SEMA Board of Directors Approves Creation of an Industry Product Data Pool

The SEMA Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve funding for the creation of a uniform, all-industry product information data pool. The data pool will enable the sharing of information between trading partners, e-Catalogs and those requiring the ability to perform computer lookups to sell more parts. The first of its kind, the pool will be a comprehensive, one-stop service to SEMA's membership and to all other suppliers and resellers in the North American aftermarket.

“SEMA leadership is keenly aware of the critical role that data plays in an increasingly technologically enabled specialty aftermarket,” said SEMA Chairman Rick Rollins. “Our members understand that selling more of our products through existing specialty channels and to a broader audience through replacement parts outlets requires readily available, complete, standardized and validated product information. This pool will provide that critical service.”

According to SEMA Board Member and Business Technology Committee (BTC) Chairman Bob Moore, "the BTC has spent the last three years closely studying the needs of the specialty aftermarket as well as those of the replacement segment. All of our design specifications have been created to service those needs.

“The SEMA marketplace relies more heavily on product attribute data than does the replacement parts aftermarket,” Moore added. “Because specialty products are more often about how they enhance a vehicle’s performance or appearance, data related to performance, appearance or horsepower is sometimes more important than the make and year of vehicles the product fits. That's why the vision for this pool from the outset was to focus on product attribute data.”

Moore also noted that today's market is served by a range of catalog and data providers who focus on make/model/year lookups.

“Our expectation is that providing an economical, easy-to-use resource for acquiring product data will spur the creation of applications that search product attributes in addition to make/model/year. That eventuality will enhance the salability of specialty products at every level in both segments. Additionally, it will provide a potential for enhanced services by current providers of make/model/year lookups.

"Product attribute information is critically important to the automotive aftermarket overall, and today there is no reliable single source for it. The SEMA data pool will fill that void in a credible, cost-effective manner. The SEMA BTC anticipates having a working data pool operating for initial participants by close of the first quarter of 2010."