Inside SEMA

 SEMA News - May 2009 

Alise Miner

SEMA Vice President of Internal Systems and Project Teams

SEMA News-May 2009-Inside SEMA-Alise MinerSEMA News: Can you briefly explain your role and the role of your department at SEMA?

Alise Miner: The role of my department is to assist in the day-to-day operations of the association. The department consists of two pieces: information technology and business technology. The information technology piece is responsible for internal IT support from PCs to Macs, networks to servers, internal IT project development as well as managing and assisting in the deployment of external IT projects for the association.

The business technology piece was developed in 2005 to work directly with the SEMA Business Technology Committee (BTC) and member companies on the association’s technology initiatives and the adoption of the industry’s data standards. These initiatives are critical in our ever-changing world for increased efficiencies in the supply chain and to help our members sell more.

My role for the association encompasses those areas as well as improving internal efficiencies and standardizing procedures, including Lean Office and ISO compliance. My other responsibilities include helping to establish cross-functional teams within the association to support both Board of Directors’ and internal strategic initiatives. These additional roles help SEMA better anticipate and adapt to the ongoing needs of our membership and the industry.

SN: SEMA has just completed a redesign of the SEMA.org website. Can you give us some highlights of the new site?

AM: The redesign of the SEMA.org site has been developed to take full advantage of today’s one-on-one communications and social networking technologies. Our site will deliver targeted information to the employees of SEMA-member companies based on job function, region, product interest and company type. These parameters allow us to make assumptions about an employee’s interests and direct relevant education, research, event, government affairs, council and news content through informational media channels.

With my business technology hat on, I continually preach the importance of computer-to-computer communications and connectivity. The “MySEMA” feature within the site opens a new world of enhanced features to our members, allowing them to connect and communicate. Using technology similar to what is found on social networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, employees of member companies can now connect to each other, send e-mail, contact staff and, most importantly, receive targeted updates from media channels.

Our development of social networking technologies and matchmaking will also be featured in registration for the SEMA Show. We will use these new features to connect buyers and exhibitors before, during and after the Show.

The site will enable our members to access information 24/7 that will make them more productive and knowledgeable. We’ll enhance our ability to get the right information to the right people at the right time.

SN: What are some of the other projects you and your team are working on?

AM: During our development of the redesigned SEMA.org site we utilized agile project-management methodologies—feel free to Google that one! Using the agile approach allows all of our teams to be more adaptive for the future projects of the association, including the ongoing enhancements to our new web-based community.

We are currently working on bringing all of our member-related websites together under one login—similar to OpenID for all my IT friends. This enhancement will allow our members to seamlessly move through all information, whether it is their MySEMA on SEMA.org, association dues management, the online education learning center from the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) or activities related to the SEMA Show.

This collaborative approach brings together feedback from our members and staff and improves our ability to deliver additional benefits to our membership. The results are more targeted to meet their needs in a rapid manner. Just as our members remain adaptive and agile in the current environment, we have positioned our teams to be just as responsive.