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

SEMA News—April 2013

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY
By Jon Wyly

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

Jon WylyWell, 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.

With the assistance of our expert help desk, participating suppliers continue to build out their data sets, and new receivers are coming forward to take advantage of what will soon be the largest single repository of product data in the industry. This is pretty remarkable if you think about it. Just one year ago, this journey was just getting started, but with the hard work of some dedicated data geeks and a little nudge here and there from yours truly, SEMA has produced a genuine solution for suppliers to manage their product data—a solution that provides suppliers and receivers with hands-on help no matter what their level of expertise, and ensures total ownership of the process and the data at the lowest possible cost. So if you produce or sell automotive specialty parts and you have not yet joined the Co-op, skip to the last paragraph and contact us to get started now!

Now, for all of you who are left—the early adopters, the believers, the savvy business folks who have come to learn how important it is to be in charge of your data destiny—here’s a look at what’s next.

   

Now, for all of you who are left—the early adopters, the believers, the savvy business folks who have come to learn how important it is to be in charge of your data destiny—here’s a look at what’s next.

     

In thinking about the end goal of the SDC, which is to enable the selling of more parts, it really makes perfect sense that the next logical step for the Co-op would be to develop a centrally viewable catalog of this growing repository of data.

Allow me to introduce you to SEMA Search.

My good friend and SDC co-conspirator Bob Moore calls it a “24/7 virtual SEMA Show.” I call it the most comprehensive, easy-to-use electronic catalog and reference source for the specialty parts market. Either way, we’re talking about a powerful website that uses all of the rich, complete data being gathered in the SDC to provide a single source for all the latest product information, images, videos, installation instructions and more to salespeople throughout the industry. If that works out well—and we know it will—a version viewable by consumers could be right behind it.

Since the SDC system, by design, allows suppliers to create a data record on new products at any time and publish that data immediately, the time to market for new-product releases will be measured in hours, not weeks or months. Once in the repository, that data will go live on SEMA Search and provide instant visibility to the marketplace. No more time lags waiting for systems to catch up or sporadic data deliveries to be made. The SEMA Data Co-op operates at the speed of the supplier, so new products can be presented to their customers and viewable on SEMA Search literally within 24 hours of release!

Watch for a launch of SEMA Search in August of this year, if all goes according to plan. And, since most good ideas tend to stimulate more good ideas, we’ll talk next month about another upcoming phase in information availability: Data on Demand.

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 via e-mail at jimg@SEMAdatacoop.org or by phone at 888-958-6698 x4.

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