HFIA announced that the Furniture Industry Data Exchange committee (FIDX) has developed a solution to help resolve a nagging industry ecommerce issue. While processing transactions in ecommerce has been relatively simple, building the electronic catalogs has been more difficult. A number of years ago, in order to accommodate the complex configurations associated with custom ordered products (primarily upholstery), FIDX developed a robust standard using XML technology. Unfortunately, more robust means more complex, which resulted in limited use within the industry. FIDX has now provided a less complex solution for use with the simpler non-customizable catalog items.
FIDX has developed a standard Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (available for download at www.fidx.org
). The goal is to increase the use of industry standards, thereby reducing time and cost associated with building and implementing a company’s e-catalog. By using a more common technology (Microsoft Excel), it should allow more flexibility within a company rather than being forced to get support from the company’s IT department.
The MS Excel solution can be used only for simple, non-customizable products. The XML solution should still be used for the more complex, configured-to-order products.
FIDX is a working group that is jointly sponsored by the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), the Home Furnishings Independents Association (HFIA) and the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA). For more information see www.fidx.org
Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers