As equipment and supplies dealers, we face enough headaches every day that product data shouldn’t be one of them. Poor quality and unreliable data somehow became the accepted way of doing things over the past decade, but life shouldn’t be this hard. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be. With the launch of the FEDA Data Repository – now called the FEDA Data Portal and Data Support Center – earlier this year, the association made large strides in making our industry’s data more standardized and accessible so it can work better for dealers and manufacturers.
As board chairman, I want to personally thank all the manufacturers already committed to this initiative and the dealers for their overwhelming support. We’re off to a good start, but the industry has a responsibility to its future to do even better. The data portal gives manufacturers the ability to own their own data – ensuring they can manage it as they see fit and that its use will always benefit the industry. Further, because the industry owns its data, we can encourage innovation and competition by making that information accessible to a range of third-party providers.
FEDA dealers have made it clear they want to use the data portal to fulfill their daily data needs because having reliable and up-to-date product information benefits everyone down to the end user. Many manufacturers already understand the changes ahead and are readily supporting the project through participation in the portal and signing up for test groups. We look forward to even more involvement over the next year.
Just as manufacturers are supporting the project, FEDA is working hard on their behalf. Manufacturers have asked for additional data management support and the upgrade to the FEDA Data Portal and Support Center will deliver by offering new tools and expanded human assistance to make all aspects of use easier. Additionally, FEDA is forming a standards committee composed of representatives from dealer and manufacturing companies that will ensure the database’s uniform formatting remains relevant and useful.
We all have a responsibility to make this work. The FEDA Data Portal and Support Center sets us up for long-term success and gives control of our data back to the industry – all we need to do is use it. Let’s help each other make our lives easier.