CHICAGO – The Marine Association for Technology Standards will begin work this month on a new dealer locator standard that will help provide more accurate and reliable dealer location information for consumers and more accurate leads to dealers, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported in a release this morning.
The standard will make it easier for marine companies to offer a dealer locating service on their respective Web sites without having to maintain the databases or dealer query logistics behind it, according to NMMA.
Two MATES member companies — Channel Blade Technologies and boats.com — are co-chairing the effort to build this new standard.
“The purpose of creating this new standard is to facilitate a method of communication between two parties: Party A, who wants to implement a dealer locating service on its Web site or other system; and Party B, who will host the dealer locator system,” said boats.com’s Ian Penney, co-chair of the MATES committee designing the standard. “The key benefit of this system is it allows multiple third parties to implement a dealer locator without having to maintain dealer lists, demographics or associated business logic. Because this system is based on real time requests to a hosting party, it’s always guaranteed the returned data is accurate.”
Many leading marine entities already have dealer locating services on their Web sites; but by developing and supporting an industry standard for communication of dealer locator data, marine companies can save time, money and programming efforts. Fewer disparate systems will result, and a best-of-breed approach will help identify the key required or optional attributes of a dealership record for online retrieval, NMMA said.
Committee co-chair Justin Pakes of Channel Blade believes this standard will offer added benefit to boatbuilders as well.
“This standard will benefit manufacturers as much as anyone, as it will promote a model of centralized control of dealer data and reduce the builder’s need to provide and maintain this data across multiple vendors and partners,” Pakes said.
The initial MATES Dealer Locator Standard meeting is scheduled for March 29, at 4 p.m. EST. To join the conference call, dial (978) 964-0031 and enter pass code 4912934#.
“As with our previous committees, this is group effort and we welcome participation from interested dealers and manufacturers along with those that will build and host dealer locator services,” said MATES executive director John Warnik.
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