MATES responds to industry challenges

CHICAGO – Beginning Jan. 1, the Marine Association for Technology Exchange Standards (MATES) will return to its roots as a volunteer-led association, it reported in a statement today. The new, volunteer management structure remains committed to developing and implementing communications and data exchange standards for the marine industry, according to its leadership.

MATES Chairman George Rogic, senior e-business specialist for Volvo Penta of the Americas, and Vice Chairman Dan Schuette, Genmar Holdings’ vice president of information systems, will continue occupying their current leadership positions within the organization.

“The MATES Board of Directors thanks the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) for its support and assistance over the last two years,” said MATES board member Eric Johnson, director of technology for ADP Lightspeed. “Executive Director John Warnik and the NMMA staff were invaluable in helping MATES accomplish the data standards implemented to date.”

“The work MATES is doing to streamline communication in the marine industry supply chain is critical to driving efficiencies and cost reduction and so important to keeping boating affordable and marine businesses profitable in the 21st century,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “NMMA was instrumental in the formation and growth of MATES and remains committed to long-term success of the MATES vision.”

In an effort to increase membership and participation in MATES’ continuing efforts during the current economic climate, the MATES Board has voted to suspend its dues and membership structure. During the upcoming year, MATES will define additional changes and begin launching future initiatives as MATES 2.0.

The primary objectives of this re-launch include:

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  • More effectively communicating the MATES vision
  • Positioning MATES as a resource for marine industry professionals interested in making improvements to their business using technology
  • Defining a development path that incorporates affordable tools, training and resources to allow active member participation
  • Reaffirming MATES’ role as the consolidated and influential voice of individual members in the development of future products and technologies

    “The current economic challenges facing our industry emphasize the importance of working together more efficiently and collaboratively,” said Watch Captain’s Tony Pimentel. “It highlights the need for marine business to streamline processes and strip out unnecessary duplications of effort, and that’s what MATES is all about.”

    Originally founded by a small group of industry leaders, the idea behind MATES is to streamline efforts needed to conduct business between trading partners so that each partner can focus on the revenue-generating aspects of their business, the group stated. The association’s goal is to develop a set of data communication standards by which the marine industry at large can operate, effectively reducing IT burdens, eliminating system incompatibility and making it easier for companies to transact business with one another.

    The next MATES general session meeting is scheduled for Mon., Dec. 8, at 4 p.m. EST. To join the conference call, dial (866) 206-0240 and enter pass code 104900#. For more information on MATES or the specific benefits of membership, visit www.firstmates.org or contact George Rogic at (757) 436-2800.

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