FEDA's Evolution and the Partners Who are Helping Us Grow

Tracy Mulqueen
Publisher, FEDA News & Views
CEO, FEDA
tracy@feda.com

FEDA continues to evolve as an association as it forges new initiatives to solve dealer challenges, such as the pressing need for innovative and expanded technology options. But FEDA knows equipping dealers to better compete in the modern market cannot happen without involving our partners in the solutions. This may surprise some of our associates who feel FEDA previously focused too much inward, but FEDA is working hard to understand and respond to the needs of all channel partners.

Like any good business association, FEDA’s priority is to ensure our primary members’ needs are met. However, the association’s commitment to building productive relationships across the industry is evident in the development of initiatives such as the Data Governance and Repository Project. FEDA is engaging manufacturers and channel partners and is listening to their feedback on what they need from this project. To date, we’ve done our best to incorporate everything manufacturers, in particular, have asked for and we continue to make updates based on their input.

Getting to this point was not easy. This work was initially made difficult by convoluted third-party tech considerations seemingly designed to divide dealers from their channel partners, as well as our own learning curve in creating a database model that works for our industry, not just third parties. In executing that model, FEDA’s project team and dealer and manufacturing partners now have the knowledge and skills necessary to assess our industry’s technology needs and confidently vet third parties to ensure they are as committed as we are to innovation and the success of our industry.

Our commitment to collaboration extends beyond our initiatives. FEDA hopes manufacturers recognize that our annual conference has been designed based on their feedback, as well as the input of dealers, with the conference now offering significantly more opportunities for dealer-manufacturer time together and top-tier and industry-related speakers and programs. Also, we restructured FEDA manufacturer memberships based on manufacturer needs related to benefits and cost. These memberships are especially critical to bringing manufacturer feedback into FEDA committee and advisory group discussions, making the solutions that come out of these groups more likely to be adopted across the industry.

In addition, the association is discussing with partners the next steps for incorporating the needs of manufacturer reps into its projects to ensure positive industry outcomes. Toward this goal, FEDA will present a special data governance and repository session during its annual conference in San Diego (and virtually) that will bring in new dealer liaisons, a new tech partner innovation team and representatives from partner associations to talk through the tremendous progress we’ve made in less than a year. This discussion will help move this project forward and map out  how we will overcome any obstacles ahead.

FEDA is grateful for these and other opportunities to learn from the talented partners who are helping us grow as an association and, most important, helping ensure a solid future for our industry.