The Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) and the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) recently launched an innovative, online product-training program, the SEMA Product Training Center. This new joint program allows manufacturers to efficiently and effectively provide product training to hundreds or even thousands of resellers throughout the industry for what they might spend to reach only a handful using traditional means. LTAA helped develop this web-based training solution to complement each manufacturer’s existing training while keeping costs down.
As a manufacturer, you invest a lot of time and money into bringing new products to market. There’s the concept for a great new hot-rod product itself followed by research and design time, prototypes, testing and, eventually, the manufacturing. Immediately following that process is the marketing side of the equation, where expenses can really add up. There are packaging costs, promotion and introduction, catalogs, literature and advertising dollars. By the time a new product ships, most companies have a substantial investment at stake and plan (or hope) for a return on the investment in the near future.
The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) Fellowship program helped to fund travel expenses to the 2012 SEMA Show for 10 member-company employees under the age of 40. The participants were asked to take part in a number of specific Show events—including the SEMA Awards Banquet, YEN Reception and SEI education seminars—focused on developing their business skills and expanding their professional networks. Nine of them provided a few words to SEMA Member News about their experiences.
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive leaders and innovators, awards approximately 75 scholarships every year. These awards help prepare the industry’s next generation for today’s competitive market through financial assistance for students attending various universities, colleges and/or vocational schools in the United States. In fact, the fund has yielded more than $1.5 million in scholarships since 1984.
It may be early in the year, and many of you are just now dusting off your collector cars and hot rods in preparation for the cruising months ahead, but the fourth annual Collector Car Appreciation Day, July 12, 2013, will be here before we know it. Matt Agosta of Steele Rubber Products prepared the following column right after the holidays, but his message still rings true and gets us in the right frame of mind to celebrate our collective passion.
In 1993, a small group of the automotive specialty-equipment industry’s businesswomen transformed the SEMA Women’s League, a group catering to the wives of SEMA exhibitors, into the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). They became a group focused on women’s success in the automotive aftermarket.
Running a business can be tough going these days. Your membership in SEMA is an important ally, and now it’s an even stronger force with enhanced SEMA-member benefits from UPS. SEMA members can now enjoy exclusive discounts on UPS services and solutions that can help to streamline and expand operations while trimming time, waste and expense. Members also enjoy significant discounts on package deliveries and export rates as well as UPS freight.
By Wayne Williams
I couldn’t help but notice how nicely merchandised the Starbucks Coffee Shops were this past holiday season. Again this year, my wife and I did the Christmas shopping together, and because my wife is a happier shopper when she has a Starbucks coffee in her hand, we visited a number of locations.
By Regis Finn
We discussed the importance of attending consumer-based shows and events in the May/June 2012 issue of SEMA Member News and inexpensive ways to promote a business on the web in the November/December 2012 issue. In this third installment, we’ll discuss the need or lack of need for print material for a small business.
By Ellen McKoy
Four freshman members have joined the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) Select Committee. They are Dave Edmondson of Roadwire Automotive Innovation, Ginger Glover of Truckers Toy Store, Donna Green of Retro USA and Jerry Redding of EchoMaster. We recently asked them about their backgrounds and the reasons they’ve chosen to get involved.