SEMA News—April 2018

SDC User Forum Is Live and Waiting for You

By Craig Schmutzler
Every year, the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) conducts a user group meeting at the SEMA Show. This face-to-face meeting serves as a great opportunity for our team to ask the following questions:
  1. What is working well?
  2. What needs to be fixed?
  3. How can we do a better job for you?

Our members provide us with good, usable feedback, and we work hard to ensure that we are meeting their needs. Our desire is to help our members grow their businesses through the services that we offer, and their feedback helps us meet that goal.

Over the past few years, we have received multiple requests for a user forum to allow for better and more-immediate communication between members. Last year, we identified the development of a user forum as one of our key projects. The forum was completed and launched in late December and allows our members to easily connect with each other and with us.

Here are four important reasons to visit the SDC forum:

Ask Questions: The forum provides an environment to ask questions and receive quick answers from other users or from SDC staff. We have a good number of savvy business people among our members. Don’t feel as though your questions need to be limited to topics of product information or SDC systems use. You may have a question on how to launch your next marketing campaign or how best to find that next stellar employee. The forum is a great place to find resources to help make important business decisions.

Exchange Ideas: SDC thrives on the ideas of our members. We launched a new user interface last year that incorporates the ideas put forth by our members. We want the forum to serve as a platform for promoting the constructive exchange of ideas. We all have those “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” thoughts. Your thought may be related to our systems, our industry or your individual business. Sharing ideas allows for productive discussions that help formalize plans and move businesses forward.

Don’t be shy; we aren’t judgmental. Some of the best ideas sound a bit far-fetched when first presented. If you need an example to bolster your courage, consider the fact that there is a successful business out there that sells plastic wishbones. It was established to avoid the sibling rivalry and family disputes that result from everyone’s desire to get that lone Thanksgiving turkey wishbone. When deciding whether to share your “crazy” idea, consider the plastic wishbone—and then share your idea.

Share Best Practices: A best practice is a procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption. (At least, that is what Merriam-Webster says.) From our perspective, a best practice is something that works for you and your business. Other members may well benefit from your experience as they work to make decisions and establish processes. If you have a process or procedure that works well for you, share it in the forum to help other members. As forum participation grows, you may well find yourself seeing value in the ideas that others are posting.

Receive Important Announcements: Finally, we use the forum as a vehicle through which to communicate important information to our members. We may have new system functionality, a cool update, or an upcoming event. Along with Facebook and our newsletters, the forum is one of the places we post that information. Be sure to check in often.

The SDC forum is available to all SDC members and can be accessed through our user interface by clicking the SDC User Forum link on the left side of the screen. If you have questions regarding how to become an SDC member or need help accessing the forum, please feel free to contact us. We stand ready to assist.

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