Price File Updates

Work continues on synchronizing data between distributor and supplier systems.

Price file updates, and the use and promotion of standard file layouts, have been the focus of much attention throughout the industry of late. The GAWDA Management Information (MI) committee has identified the issue of data synchronization as vitally important to a number of initiatives that can increase the overall efficiency of business transactions between distributors and suppliers. These include more timely flow of price changes from supplier to distributor, accuracy of purchase order and invoicing data, further use of automatic identification (barcoding) within distributorships, and eventually real-time price and availability integration between distributor and supplier systems. Synchronizing inventory part data is at the center of all of these data processing functions.

This past January, the MI committee met at association headquarters and developed a plan to further define and promote the GAWDA price file standards. The predominate software suppliers have all indicated support of the GAWDA price file standard, and collectively represent a majority of GAWDA distributor members. These software systems allow import of price file data either directly by the distributor, or through a fee-based service of the software company.

Web Page to Gather Data
An important new initiative was proposed to promote these standards, as well as those suppliers who are supporting the use of these standards. A new Web page has been developed that catalogs contact information for GAWDA supplier members who are publishing their price file in a GAWDA standards-compliant format. This Web page, contained within the Members-Only section of, provides a valuable resource to distributor members in quickly locating the appropriate partner contact information to gather price file data for use in their in-house data processing systems. Contact name, phone number, e-mail address and, in some cases, direct links to online resources to download price files will be posted and maintained over time. It is important to note that no effort is being made to warehouse the price file data itself, or to have GAWDA become involved in distribution of this data, as this was determined to be beyond its mission. Supplier members are encouraged to list their contact information to make it easy for distributors to make contact.

Price File Standard Updates
Additionally, the GAWDA price file standard was reviewed and clarified. Specifically, the Unit Of Measure (UOM) and corresponding Distributor Cost and/or List Price were agreed to be stated in the lowest end-user saleable denomination possible (i.e. each, lb., kg., etc.). New data items were added for Minimum Line Item Order Quantity, as well as Standard Cube for the primary UOM, as well as secondary and tertiary packaging.

Standard Pack and Minimum Line Item Order Quantity were moved nearer the top of the file layout document, and their importance emphasized. Whenever either is omitted, their value is assumed to be 1. The updated GAWDA price file standard 1.2 was ratified and is published at These changes to the standard were proposed by the American Welding Society’s Welding Equipment Manufacturers Committee (AWS-WEMCO), which works closely with GAWDA’s Management Information committee on a number of electronic standards.

While GAWDA’s price file standards have been published and in use for a number years, it is believed that these improvements and initiative will help distributors and suppliers more easily exchange vital data and further enhance business efficiencies.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
David Frea Meet the Author
David J Frea, a member of GAWDA’s Management Information committee, is president of Infonetics, Inc., located in Grove City, Ohio, and on the Web at