Growing Sales With Effective Product Data Management is a Team Effort!

SEMA News—July 2016


By Jon Wyly

Growing Sales With Effective Product Data Management is a Team Effort!

If there is one thing that the automotive specialty-equipment industry is really good at, it’s the creation and development of new parts and accessories to keep America’s love affair with the automobile alive and well. In thinking about that process, I’m sure we can all agree that the successful conceptualization, design, marketing and sale of these new products is not a one-department job, much less a one-person job.

Unfortunately, there is one often-overlooked element of this process that is becoming more and more critical to the successful launch and sale of these new products. That element is the data associated with the part that fuels business systems, websites, point-of-sale at the parts counter and countless other means of communication that spread the word to the enthusiast base.

The good news is that there is a simple solution that folds right into the typical research-and-development process: making data management the collaborative, team-based effort it should be. Here’s a simple outline to ensure that your product data is created and delivered to your data manager and then loaded into your SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) data set in a timely and accurate manner:

  • Part Number: Everyone does this, right? Just make sure it gets to every other stakeholder so that you can develop a complete data set for each new part.

  • Descriptions, Features and Benefits, Selling Points, Product Attributes: This is where you get the marketing folks involved. Do it early, make it part of the new-product development process, and get it to the data manager. The result will be exceptional speed to market and instant sales when you make your data available through the SDC.

  • Digital Assets: Another key function for the marketing department. And don’t limit it to just a single picture. Take multiple shots—both in and out of package, if possible—and then add a short, house-made video or two showing key features. Check out for examples of effective videos made in-house at little or no cost using your own staff.

  • Weights and Dimensions: Don’t let a part get past the production department without being accurately weighed and measured. The benefits are obvious.

  • Pricing: Make sure that your pricing is assigned and rides along with the rest of the information going to the data manager. Remember, we’re working to provide everything a reseller might need to get your product up and selling in-store, online and to the warehouse distributors that support you.

  • The Finer Details: Yep, there’s more. Country of origin, hazmat info and various other “ugly” data that keeps your products flowing and helps avoid returns and legal issues. Your production department should be a good source for this info as well.

The bottom line is that effective product data management needs to be a part of your development process, not an afterthought. Eating this elephant one bite at a time will make it easy to add it to your production flow, and the end result will be faster sales ramping, immediate exposure in the marketplace and happy resellers. And, if you use one of the SDC’s free data load sheets, your new data will flow seamlessly into the SDC repository and can literally be delivered the same day you load it. Now that is speed to market!

To learn more about the SDC and how to make your product data generate more sales, contact Director of Membership Jim Graven via e-mail at or by phone at 888-958-6698 x4. Effective product data management is more affordable than you might think!

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