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Item Data Issues Costing Electrical Industry Hundreds of Millions in Lost Profits -- Profile Systems Releases Industry Sponsored Data Study.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers


Results Convince IDEA to Implement Data Certification Program

With Profile Systems as the Service Provider

Item Data exchanged between manufacturers and distributors in the electrical industry contain significant errors, according to a report released by the Industry Data Exchange Association. The report was the result of a study conducted to determine the level of synchronization of item data exchanged between manufacturers and distributors in the industry.

The data synchronization study demonstrates that there is a wide degree of variance between the trading partner's item data causing significant financial and supply chain problems in the industry. According to the study, 60% of the items submitted by manufacturers do not accurately match those in their trading partner's files costing companies in the industry hundreds of millions of dollars in increased transaction costs and lost sales.

"The study reveals that the industry faces a significant challenge in achieving and maintaining data synchronization," said Mike Rioux, President of IDEA. "Recognizing the high cost of this critical business issue, the IDEA Board of Directors approved the implementation of an IDW Data Audit and Certification Program. Profile Systems was selected to provide the data audit services for IDEA with the objective of ensuring that accurate, valid data is exchanged between trading partners in the industry."

Industry Leaders Participate in Study

The study focused on identifying specific data issues between pairs of trading partners consisting of a manufacturer and of one of their distributors. 10 leading Manufacturers and 8 Distributors participated in this study. The trading partners' data was matched on UPC code, part number, order quantity, unit of measure, distributor pricing and trade pricing. The participating manufacturers included; 3M, Cooper Bussmann, Cooper Crouse-Hinds, Cutler Hammer, Erico and Erico Canada, Hoffmann Enclosures, Hubbell, Osram Sylvania, Southwire, and Thomas & Betts. The distributors included; GE Supply, Crescent Electric, Hughes Electric, McNaughton-McKay, Stuart Irby, WESCO Distribution and WESCO Canada.

"We are glad that we participated in the pilot program because the results have enabled us to take immediate action and create a program to clean up our business data errors," said Ron Schlader, Vice President - Operations and Quality for Crescent Electric Supply. "We are creating processes to ensure that we continuously exchange good quality data with our trading partners thus saving costs for our whole supply chain."

Results from data synchronization studies in multiple industries support the electrical industry findings. A recent study by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association concluded that the industry was losing $1.7 billion due to item data errors. An earlier report by the IDEA and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) revealed that product and pricing inaccuracies are costing manufacturers and distributors 1% and 3/4% of sales respectively. In a study for the Grocery industry released late last year, AT Kearney announced that 30% of items in retailer item files were in error and that the Consumer Packaged Goods industry alone is losing $40 billion in sales every year due to poor product information.

Profile Systems, an IDEA technology partner, was authorized to perform the data synchronization analysis to help illustrate the extent and impact of data synchronization on the Industry. Profile has been involved in conducting similar product data pilot programs in other industries and has assisted hundreds of companies in managing their product data more efficiently.

"The results of this Electrical report are consistent with what we see everyday in our work in other industries," said Ed Heon, CTO and Founder of Profile Systems. "Data errors are very costly and we are pleased that the study findings have encouraged IDEA to embrace Data Certification to help the industry save costs and increase sales by exchanging quality item data between manufactures and distributors."

The full Product Information Case Study is available for download at

About Profile Systems

Based in West Springfield, Massachusetts, Profile Systems is a privately held developer of product data and supply chain management solutions for business-to-business electronic commerce. The company's products include MasterDepot(R) product data management and synchronization solution, and ProSAIM(R) Supplier Assisted Inventory Management software for automating replenishment.

The company also offers extensive consulting services, including product data cleanup, supplier enablement/ assessment, inventory consulting and overall electronic commerce and supply chain scoping projects. The company's customers include Johnson Controls, Osram-Sylvania, Hubbell, CVS and The Stanley Works among others. More information about Profile Systems can be found by visiting - or by calling 413-737-2000.

About IDEA

Established in 1999, the Industry Data Exchange Association (IDEA) is a for-profit e-commerce service provider located in Arlington, VA. IDEA manages two services, the IDW and IDX2. IDEA's Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) is a central repository of manufacturer provided product, pricing and attributed data for authorized resellers to download for application in their business systems.

IDEA's Industry Data Exchange 2, or IDX2, enables manufacturers, distributors and service providers to conduct partner-to-partner electronic business on an Internet based network using EDI, XML, flat file or Web Form transaction sets.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 9, 2003
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