SEMA DATA CO-OP
By Jon Wyly
Budget Time Approaching? Plan Your Data Management Strategy Now!
As 2015 rapidly comes to a close, most of us are busy preparing for the SEMA Show and getting next year’s budgets in order. If you are not yet working with the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) to take total management control and ownership of your product data, now is a perfect time to plan for engagement in 2016, just in time for the spring selling season. And remember, the SDC doesn’t charge any initial onboarding or setup fees. In fact, you don’t pay anything until your data is ready to distribute, so you can start the process today and not affect your calendar 2015 budget.
As this issue goes to press, the SEMA Data Co-op is celebrating an exciting new status as the largest and most comprehensive product data repository in the automotive specialty parts market. Launched in March of 2012 as a key SEMA initiative to serve the association’s members, the SDC spent the first year designing, building and implementing the industry’s most comprehensive online tool set for do-it-yourself (with a lot of help) data management. Now, after just under three years in business, the SDC is instrumental in helping more than 300 member companies representing more than 400 product brands manage and distribute their product data to more than 700 resellers across the industry. And we’re just getting started!
To date, the SEMA Data Co-op houses well over 4 million part numbers, more than 40 million vehicle application records and more than 2 million unique product images. Participating manufacturers (suppliers) are working with the SDC team every day to improve the quality and completeness of their data under the Bronze/Silver/Gold/Platinum score-carding program, which was launched just under a year ago. Be sure to check out their progress in the “SDC Data Directory” on p. 141 of this issue.
As you can see, there are many reasons to get involved with the SDC now in preparation for the new year, but we understand that you might have some questions or concerns before getting started. Here are a few of the most common questions the SDC receives:
Question: How much staff time will we have to invest to onboard and manage our data?
SDC: The time required varies, depending on how much initial data you have to send over to us and how many changes/additions you typically make. On average, expect to devote about half of someone’s time to the initial process for a few weeks, and a few hours a month for ongoing maintenance.
Question: Does the SDC offer do-it-for-me (DIFM) services if I don’t have the time to participate in the onboarding process?
SDC: Yes, the SDC can provide a very reasonable quote for DIFM onboarding, which would significantly limit the amount of work necessary by your staff to get your data into the system. After the onboarding is complete, we will train your staff to do the ongoing data maintenance.
Question: Are there any limits to how much data I can store and deliver in the SDC system?
SDC: No, we can accommodate any amount of data, including all available images, videos, sound bytes, instruction sheets and more. We encourage all participating suppliers to build out their data to our Platinum standard of quality to get the most sales value in the marketplace.
To learn more about how you can take control of your product data and manage it at the lowest possible cost, contact SEMA Data Co-op Director of Membership Jim Graven at jimg@SEMAdatacoop.org or 888-958-6698 x4.