Industry Technology Priorities

OVERVIEW OF PURPOSE AND ACTIVITIES
In keeping with FEDA’s strategy to support distributors, dealers, and industry partners by facilitating the development and use of the most effective industry technology, the Association has taken a number of steps over the past several months, including putting in place an Industry Technology Committee. The committee will provide guidance and feedback to the FEDA staff as it gathers and analyzes data and works to develop new initiatives.

COMMITTEE PURPOSE
As a follow-up to FEDA’s Data Interchange Initiative, the association will continue to support technology solutions that will enhance streamlined data communications between distributors and manufacturers. The purpose of FEDA’s new Industry Technology Committee is to examine our industry’s data and system challenges and make recommendations to address those challenges. The committee is composed of distributors and dealers (including members of FEDA’s Young Industry Leaders), manufacturers, service reps, and AutoQuotes representatives.

RESEARCH
To support this work, FEDA has partnered with DATAgility, a data management services company, to prepare and distribute a comprehensive member survey to learn more about members’ 1) company structures, including business models, locations, services and products, and customer base; and 2) current technology use, data management systems, and plans to build technology capacity. DATAgility will conduct the survey, collect and analyze data, and prepare reports for committee review.

CHALLENGES
Survey data will provide a base of information from which the committee may work to address the following industry data challenges, as identified by distributors, manufacturers and service reps:

  • Data use
  • Security
  • Stability
  • On-boarding
  • Transparency
  • Competitive advantage
  • Data quality
  • Technical capabilities
  • Cost
  • Completeness of data
  • Data accuracy and timeliness
  • Data standardization

System challenges include:

  • The wide range of systems in use by members, from Excel to API, XML and EDT
  • Limited ERP capabilities
  • PIM systems not in use

NEXT STEPS
The survey was distributed to FEDA members Feb. 27. Surveys were collected throughout March, and DATAgility’s presented an initial analysis and report to the committee at its April 3 meeting, during FEDA’s annual conference. The committee will begin to use this data to make recommendations related to the above challenges.