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IDI Connects

We create purchasing efficiencies through e-commerce.

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in today’s industrial marketplace as a means of driving cost out of the supply channel. It is IDI’s belief that the best-in-class vendor relationships of tomorrow will be based less on “distributor volume”, and more on “distributors that are easiest to transact with”.

Today, the overwhelming majority of orders that you receive, especially from your independent distributors, are manual – phone/fax/email – requiring your inside sales personnel to re-enter the order in your system. This adds unnecessary cost to the supply channel through
duplication of effort, and increased errors from double order-entry.

We have observed that many vendors have begun to evolve their e-commerce capabilities by creating internet e-shops for their distributors to enter their orders. The problem with this is that all it really does is download the order-entry function onto the distributor – an improvement to the process, but a temporary one. True e-commerce relationships are characterized by peer-to-peer connections. Your challenge in building such infrastructures with your independent distributors is total connection cost visà-vis the business volume to support it. This is where the power of the “group” works in your favour.

In 2009, IDI began developing an e-commerce network enabling all of our shareholders and vendors to pass electronic documents to each other, regardless of their respective Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Development is on-going, and the end result will be a complete e-comm network that facilitates PO’s, Order Acknowledgements, Invoices, consolidated PO error reports, and real-time rebate tracking – all without the need for human intervention or paper.

The benefits to our IDI vendors are significant:

  • One e-comm connection = electronic access to all of IDI's largest shareholders

  • Significantly reduced shipment errors, as orders are only entered once

  • Purchasing efficiencies – error-free PO’s are exported right into your ERP system

  • Cost reduction from paperless transactions

But the most compelling reason for you to connect with our shareholders: increased purchase volumes! Close to half of IDI’s shareholders – our largest shareholders – are currently connected to our vendors through IDI Connects. IDI shareholders favour vendors that are easiest to transact with – non-discretionary purchases go to those vendors! Our core vendors take advantage of IDI Connects to convert business away from their competition who are more cumbersome for our shareholders to order from, and to further entrench their relationship with our shareholders by connecting with them electronically!.

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