SEMA News—May 2013
What You Don’t Know Can Cost You!
If you’re reading this, you’re holding the annual SEMA Membership Directory issue. With more listings, this directory is one of our largest ever, as your association continues a healthy trend in membership growth.
While we now make membership listings available online as well, we think the printed edition is well worth the effort, since SEMA members consistently mention the directory as a primary benefit to their business. Now that you know about it, you can take advantage of this industry sourcebook to connect with other leading companies all year long. But what other valuable SEMA benefits are you missing simply because you don’t know about them? Are you overpaying for shipping, insurance or credit-card processing fees?
Using our leverage as an association of more than 6,500 member businesses, SEMA has secured discounts and service efficiencies with companies such as UPS, GE Capital, First Data and Specialty Equipment Insurance Alliance. They are meaningful reductions that can be used by almost all of our members, such as deep discounts on shipping, securing electronic payments, business insurance and providing customer loyalty programs. These programs are saving smart SEMA members thousands of dollars every year. You can work smarter and tap into these discounts—and many others—by visiting www.SEMA.org and pulling down the Membership tab.
Another feature of the website, the SEMA Classified section, receives thousands of visitors each month. As a SEMA member, you are able to post your ads for jobs, list résumés or sell something—and it is available to members for free.
Most recently, SEMA has begun work to build another valuable new member resource, the SEMA Product Development Center. For years now, SEMA has provided benefits, such as Technology Transfer—a database of OEM CAD files that reduces product-development costs while increasing quality and speed to market. We also provide vehicle measuring sessions and even access to rapid prototyping services right out of the SEMA offices. The members who take advantage of these programs think of them as the best-kept secret around. Our job at SEMA is to make them less of a secret.
We are opening the SEMA Product Development Center this spring to expand and add new programs that help our members with product development. Mike Spagnola, an industry veteran and a former SEMA Board member who has exactly the background needed to relate to both the OEMs and aftermarket businesses, has joined the SEMA team. It will be his goal to help members get the information, tools and access to vehicles to help members develop new products quickly and efficiently.
The SEMA Product Development Center is now in the formative stages. We’re eager to hear your input on what we can offer—and we’re optimistic that opening this facility will exponentially accelerate the way our industry taps into the latest technologies and vehicles to develop products. You’ll be hearing more about this in the near future.
We also hope that all SEMA members, and especially our new members, will take a moment to visit www.SEMA.org/membership to find out about all the resources that come with a SEMA membership. Many more benefits, such as our research services, are available free exclusively to SEMA members. Like the Membership Directory and SEMA Classifieds, these are benefits designed to help members do business 365 days a year.
—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO