Distributors Support IDW in NAED Letter

Nov. 22, 2002
In a letter published by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), nine of the largest electrical distributors in the United States

In a letter published by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), nine of the largest electrical distributors in the United States urged all electrical manufacturers to provide and maintain accurate and timely pricing data through the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW).

The electrical distributors that endorsed the NAED letter are Crescent Electric Supply Co. East Dubuque, Ill.; GE Supply, Shelton, Conn.; Graybar Electric Co. Inc., St. Louis; Hagemeyer N.A., Atlanta; Hughes Supply Inc., Orlando; McNaughton-McKay Electric Co., Madison Heights, Mich.; Rexel Inc., Dallas; Sonepar USA, Berwyn, Pa.; and WESCO Distribution Inc., Pittsburgh.

“We believe data today is the most important single thing that can improve the cost structure of distribution in general, and certainly it needs to be supported by all the major electrical distributors and manufacturers,” said David Beattie, president and CEO of McNaughton-McKay Electric Co. “It's the only way we are going to reduce our internal cost structure and be competitive on a worldwide basis.”

“IDEA is very important to the electrical industry,” said Robert Reynolds, chairman, president, and CEO of Graybar Electric Co. “We at Graybar are investing a lot of money in technology, and for us to be able to get the most benefit from our money, we really have to be able to get clean data directly from the electrical manufacturers.

“The IDW is the central database for that information and most importantly, it would be controlled by the manufacturer rather than being manipulated by other companies.”

Reynolds also made a public call for support of the IDW at the NAED Annual in May. In that presentation, he said Graybar would be getting much more involved with the IDW, and would be using IDW data in its new ERP system in 2003.

Together, these nine companies account for roughly $20 billion of the electrical distribution industry's sales. In the letter, the companies said with cleaner product and pricing data being uploaded directly by manufacturers to the IDW, “the average manufacturer can generate an additional $97,000 in profits for every $10 million in sales.” The letter also said, “the average distributor can generate an additional $73,000 in profits through the IDW.”

Managed by the four-year-old Industry Data Exchange Association (IDEA), Rosslyn, Va., for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., and the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), St. Louis, the IDW's mission is to provide for the efficient exchange of standard information and business transactions throughout the electrical industry.

The IDW currently has digital records for over 1.3 million stock-keeping units (SKUs) in electrical products. IDEA's Web site lists over 170 electrical distributors as subscribers and 89 electrical manufacturers as users. Currently, one of IDEA's biggest challenges is taking some of the complexity out of integrating distributors' business systems with the IDW. Mike Rioux, IDEA's president spends much of his time working with business software vendors in an effort to get their systems to accept and process IDW data records.