FIDX Develops Excel Spreadsheet Format

HFBusiness Now - August 28, 2012

The Furniture Industry Data Exchange has developed a standard Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to simplify e-commerce for use non-customizable catalog items.

While processing transactions in e-commerce 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. The new spread sheet, available for download hereOpens in a new window, is designed 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 more common Microsoft Excel technology instead of XML, 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.     

Representatives from AHFA, Ashley FurnitureOpens in a new window, Furnituredealer.netOpens in a new window, Grey Suit RetailOpens in a new window, HFIA, MicroDOpens in a new window, NHFA, and Wayfair.comOpens in a new window participated in the discussion about the Excel electronic catalog standard.
 
FIDX is a working group that is jointly sponsored by the American Home Furnishings AllianceOpens in a new window, the Home Furnishings Independents AssociationOpens in a new window and the National Home Furnishings AssociationOpens in a new window.