MATES unveils strategic plan

CHICAGO - The Marine Association for Technology Exchange Standards (MATES) has unveiled the three main objectives of its strategic plan, it reported in a recent statement.

They are:

  • Create an open, non-proprietary, standard XML message that is application independent
  • Create a common marine industry communications standard to support these messages
  • Reduce the cost of interface development.
  • “The vision of the MATES initiative is to do more business by making it simpler to transact business,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Dammrich just named MATES NMMA's newest official affiliate.

    “The leaders of the MATES effort have worked incredibly hard to get the organization to this launching point, and if you exchange data in any form with any other business in the marine industry, you will want to be at the February meeting in Miami to learn more about this organization and its working plan for 2006,” he added.

    Working to grow members

    MATES will hold an open meeting for the industry at the Miami International Boat Show on Friday, Feb. 17, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Room A202 of the Miami Beach Convention Center in an effort to boost membership.

    The association wants to “establish standardized business transaction communications for the marine industry.” The group said it is following in the footsteps of the auto industry, with its Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR).

    MATES aims to create a smoother, more efficient production, sales and service process that will allow the marine industry to attain real-time updates regarding a manufacturer's boat production, listings through dealer management systems, online inventory viewing, consumer quote requests, sales closings and warranty and service follow-up, according to the association.

    “MATES leadership is seeking broad participation in these standardization activities, and it has dedicated management and technical resources to creating XML exchange standards capable of benefiting every business in the marine industry,” said Dammrich. “This effort complements other NMMA efforts to improve the consumer boating experience, create mutual efficiencies in the boating supply chain and develop more timely information flow on what is happening at retail.”

    To maximize participation, MATES is offering three tiers of membership levels, each paid through annual dues. The resources contributed from members will go directly toward expediting the standardization efforts, so the MATES leadership team is asking marine industry leaders and supporters to give careful consideration to Level III membership (the highest tier), as a way of investing back into their own businesses.

    Level III membership includes board of directors and advisory council eligibility, access to all white papers and related work, founder/charter member status, use of a special MATES logo, web services and more.

    It is expected a MATES executive director, as well as Board of Directors, will be named before the Miami meeting in February, according to the association.

    For complete details on all membership levels, to obtain a membership application or for further information on the Feb. 17 meeting in Miami, contact NMMA director of accessory division and affiliates Bernice McArdle at (312) 946-6280;

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