SEMA News—May 2014
Blowin' and Goin’—SEMA Data Co-op Powering Industry Sales
The SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) is now completing its first year in full-operations mode, and we thought you might like to see that your industry-owned data management resource is now well–established and helping companies increase sales every day. As a reminder—the SDC is operating a centralized product data service for manufacturers that organizes, houses and then distributes online product catalog information to WDs and retailers to help power all manner of business systems, ultimately driving sales growth.
What does the Data Co-op progress report card look like? Consider these results from the first year of operations:
- More than 280 manufacturer brands have joined the Data Co-op and have their product information in the system—with more in process every week.
- Manufacturers have loaded product information for more than 1.3 million SKUs with more than 18.1 million vehicle applications.
- The Data Co-op has more than 320 data receivers—WDs and retailers—actively using SDC data feeds to power sales, and it’s FREE to SEMA members.
- The SDC is exporting an average of over 7,000 data feeds per week.
- SDC data quality is setting a new industry standard, with manufacturers providing regularly updated, detailed product information along with digital assets, such as product images, instruction sheets and videos.
Because the distributors and retailers now using SDC data are so numerous and have been so active, product data from suppliers has been flowing into the marketplace faster than ever. So the idea of getting clean data out to the broader marketplace is no longer a concept. It’s a reality. Ultimately, the SDC means more folks are finding the product information they need to make sales, and sales are increasing.
As an industry-owned effort, an important focus for this centralized data resource is efficiency and affordability. With the strong trend of companies joining, the SEMA Data Co-op value proposition is rapidly becoming evident to other industry members—and the outcome is a positive snow-balling effect.
Now that the SDC is running on all cylinders, what’s next? For 2014, development of additional tools and services is a high priority. The SDC team is pushing hard to develop SEMA Search. This robust web-based search tool will make it possible to access the entire SDC database, all from a single search tool. With SEMA Search—available to SEMA members at no charge as part of their membership—a counterperson can find out what is available for a customer’s application in seconds, so more sales can be closed on the spot. It’s a big project, but this capability is so important the SDC has hired a full-time software developer and made this project a top priority.
As part of a continuous improvement process, enhancements have recently been launched that give the SDC unequaled capability in working with very large data files, which has proven critical to effectively handling SKU-intensive categories, such as dash, seat and car covers. Updating the system to accommodate the newest PIES standard and enable better product searches is another system enhancement now in the works.
If your company is not doing the most it can to have your product information available for B2B and B2C product look-ups, or if you are a distributor or retailer wanting to increase sales by access to complete and reliable product information, I urge you to contact the SDC to learn more. You can reach the SDC’s Jim Graven at 888-958-6698 x4 or Jon Wyly at 888-958-6698 x1. Do it today and help your company start growing sales tomorrow.
—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO