In April 2020, The Industry Data Exchange Association (IDEA), Arlington, VA, launched IDEA Connector, the next-generation Master Data Management (MDM) platform. The launch has reached the one-year mark despite many challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. IDEA Connector has achieved the following milestones in the past year:
- Achieved 2.6 million SKUs from 230 manufacturers across 700 brands
- Transitioned 550 customers and over 1200 users to the new platform
- Innovated an advanced mapping tool for rapid data transfer
- Created powerful new editing utility features for rapid product information changes
- Expanded professional services offering to meet ever increasing data management needs
- Implemented New Learning Management System (LMS)
“The next-generation digital product experience platform, IDEA Connector, has improved overall operational efficiencies and is advancing the industry's digital transformation,” said Bill Ferguson, IDEA’s VP of products and services, in the press release. “We’ve accomplished so much in just one year and are aggressively developing and evolving the platform to align with the needs of our customers.”
Since IDEA Connector’s launch in April 2020, manufacturers can now submit all SKUs and attributes at no additional charge. In addition, IDEA is updating authorizations, streamlining processes, and addressing incomplete product information. Long-term, IDEA Connector is pursuing improved quality and quantity of industry product content with the following initiatives:
1. Validating a proof of concept with the Product Data Standards Task Force to harmonize product data in IDEA Connector for Global Standards compatibility.
2. Simplifying data loading, management, and extraction. IDEA will be developing more ways to interface with IDEA Connector, including additional interface options, a manufacturer portal for automated loading, and Smart Template Technology for Excel file sheet aggregation and extraction.
3. Developing a comprehensive reporting dashboard.
4. Increase product content quantity, including unlimited marketing collaterals, offering other in-depth data procurement services, increased outreach to manufacturers, and adding more enriched SKUs, attributes, and data fields.
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