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ILSCO, Cincinnati, became the first manufacturer to have its product and pricing data Level 1 certified under IDEA's new Data Audit and Certification (DAC) program. The Industry Data Exchange Association, Rosslyn, Va., launched the DAC program in October.

Under the Data Audit Certification program, electrical manufacturers that provide product and pricing data directly to IDEA's Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) have their business data rated against a specification developed by IDEA and Profile Systems, the DAC service provider, along with recommendations from manufacturer and distributor customers.

Each manufacturer receives a post-audit report that indicates data errors, mismatches, and missing or incomplete fields with instructions and time lines for correcting and updating the data. After the manufacturer makes the necessary corrections to their data, a verification audit is performed. The manufacturer's data will be certified to Level 1, 2 or 3; Level 3 represents the highest certification rating.

ILSCO had its product and pricing data audited in November. After receiving their audit report, ILSCO took immediate action to correct their Level 1 data and resubmitted it for the verification audit. ILSCO completed the entire audit and verification process in 30 days.

Level 1 certification rates nine key purchase-to-payment data fields against the industry specification. Level 2 certification evaluates 12 legacy data fields required by a large majority of distributors. At press time, ILSCO was working on Level 2 data corrections.

Level 3 certification identifies packaging and product categorization information that enhances electronic commerce and automated shipment processing. Level 3 certification criteria will be implemented in 2004.

So far, approximately 60 of the 126 manufacturers sending data directly to the IDW have either committed to participate in DAC or are in process of having their data certified.

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