SEMA News—April 2016

SEMA DATA CO-OP

By Jon Wyly

SEMA Data Co-opDeath, Taxes and Product Data Maintenance

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” —Benjamin Franklin, 1789

I’m sure we have all heard the phrase “death and taxes” used in various ways during our lives, and no matter how used, it has come to identify the inevitable—something we just can’t avoid. Well, another inevitability has become apparent as we explore the outlook for business growth in 2016, and that is the insatiable demand for technology and the fuel to power it.

I was talking with a CEO in our industry the other day, trying to express my concern for the fact that his company didn’t have any 2016 applications in its product data set. Customers (resellers) were complaining to the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) team and looking for answers. Some were threatening to switch to different brands, and others were diving in, trying to patch together a temporary fix so that they could sell the parts in this brand. Sadly, it appeared that the customers cared more about the quality of the data than the CEO of the company did! That, my friends, is a seriously dangerous situation.

Technology is driving business today, and you can’t run the technology without fuel—in this case, product data. If you want to sell those new parts you have invested in, make sure that your selling partners have the data available to populate their point-of-sale, warehouse and eCommerce systems! In the case I mentioned above, the CEO told me that his company had plans to put together a data team to stay on top of the situation, and some of his staff members confirmed that was indeed the plan—promised for the last three years. Meanwhile, the company is frustrating customers and losing sales, leaving the door wide open for an alert competitor to step in and grab some market share. Much is now at risk over something as simple as maintaining product data!

Rarely does an opportunity present itself where sales can be impacted so dramatically with just a modicum of effort. So lead the charge. Data management is no longer a luxury or a “nice to have.” It’s a necessity that can and does drive your sales results. Not sure where to start? Contact the SDC, and we will teach you how to take control of your data and manage it successfully and efficiently. We will gladly train your staff, either online or face-to-face in our Kansas City offices.

As with most business investments, data management can often seem out of sight, out of mind. But the downside is happening right under your nose. After all, slowing sales do tend to creep up on you, don’t they? The good news is that with the advent of the SDC, product data management is more affordable than ever and is supported by your industry association, which is in it for the long run. No up-front costs, free training, powerful online tools and a modest monthly fee once you are up and running make the SDC the ultimate value, while taking the mystery out of what can seem like an intimidating process.

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.

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