|Jon Wyly has been hired to launch and manage the new SEMA Data Cooperative, an initiative the SEMA Board of Directors has identified as a critical strategic issue.
“We are pleased and excited to have Jon taking the lead as we roll out this key industry initiative,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.
“Jon brings a unique mix to the table, combining broad experience in the specialty parts arena with exceptional insight when it comes to data management applications that will be needed in the future.
“The SEMA Data Co-op will create order from chaos in the world of digital product information,” Kersting continued. “No one understands better than Jon that sales today are driven by complete, accurate and standardized product data, available from a single, affordable and easily accessible source. That makes him the ideal person to bring the SEMA Data Co-op to life; we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”
Wyly’s career spans 30 years and has included key roles in sales, marketing, e-commerce, business technology and data management. A lifelong automotive enthusiast, he is well known to the specialty parts industry, having co-founded the SEMA Business Technology Committee and having served six years on the SEMA Board of Directors. His background includes 25 years at Arrow Speed Warehouse, ending as Executive Vice President, and more recently as VP of e-Commerce at Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. He was named SEMA Person of the Year in 2005.
“While I have enjoyed operating in the WD and e-commerce arenas of the specialty parts aftermarket for over 30 years now,” Wyly noted, “the opportunity to point my efforts and experience toward building the SEMA Data Co-op was simply too exciting to pass up.”
Wyly’s immediate priorities will include launching a “beta” phase of the Data Co-op, which will precede a full-scale rollout. The SEMA Board of Directors has identified the Data Co-op as a critical strategic issue, and has authorized funding to support the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the system.
“Our ability to get information about the industry’s products to more data users—more WDs, more jobber-retailers, more auto parts stores—is the key to expanding our total market,” said Kersting. “Better data means more sales. You’ve got to have clean, standardized product information easily available to the channel partners.”
SEMA is also collaborating with leading aftermarket associations on data standards, and with the hard-parts industry’s OptiCat data repository, so that complete product information for both specialty and hard parts can be accessed from either system.
A limited-scale “alpha” test of the Data Co-op initiated in 2011 yielded conclusive proof-of-concept validation. In the “beta” phase, which launches in April of 2012, as many as 50 manufacturers and 20 WDs and retailers will have the opportunity to participate. The arrival of Wyly brings full-time, technically-adept, industry-savvy leadership to the project.
“I am at a stage in my career where I would like to give back to the industry in a meaningful way,” said Wyly. “It is my privilege to lead this important new initiative to help SEMA Members succeed.”
Jon Wyly is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.