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Spend an hour with Rory Connell, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Advanced Accessory Concepts (AAC), you cannot help but feel the passion he has for his brands, the automotive industry, his customers, and his ACES & PIES data. I had an opportunity to spend a virtual lunch meeting, 3000 miles apart, with Rory and talk about product data, yep, you heard that right, review his company’s product data. He was as enthusiastic about talking data as he was about talking about his Moab off-road adventures. Ok, that may be a stretch, but I found that his enthusiasm and energy are truly infectious. Rory is responsible for customer success at AAC and relies on sound product data management as an important communication tool between AAC and his customers.
Rory is constantly looking for ways to improve his data so that his customers can have all the information necessary to sell and market AAC products perfectly. PDM helps Rory and his sales and marketing team achieve these goals. With the ability to launch new products quickly, provide all the product features, attributes, and pricing necessary, PDM offers an easy, efficient and transparent platform to achieve these goals.
The “three features” key to data management, created by founder Johannes Crepon, are the backbone for the PDM Platform.
I asked Rory to share his experience as a customer using the PDM platform, and he enthusiastically agreed to do so.
Laurel Dasher (LD) #1: How did you first hear about Paramount Data Management (PDM):
Rory: I was the, then Chairman of SEMA’s Young Executive Network and would attend many networking receptions. Johannes (JC) approached me at one of the YEN receptions and told me about a data platform he and his team created. Since our data was “ok” and I was relatively happy sending spreadsheets through our existing data suppliers I gave him a polite, ‘thank you but no thank you’ and continued mingling. Every time I turned around, there he was, he said, “you really should check it out,” and promised that we would improve our company sales with better data. I agreed and scheduled a meeting with JC the next week.
LD #2 How did you manage your data previously? What were your challenges?
Rory: I have years of experience managing sales and marketing departments with different automotive aftermarket manufacturers and managing data was never a high priority. We would manage data via spreadsheets and have a couple of third-party companies distribute the data to our customers. If we saw the data was incorrect on our customer websites, we would just ask them to fix it. We would have our salespeople randomly audit customer’s data and fix them, as necessary. We assumed the information we sent through our data partners was correct and would just have to wait to see the information on the internet. I would say that was our biggest challenge, I felt like we were flying blind when transferring data to our customers.
I will admit I was intrigued when JC told me that he could solve that problem by easily allowing me to manage product data on the PDM platform and that we would see duplicates and gaps before the information was sent to our customers.
LD #3 What made you decide to subscribe to the PDM data service?
Rory: JC came to our company’s office and showed me a hands-on demonstration of how the platform works. He loaded a few part numbers and showed me, a non-data guy, how easy it would be to manage our company’s data. I am a car guy, I love sales and marketing, data is not my thing, I just want to make sure our customers have the information they need to sell our products. When I saw how easy it was to manage and how the program walks you through the steps to make quick fixes, attach pictures and videos, assign pricing to each part number, it was love at first sight. I felt like the tool would help us streamline sales and marketing with better data.
LD #4 How has working with PDM helped you achieve your financial goals with data management?
Rory: Previously I was paying for two different data subscriptions, one to put our data into ACES & PIES format and one to distribute the data to all customers. Now we have one subscription with PDM, we can put data directly into ACES & PIES format, manage all the product attributes, digital assets, pricing and distribute to our customers or any other company that wants to sell our products. It is a single solution for all our product data needs at a cost-effective price. I no longer feel like we must work with different data companies to achieve our goals, it’s pretty epic.
LD #5 Now that you have been a customer for a while, what is your favorite feature?
Rory: Wow, it’s hard to say just one thing that I appreciate with the PDM platform. I sell to many different types of customers, warehouse distributors, big-box retailers, eCommerce, off-road shops, performance shops; I need to ensure that we are able to provide product data in the format they need to ensure accuracy and efficiency. We can manage our products in one platform and use the Export templates to distribute data in any format our customers need to import products quickly, effortlessly, consistently and most of all, be confident that it is in ACES & PIES compliance.
LD #6 Anything else you would like to share about your experience with the PDM platform and/or the PDM team?
That is about it. I am super proud to be a PDM ambassador. I wish I could convince everyone in the automotive industry to check it out and see for themselves how PDM can save time, money, improve their own data processes and potentially improve sales. I am glad that Johannes took the time to convince a car guy in sales and marketing to have a data conversation.
Thank you, Rory and the AAC team for your continued support and taking the time to give us an ACES & PIES customer review! Because #datamatters.
Advanced Accessory Concepts (AAC) have a combined 50+ years’ experience in design, development, and cost-effective manufacturing of unique vehicle accessory components in the truck & Jeep off-road markets. With brands such as Trigger Wireless Control Systems, AFN 4×4 Accessories, BLU TPMS, BriteSaber, Top Shelf and Nitrous Power, the goal is to improve and enhance a customer’s personal experience and overall vehicle performance.