The explosion of data over the past two decades posed great challenges to both providers and receivers of that data. With retailers and distributors have varying data needs and providers having varying capabilities to deliver that data, the likelihood of a massive pileup was high. In fact, a sort of aftermarket for the aftermarket was emerging, with service companies vying to become the go-betweens for providers (manufacturers) and distributors (receivers), each with their own formatting criteria and assorted costs.
“It really had the potential of becoming the industry equivalent of a car wreck,” says Painless Performance president Adrian Murray. “We had a growing number of customers who wanted their data formatted this way or that way and transmitted on various schedules. Allowed to continue on this path, it would have eventually gotten out of hand.”
While serving on the SEMA Board of Directors, Murray was a strong proponent of the SEMA Data Coop. “It just made all the sense in the world for SEMA to be the repository of the industry’s data. Who better to understand the needs of the industry than its own membership?”
Painless was one of the first companies to participate with the SDC. “This just happened to come along at a time when Painless was relaunching our entire product line with new applications, descriptions, all new images and graphics. Trying to communicate this to our distribution base one customer at a time and hoping for all the changes to be made was certainly possible, but would have been a challenge. Having the data available in a central repository easily accessible to all customers was a blessing. SDC turned a challenge into a snap.”
The SEMA Data Coop is the right answer at the right time. As technology evolves and the demand for more and better data grows, the SDC will prove to be vital for success in the automotive aftermarket. What does the future hold? Who knows? Ten years ago, who know you would be able to make a bank deposit using your telephone? One thing is certain: There will be change. At times it will be incremental and at times it will be sudden. The SDC will allow SEMA members the ability to adapt to a changing world and harness from emerging technologies.
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