Where is your data? Is it yours? Who is watching it? Who is using it? Who is paying to see it, or use it? What is it being used for? Who is “keeping” it? Are they “keeping it for you? Or others?
You may or not be aware, but as reported in Automotive News last month, one of the BIG OEM computer systems providers, notably the same one that provides computer software for our industry, was “caught” removing and selling data from the dealers’ systems it provided, without authorization from the dealers.
These are important questions that you need to be considering. I know our Association is concerned and asking these questions. Like all things in life or business, there are different and sometimes competing agendas. I will pose a thought for you on each of the above questions.
Where is your data? – Is it only on your computer, or other systems?
Is it yours? – I know you think it belongs to you, but are you sure? Does your computer system provider or other 3rd parties that are collecting your data agree with you, that it is yours – in writing?
Who is watching it? – Who is seeing your data? And for what purpose?
Who is using it? – Who is using it, just your trading partners? Your competitors? Aftermarket companies or other parties that want to understand pricing?
Are you restricted in who you provide your data to? – Will your provider send the information anywhere you ask? (For a reasonable and competitive fee, of course)
Is their competition to see and use your data, and more than one place for you to send it? – If not, how can you know you are being treated fairly?
Who is paying to see it, or use it? – Are others’ seeing it free, or paying to see it? I know, you want to sell more parts, so it’s a good thing… you are sure about that, right?
What is it being used for? – There are hundreds of uses… is it being used to help your sales? To track cars you dismantle? To validate cars totaled?
Who is “keeping” it? – Are they “keeping” it? For you? For them? Who is paying for those services, and does it represent any conflict for your business, or sales and profits?
I could go on and on.
BOTTOM LINE –make sure that ANYONE you release your data to commits in writing to only use it for purposes you authorize, and if they are paid for it, to reveal that relationship. Make sure your computer company agrees that the data is yours, and that they won’t let others have it, without your knowledge or permission – and make them do it in writing. (Just like they do, getting your John Henry before they provide anything to you!)
Till next month – DO BUSINESS!
Don’t forget to go the website for my new book, www.greenweenies.com, to learn all the backroom business terms. There are 1,200+ terms in over 300 pages, with hilarious illustrations by world famous Gahan Wilson. You can register there for your free weekly “green weenie.” If you want to know what a three fingered booger is, or what’s in a train wreck envelope, it’s the only place to go!
Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT! Next month, more from Chapter Six of How to Salvage Millions from Your Small Business.
Please email if you would like me to send previous articles.
AutoSalvageconsultant.com was formed in 2001 to help recyclers improve their businesses. With over fifty years of experience in three staff members, the group is THE definitive source for recyclers’ management and training needs. The founder, Ron Sturgeon, is past owner of AAA Small Car World. You can review his resume, with skills and experience, at our website. In 2002, his book How to Salvage Millions From Your Small Business was published to help small business owners achieve significant success. It was recently reprinted in the U.S. and published in China, Korea and the Czech Republic. You can learn more about how to help your business at www.autosalvageconsultant.com. You can reach us at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, or by calling or emailing Mike Gibson or Tammy Sturgeon. Mike can be reached at 817-925-0061 or email@example.com, and Tammy can be reached at 817-999-1224 or firstname.lastname@example.org