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Technology Newsmaker Q&A Daniel Zenko

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 08:00
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In December, the Auto Care Association named Daniel Zenko to the new position of director of data innovation. With a background in the information technology and financial sectors, Zenko has deep experience in data analytics and management.

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In his new position, Zenko will lead the association’s efforts in category management data collection and reporting, and will help harmonize in-house research.

Does the aftermarket face unique data management and analytics challenges, compared to other markets you’ve worked in?

Absolutely. The aftermarket is in a very specific situation. There were not many changes in the industry for a long time, but now there are game changers like self-driving cars, electric motors and telematics that will change the entire industry.

Some companies will end up being big winners in this new constellation, and some will be big losers. The only way to systematically deal with the situation is to find new and better ways to analyze data.

What will your top priorities be as you begin this new position?

There are several projects related to data pooling for the member base, which will help them understand market dynamics better. The challenge is that our member base is very diverse. All of them can have some benefits from this, but they all have different priorities. It’s a big challenge to make the process equitable to everybody, and make sure all the participants get the maximum benefit out of it.

How can analytics benefit companies in the aftermarket?

The primary driver is to optimize the supply chain. To avoid overstocking, understocking and to sales forecast accurately is a very big benefit. By examining the past, you can do some forecasting around what is going to happen in the future.

It’s a very good tool for giving you a heads up about changes that are coming because of new products and new trends that are happening in the industry.

You’ve worked in a few different verticals in the past. What have you found the most interesting or surprising about the aftermarket, relative to data management?

What I’d find quite interesting is that how much the interests of the consumer align with the interests of our industry. The things we are trying to do are in the best interest of the industry and the consumer.

Telematics is a good example. We are trying to break down monopolies and create a level playing field, which will drive down prices and improve quality. We are doing something that benefits the general public and our membership base. It’s really nice to be the good guy.

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