SEMA News - December 2010

  SEMA News-December 2010-Chris Kersting
The SEMA Show serves as a powerful springboard that catapults the industry into the coming year. Exhibitors and attendees alike should have a full head of steam as they carry the enthusiasm generated on the Show floor back to their businesses. All of the new products and innovations discovered there can serve as an opportunity to turn positive energy and information into increased sales. In that spirit, we’ve focused this issue of SEMA News on evolving industry innovations and how they can help guide you toward improved profits.

One of the most important trends for our industry is the increased use of business technology. It is something that no company can afford to ignore as we seek to expand the market. Many business owners and company CEOs “get it.” Providing great product information online has become a critical necessity in today’s computer-connected world. If you are one of those forward-thinking industry leaders who have your company’s product data in good order, we salute your foresight. If you are not, make no mistake: this industry is changing, and so is the way trade will be conducted. Creating greater efficiency and delivering information is what technology does best. The benefits of that efficiency will evolve and increase, but the key is product information that is immediately useable by your partners and, in turn, allows your customers to understand the benefits, specifications and availability of your parts. That understanding builds desire, and desire builds sales.

It is imperative for businesses in our industry to make use of the available technology that helps increase efficiency, customer service and success in marketing our products. Electronic product information—that oft-cursed “data”—is the stuff that builds today’s catalogs, webpages and smart phone eCommerce messages. It’s what allows today’s counterman to look up products and make a sale to an increasingly savvy customer, and it’s what allows a warehouse distributor to avoid unnecessary telephone calls to quickly and correctly answer the ones that do come in and ensure that inventory is where it ought to be. So if the word “data” dulls your senses, if ACES and PIES sound like alphabet soup with no relevance to your company, I urge you to read two of the stories in this issue: “A Few Words With Bob Moore”, and “Good Product Information = Sales!". They may provide the wake-up call you need to help your company survive as information becomes king and commerce continues to go electronic.

If you’re interested in more about data standards and the importance of an industry data pool to support supply-chain transactions and marketing to the consumer, please visit the Business Technology Committee webpages and also take advantage of the association’s webinars—free to members—which are archived on the SEMA website here. You’ll find a full range of materials that will aid every company in every step on the path to developing clean and complete product data that sells parts.  

One of the most important trends for our industry is the increased use of business technology. It is something that no company can afford to ignore as we seek to expand the market. 

—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO

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