The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

The Business Case for Better Data

Distributors and their suppliers want to improve efficiencies, save time and money, and reduce errors. One way to do this is to improve and standardize the way they use and send data. This article is the first of a series of MDM articles on current trends in doing business electronically.
About five years ago, PTDA member Baldwin Supply Co., Minneapolis, MN-based distributor of mechanical power transmission and electrical control products, adopted the association’s recommended format for receiving product data changes from its suppliers.
“It used to take us a month to update a price increase with some of our bigger manufacturers. Now we can do it in an hour or so,” says Baldwin Supply President Ron Herem, the Power Transmission Distributors Association board liaison to the Industry Relations Committee, which in collaboration with other associations developed the Product and Price Information Format.
“(PPIF) drastically reduced the time it took to do a pricing update. We used to have 2 and a half people – and that was pretty much all they did, and it was done manually.”
Baldwin’s experience is just one example of the impact of one of many data standardization initiatives taking place right now in distribution.

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