Responds To tEDmag.com Story

By Scott Costa, Publisher, tED magazine

On June 4, 2015, I wrote a column for tedmag.com called “What will manufacturers demand as they comply with IDEA standards?” You can see that story here.

As a result of that story, we received a couple of comments that we wanted to pass along to you. And now we are asking you to do two things:

1) We certainly encourage you to let us know your thoughts, either by posting a comment below this story, or e-mailing me directly at scosta@naed.org.

2) Regardless of which points you think are correct or incorrect, this issue brings up a bigger problem. We need to strengthen the supply chain, especially at the top between manufacturers and distributors. How can that be accomplished? What needs to happen in the e-commerce world to keep those agreements and relationships going over the next 50 years? I want to invite you to take part in our June #tEDChat on Wednesday, June 10th at 1pm Central time. Join us at www.twitter.com/tedmagazine and make sure your comments all have the #tEDchat at the end so everyone can see it. We will host the #tEDchat for one hour.

Here are the previous comments:

David Gordon, President, Channel Marketing Group:

“Manufacturers who are IDEA members are making the effort to improve their data, which is a great start. The other major element of the issue is that more distributors (and more smaller distributors, many whom are not NAED members) need to sign up for IDEA and use the data. Manufacturers will always need multiple processes when a significant percentage of their customer base is using alternative systems (in this case Trade Service and other providers). E-commerce will take time as the cost of these systems needs to come down to become more widely deployed.

 We recently analyzed where distributors get data for one manufacturer who is an ardent IDEA supporter. A very high percentage were not using IDEA data and a significant percentage of the ones using IDEA weren’t downloading the data regularly and/or also subscribed to another service. For the table to turn, NAED needs to recruit more distributors for IDEA.

 And IMARK’s current initiative to help 40+ of their distributors with an e-catalog developed in conjunction with Trade Service reinforces that there may always be the need for multiple data service providers … which means that manufacturers owe it to themselves to support all solutions… essentially listen to their customers and “follow the money.”

Mike Wentz, Executive Vice-President, IDEA:

Quality content is vital to the electrical channel but comes with a substantial price tag for the industry. While any initiative that delivers quality product information to distributors is positive, we do need to realize that the channel has limited time and financial resources.

If the channel continues to divide limited resources with a fragmented approach it will take longer to acquire the quality content needed. This will provide more time for competitors from outside of the distribution channel to build their content capabilities. It is also clear that the midsize and small electrical distributors are most vulnerable to digital competitors. The digital marketplace has not leveled the playing field, without question the entities with deep pockets have a significant advantage. A unified approach to content is in the best interest of all electrical distributors.

Complete and accurate product data should be baseline for all NAED electrical distributors. Competitive differentiation should not be based on product information but rather on a distributor’s ability to service their customers and exceed their expectations.

 

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