Business Technology

Silicon Valley Versus Motor City: Race for the Future of the Car

John Waraniak, SEMA Vice President of Vehicle TechnologySEMA’s Vice President of Vehicle Technology on the State of Advanced Vehicle Technology and What’s to Come

The race to define future vehicles is on. Competition for the future of the auto industry is rapidly evolving between Silicon Valley and Detroit. While product is king, vehicle electronics and software rule. The recession accelerated the auto industry’s transformational changes, which are required for growth as well as the reinvention of vehicles—from mechanical to electrical systems, from stand-alone to connected, and from mass markets to personalization and customization. The changes we are going through today will impact the performance aftermarket industry for decades to come.

Spring Sales Ramp-Up: Are You Ready for the Season?

Jon WylyWith the spring selling season gaining momentum, now is the time to be thinking about how to get your share of sales in the months ahead. Economic forecasts look promising in many areas, meaning we could be looking at some strong signs of normalcy coming to the marketplace after a seven-year drought! With that positive swing, however, will come more aggressive competition than ever. Businesses that have struggled to keep inventory available will be filling the shelves, and competitors will regain market position and confidence as their business kicks in.

So how do you stake your claim early and keep that competitive edge? It’s back to the basics, with strong inventory availability, great customer service, multifaceted marketing and a competitive position on price.

SEMA Data Co-op Expanding to Meet Member Needs in 2014

Jon Wyly“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
—Henry Ford

It’s almost hard to believe that the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) was officially launched just two short years ago with one employee, an ambitious mission and a handful of industry hopefuls who were willing to test drive an idea that, by all accounts, was going to be difficult at best. It seems appropriate as we approach the end of our second year to stop and take a look at where the SDC has been in its short existence and what the future holds for us in the coming months.

Waiting to Make a Decision About Data Management?

Jon WylyVulnerability Awaiting Plunder

With data collection, ‘the sooner the better’ is always the best answer.”—Marissa Mayer

It’s a simple truth in today’s business environment: Data is driving business like never before, whether it’s data about customers, products, competitors or any number of other factors that determine how well informed we are. For those of us in the automotive specialty-equipment trade, “data” is typically talked about in terms of product data—all of the properly presented words, numbers and pictures that illustrate the full rich value, function and desirability of a particular product.

SEMA Data Co-op Case Studies

How Robust Data Has Improved Business

The SEMA Data Co-op (SDC), the industry-owned data repository, moved from Beta phase into full operation just last summer. Since then there’s been a lot of talk about “clean data” and the need for manufacturers within the specialty-equipment industry to “take control” of it. ACES, PIES, long descriptions and even product photos and videos are now critical to sales in today’s digital age.

Rapid Change Calls for Immediate Attention

Current studies suggest that up to 90% of shopping now begins with an Internet search, and mobile is overhauling other search devices. No wonder the Online Marketing seminars at the SEMA Show are among the most popular.Current studies suggest that up to 90% of shopping now begins with an Internet search, whether the product is ultimately purchased online or through a brick-and-mortar retail store. And mobile is overhauling other search devices, with tablets alone projected to account for 65% of all sales made on mobile devices. That’s a rapid change from only a short time ago.

“It’s like dog years, where one year is actually seven years worth of change,” said Bob Moore, partner in the automotive aftermarket consulting company J&B Service in Kansas City, Missouri. “For example, I was looking at a presentation we did in 2010...

SEMA Show Product Data Education Track

Jon Wyly

Hourly Sessions All Day Monday, Sponsored by the SEMA Data Co-op

From beginner to expert, the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) education track is sure to provide insight into better managing your product data and making use of the new SDC Product Information Management System. Join the SDC team for training and ideas presented through interactive discussions, questions and answers and demonstrations on the following topics:

Education, Answers and Solutions!

SEMA Data Co-op at the Show:Jon Wyly

No matter your skill level, beginner to expert, there will never be a better time to get a healthy dose of “data savvy” than at the 2013 SEMA Show.

The SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) will be giving presentations and demos all day Tuesday, November 5, through Friday, November 8, in booth #20579, and is also offering a full slate of educational sessions on Monday, November 4. All sessions are free, run one hour each and are repeated morning and afternoon to best accommodate busy Show schedules.

Confused About Data Management?

Top Five Reasons to Get Started Now!

Business is changing. And for those of us who have been in the industry for 20, 25, 30 years or more, it just feels different than it used to. I was talking to an old friend the other day who runs a specialty performance company, and he said, “You know, it just seems like nobody talks to each other on the phone anymore.” Yep, e-mail has changed the way we do business. The same sentiment can be heard in brick-and-mortar stores across the country in the form of, “You know, people don’t come into the store like they used to.”

Yep, the Internet has changed the way we do business as well. So what’s the common thread that is replacing the long-standing virtues of face-to-face business, customer relationships and loyalty? If you ask me, it’s technology.

A Picture Is Worth…

Jon WylyYou’re probably thinking, yeah, I know…a thousand words, right? Well, that certainly still holds true, but a picture is also worth hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of sales in today’s marketplace.

In case you haven’t noticed, today’s consumers are now demanding what could almost be called a sensory overload of visual information as they make decisions about where to spend their money. It’s all about quick, informative features and benefits, easy-to-consume product details, and pictures, pictures, pictures. And don’t forget videos! Videos showing installation, product features and function, performance and more are rapidly becoming the norm and are very influential in consumer decision-making. Add to this list things such as PDFs of installation instructions, schematics, warranty information and more to round out this new standard of excellence in presenting your products. No longer do you need to have just an image library; it’s all about managing all this stuff we now call “digital assets.”

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