Jon Wyly

Tell Me Again Why I Need to Be Internet Friendly…?

Jon Wyly

That’s why every manufacturer and reseller of consumer products needs to be paying attention today to where the Internet is going and learn how to leverage its substantial influence and power.

Now hear me out before you get your hackles up and declare me yet another of the “end of the brick-and-mortar” doomsayers. The statistics are there for anyone to read, and the fact-based opinions of some very sharp folks are telling us in no uncertain terms that consumers are continuing to gravitate to the Internet to research and purchase all sorts of goods. The automotive parts and accessories category is no exception.

The Industry’s Data Game-Changer

Perhaps the most exciting news for SDC members is the debut of SEMA Search, a new online tool developed to deliver retailers and counter people in part stores, web businesses and warehouses a one-stop reference for SDC-member products.An Exclusive Progress Report on the SEMA Data Co-op

When SEMA launched the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) a little over two years ago, the goal was admittedly ambitious: to revolutionize the way automotive specialty-equipment manufacturers (data suppliers) convey product information to warehouse distributors and resellers (data receivers) for the benefit of all. Now, according to Jon Wyly, the co-op’s CEO, the SDC is delivering thousands of data sets a week, representing millions of part numbers and tens of millions of vehicle applications, through a database that continues to grow by leaps and bounds daily.

Clearing the Air on Product Data Management, Part II

Jon Wyly

Questions From Your Industry Peers

Continuing the theme from our last column in the October issue of SEMA News, let’s look at some questions that came from the Council Summit in Pomona, California, back in July. The folks attending this event represented a great cross-section of the industry, and all were very inquiring minds that made for some great conversation and questions.

Clearing the Air on Product Data Management

Jon WylyQuestions From Your Industry Peers

Back in July, my team and I had the opportunity to meet with the SEMA council leadership at its annual Council Summit in Pomona. We were invited to join the meeting to talk about the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) and get feedback from this diverse gathering. What was particularly fascinating was that this group—made up of smart folks who do a great job of running their businesses—had widely varying understandings (and thus opinions) about product data management. After an hour of very productive discussion, the entire room merged onto the same page, and we came away with a group that was better able to relate product data management to their individual businesses while helping us at the SDC to realize that a lot of hand-to-hand education still needs to happen.

Are you Skating to Where the Puck Is Going to Be?

Jon WylyArguably one of the greatest hockey players ever to pick up a stick, Wayne Gretzky is also credited with one of the most insightful quotes ever about focus and achievement: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” This simple thought captures the essence of staying ahead of the game: Think ahead, pay attention to where things are going, and go for it! Whether you are anticipating future trends in automotive accessories and performance or you’re staying on point with business technology, it’s critical to always be looking forward.

SEMA DATA CO-OP

Are you Setting the Bar or Doing the Bare Minimum?

Jon WylyChotchkie’s Manager: We need to talk about your product data.

Joanna: Really? I have 15 fields….

Chotchkie’s Manager: Well, okay. Fifteen is the minimum, okay?

Joanna: Okay.

Chotchkie’s Manager: Now, you know it’s up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Or, well, like your competitor, for example, has 37 data fields, okay? And great digital assets, too.

SEMA DATA CO-OP

Jon WylyData Receivers: Now Is the Time to Speak Up!

July marks the end of the first full year of operation of the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) Product Information Management System (PIMS), and this fledgling new business is well on its way to becoming what we intended it to be—the definitive centralized product data repository for the SEMA marketplace. Now hosting more than 300 supplier brands of data, 2 million part numbers and more than 30 million vehicle application records, the SDC is a legitimate and valuable source for product data to power wholesale distributor (WD), retail and web businesses.

SEMA Search Is on the Way!

Jon WylyIt’s been quite a year for SEMA on the technology front. Just last May, the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) went live for the first time with a fully functioning Product Information Management System. Since that time, more than 300 industry suppliers have engaged with the SDC to gather, validate, store and distribute their product data to more than 350 data receivers—a number that is growing every week.

In order to eliminate as many roadblocks to data distribution as possible, the SDC is providing free unlimited data exports to all SEMA-member receivers, along with proactively helping suppliers improve their data sets with expert Help Desk services and powerful, online, do-it-yourself data-management tools.

Win in Business While Supporting Your Industry

Jon WylyA smart person in the industry that I respect a lot recently told me: “I’ve drowned a lot of horses trying to make them drink.” This, of course, references the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Thinking about what he said, I found that, sadly, I could relate to his frustration through some of our experiences at the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC). In most cases, it boils down to prioritization.

There’s no question that product data management is critical to business today. Thankfully, a good many companies on the supplier (manufacturer) side are stepping up to meet their customer’s needs while growing their own sales opportunities.

Spring Sales Ramp-Up: Are You Ready for the Season?

Jon WylyWith the spring selling season gaining momentum, now is the time to be thinking about how to get your share of sales in the months ahead. Economic forecasts look promising in many areas, meaning we could be looking at some strong signs of normalcy coming to the marketplace after a seven-year drought! With that positive swing, however, will come more aggressive competition than ever. Businesses that have struggled to keep inventory available will be filling the shelves, and competitors will regain market position and confidence as their business kicks in.

So how do you stake your claim early and keep that competitive edge? It’s back to the basics, with strong inventory availability, great customer service, multifaceted marketing and a competitive position on price.

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