SEMA News—April 2014

By Jon Wyly

Win in Business While Supporting Your Industry


Future sales opportunities are more dependent on data availability than ever before.
Future sales opportunities are more dependent on data availability than ever before. 

A 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. They have learned that complete, up-to-date product data is essential to powering business systems and creating meaningful sales opportunities. Additionally, as we have mentioned many times before, there are other important benefits that include maintaining a consistent marketing approach, ensuring timely new-product releases and proactively supporting your customer’s sales efforts.

With that in mind, here are a few key points that will help you make the most of your sales results through effective product data management at the SDC:

  1. Stay Current. Approach data management as a core process, not something that may or may not get done   “when we have the time.”
  2. Hold Accountable. Dedicate someone to be the point person in your data efforts—and the SDC will help with training!
  3. Ensure Speed to Market. Develop a strict rhythm of keeping data updated in the SDC system. Remember that when you load your data today, it gets distributed today.
  4. Build It Out. Continually enhance and expand your data content, which will put you ahead of your competitors!
  5. Distribute Freely. Take the time to know (and approve) your new wholesale customers and their resellers. The SDC has hundreds of receivers waiting to get your data and sell your parts!
  6. Support Your Industry by Supporting the SDC. We have spent a ton of time and money to build the SDC for one purpose: to help grow your business!

The bottom line is that future sales opportunities are more dependent on data availability than ever before. What used to be an afterthought is now a leading question in most of your customers’ minds. Today, more and more sales opportunities are being cut short when the topic of data availability is tabled. Wouldn’t you rather make the initial sales call with the answer to one of their most pressing requirements already in your pocket? Winning in business today is being prepared, staying ahead of the curve and taking control of your valuable assets. Your product data is no exception.

Don’t be a drowned horse. Join the SDC, dedicate your team to the process, and take control of this valuable business asset—gathering, standardizing, maintaining and distributing of your product data. It will pay off in sales growth, an expanded customer base and positioning for success in the marketplaces of tomorrow.

To learn more about how you can take control of your product data and manage it at the lowest possible cost, contact SDC Director of Membership Jim Graven via e-mail at or by phone at 888-958-6698 x4.

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