The Industry Data Exchange Association (IDEA), Rosslyn, Va., has announced this year's recipients of the Brightest IDEA Awards, recognizing individuals who have made outstanding contributions in support of industry e-commerce initiatives, standards and programs. Each year, an award is given to one individual from an electrical manufacturer and one individual from a distributor organization. This year's winners are Liz Norman, EDI manager, Siemens Energy & Automation, Alpharetta, Ga.; and Tammy Paters, pricing manager, Werner Electric Supply, Neenah, Wis.

IDEA, an e-commerce service provider jointly owned by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., and the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), St. Louis, was developed in the late '90s to drive down supply chain costs.

Liz Norman has been an active contributor to industry data and e-business standards program for more than five years. Norman has provided recommendations and leadership in shaping electronic data interchange (EDI) revisions, improvements to the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) standards and leading the IDEA XML subcommittee program in the selection of an industry XML standard.

“Liz's strong suit is her experience and knowledge of the industry,” said industry peer, Barbara Prince, Carlon/Lamson-Sessions. “She has a clear understanding of how business is conducted, and looks for tools and standards that can enhance the process.”

“A good example is her pursuit of an XML standard that can be easily adapted to the electro industry's business model. She sifted through the hundreds of XML ‘standards’ and found one that IDEA could adopt, rather than attempt to define our own standard,” said Prince.

Tammy Paters became an active member of the IDEA Standards Committee when Werner Electric Supply implemented the IDW. Paters has made significant contributions that include participation in implementing an alternate catalog number field for lamp manufacturers as well as recommendations for product description guidelines and most recently the new product change management guideline.

“When Tammy first started attending the standards committee meetings, she played the observer, taking in as much as she could to understand her role as a committee member,” said Mary Shaw, standards manager, IDEA. “Before long she became an active participant, and continues to be one, providing good insight that is beneficial to the whole industry in our efforts to fully adopt e-commerce and reduce costs in the supply chain.”

IDEA provides the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) and its enhanced version, IDW2, both central repositories of manufacturer product, pricing, and attributed data; as well as the Industry Data Exchange (IDX2), an Internet-based communications hub that enables business trading partners to exchange business documents using EDI, XML, flat file, or Web form transactions sets. Its data audit and certifications (DAC) program verifies manufacturer data meets specification criteria to ensure data synchronization between business partners.