Business Technology

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.”

Owning Your Data Is Owning Your Future

Jon WylyOwning Your Data Is Owning Your Future

British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee is credited with inventing the World Wide Web in 1989 when he implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol client and a server via the Internet. He had this to say about data ownership: “Customers need to be given control of their own data—not being tied into a certain manufacturer so that when there are problems they are always obliged to go back to them.”

With that in mind, I selected the words in the title of this article very carefully. “Owning Your Data Is Owning Your Future.” Seems simple enough, and certainly makes sense. But think about the reciprocal meaning of that statement. If someone else owns your data, someone else owns your future. Yep, that’s a scary thought.

Do-It-Yourself Product Data Management?

It’s Easier Than You Think!

Jon WylyNot too long ago, it took an expert in HTML to enable you to launch a website for your business. It was all very mysterious and was often communicated in a “trust us, you wouldn’t understand” manner. Today, there are numerous ready-to-go platform solutions that have made what was once an expensive and expertise-intensive process into a do-it-yourself reality. In fact, many business owners today are finding that understanding their business technology and managing the details internally is not only relatively easy to do, but also brings a whole new level of control into the business that most often produces better results while saving money.

Taking Your Product Data to the Next Level—With Sales to Match!

Jon WylyIt happens to all of us: You just can’t pull the trigger on a purchase simply because there isn’t enough information to make you comfortable with the decision. It might be on the Internet, where you’re staring at a page with vague content and poor pictures, or it could be in a brick-and-mortar store, where you’re dealing with a salesperson who just doesn’t know his or her stuff. Other times, it all seems to fall together. The salesperson is informative and knowledgeable, or the Internet presentation is complete and confidence inspiring, resulting in a quick, satisfying purchase.

Obviously, research plays a critical role in this decision-making and sales cycle. Like many of you, when I’m ready to spend some hard-earned money, I dive into research mode. What are other people saying about this product? How much information is available? Can I be confident that it will meet my needs?

The SEMA Data Co-op Is Up and Running… Now What?

Well, now the real fun begins! The SEMA Data Co-op’s (SDC) state-of-the-art data-management system has been up and running for a couple of months. The usual bugs have been shaken out, and we are actively receiving and distributing quality product data from nearly 200 suppliers to a horde of anxious receivers. Sure, we’re still adding new functionality and fine tuning things such as the user interface, documentation and reporting features, but it’s smooth sailing overall.

Does Our Industry Have Five Years Left?

A Few Words With John Waraniak

John Waraniak, SEMA’s vice president of vehicle technology, has tinkered with machines and building fast toys since he was a kid growing up in Detroit. Waraniak is equally at home in an aerospace skunkworks in Pico Rivera, California, a boardroom in Mumbai, India, on a motocross track in Buchanan, Michigan, or on the Vehicle Technology Center stage at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. His love for racing, performance and systems engineering have led him to master’s degrees at the University of Illinois and Caltech as well as executive careers in the stealth aircraft, automotive racing and action sports industries. He was eventually recruited as SEMA’s “chief engineer” in May 2006.


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