ETTN Industry Articles

Emerging Trend: Standards in Product Data

Emerging Trend: Standards in Product DataBy Amanda Gubbins 

Good, clean product data is important on every level of the supply chain. Accurate data ensures that everyone in the chain can do their job and that the consumer gets the best product possible. The challenge comes in the variance of formats that are used by different organizations to organize and store their own product data.

Patty Putcharkan, Data Intelligence Manager at MagnaFlow explains that historically automotive product data has not adhered to any kind of industry standard, creating issues for organizations that need to exchange information. In recent months, Putcharkan has noticed this beginning to change. "Now that AAIA Legacy dataset has evolved from being a flat file to AAIA Catalog Enhanced Standard (ACES) and Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) format, it's allowed easier mapping and conversions of the vehicle attributes into a relational database," she says.

The data quality from manufacturers impacts wholesale distributors and other receivers as they prepare products for sale. Dave Ziozios, Chief Executive Officer of Motovicity Distribution is thrilled about this new trend of standardization. He understands how complicated the issue can be. "Data is a very ambiguous and expansive subject. I think that oftentimes as a concept it's overwhelming to all members of the vertical chain of distributors, from the manufacturers down."

Trends in Multi-platform Video Programming & Mobile Strategy With eBay Inc & Source Interlink Media

Emerging Trend: Trends in Multi-platform Video Programming & Mobile Strategy With eBay Inc & Source Interlink MediaSteve Yankovich, vice president of innovation and new ventures at eBay Inc., is focused on creating opportunities beyond the company’s core products, including branded entertainment. He leads a newly formed team focused on technologies and experiences that will drive innovative approaches to connecting retailers with consumers around the world.

Michael Beller is vice president of brand marketing at Source Interlink Media, a multi-platform content-creation and distribution media company. Beller integrates traditional and emerging platforms to create growth for the company’s 80 brands across all platforms, including Motor Trend and Hot Rod

Beller recently interviewed Yankovich to find out more about eBay Motors’ foray into original multi-platform video programming with the “The World’s Fastest Car Show” as well as the company’s mobile strategy, which is centered around the eBay Motors smartphone app.

Emerging Trend: Customer Experience Management

By Amanda Gubbins, SEMA

Emerging Trend: Customer Experience ManagementHarley-Davidson has successfully created a brand that extends beyond manufacturing motorcycles into fostering a lifestyle. Steve Earnshaw, Director of Strategy and Business Development for Harley-Davidson's Genuine Parts & Accessories division, believes that Harley's customer focused philosophy has been a key to its success. "It's something we're most proud of, and we call it being ‘close to the customer,'" says Earnshaw. "We invest in listening to our customers and putting our people in front of them at events and rallies."

Harley accomplishes this by making sure staff members are regularly engaged with consumers. "We don't hire contract staff for events, we take the product development team," Earnshaw says. By being engaged with the riders actually using the company's products, each team member is keenly aware of the customer's needs.

Emerging Trend: Marketing With Dashboards

By Amanda Gubbins, SEMA

Emerging Trend: Marketing With Dashboards - Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN)Chris Douglas, vice president of marketing at the COMP Performance Group, firmly believes that there has never been a better time to be in business. Marketing a product or service is easier than ever with the direct access that social media offers. "Before, you always had to go through someone else. There was always someone in the middle translating. With social media, now we can post right to passionate fans. We can instantly ask a question, and they give very honest feedback," he says.

Keeping track of the conversations taking place is important. Dashboard technology makes that simple for users.

Douglas' first exposure to dashboards was during a visit to the headquarters of online apparel retailer Zappos, where a screen showed incoming orders from around the world. The COMP Performance Group adopted the technology about two months ago. Though there are many choices, their application of choice is Leftronic.

Different vendors provide customizable widgets that can be used with Leftronic to display any information that an organization needs to see. The COMP Performance Group displays 10 unique dashboards on a 54-inch monitor. "The dashboard really serves a dual purpose for us," says Douglas. "First, it is a constant visual reminder of what's going on and our traffic on the web. We also do many tours and it's a great conversation piece when guests come in."

The Sun Sets on the SPC and Rises Anew on the ETTN

By Regis Finn of The Myteebrite Group Inc.

Emerging Trends & Technology Network, SEMA CouncilWelcome to the Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN), SEMA's newest network, which is an evolution of the Street Performance Council (SPC) and even earlier Sport Compact Council.

In recent times, the SPC experienced success on the cutting edge of emerging trends and technology and often led the way for other SEMA councils and member companies. While this proved to be of great value to members, it was not easy to draw an intuitive connection with the council's name and mission. "Street performance" was just too broad, and the council was more narrowly focused on exploring cutting-edge technology. Therefore, it made sense to change the name from SPC to ETTN and reboot.

The SEMA Board of Directors met with SPC leadership and SEMA staff, reviewed the proposal, and agreed with the ETTN direction. The ETTN would like to thank all of the members and supporters of SPC, SCC and SEMA's Board and staff for their unwavering support and encouragement.

Emerging Trend: Ethanol at the Pump


By Sean Crawford, JE Pistons

  Photo by Tom Shaw

If you haven't noticed by now, most gasoline sold in the United States now contains ethanol. In fact, over 90% of all gasoline contains up to 10% ethanol.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that ethanol usage in fuel increase from nine billion gallons a year in 2008 to just under 14 billion gallons in 2013. The mandate is part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was expanded by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The principle behind the laws was well-intentioned but potentially misplaced -- increasing our usage of renewable energy while reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Year after year, the annual ethanol targets are scheduled to continually rise until we reach 36 billion gallons in 2022. Most of our consumption today is accomplished through the current E10 fuel (90% gasoline, 10% ethanol) commonly found at the pump. Alternatives, such as E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) for "flex-fuel" vehicles exist as well, but are harder to find in most areas and therefore do not make up the majority of the ethanol usage. It is important to note that gas pump labels for E10 and below are subject to state law. Since a number of states like California don't require a label, motorists may not be aware that they are putting ethanol in their tank.

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