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Don't miss chance to be a STAR

November 23, 2010
Are you a STAR? No, not a "star," in the traditional sense. However, you can belong to STAR, an NADA initiative to simplify computer operations and cut related IT costs. STAR is an acronym for Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail. Formed in May 2001, it is a nonprofit, industry-wide initiative to create voluntary information technology standards in the automotive industry. The standards are necessary because proprietary technology requirements make communications among manufacturers, dealers and customers needlessly complex and costly. Let's say you have a multi-franchise dealership. By definition, you deal with multiple manufacturers. Of necessity- because of the proprietary technology linking each manufacturer to your dealership computer system- you communicate essentially the same information to each manufacturer, but in a different way, with different equipment. Doesn't it make sense to standardize the technology we use to exchange business information and to make that technology available to everyone who should use it? The creation and implementation of nonproprietary, Internet-based standards would benefit your dealership by reducing your technology costs and saving you time and effort, all while increasing your operating efficiency. STAR is composed of dealer organizations, automotive manufacturers and retail system providers which provide dealership computer systems and services. STAR members develop industry standards and research emerging technologies for the benefit of dealers. Standards development is accomplished by Special Interest Groups devoted to infrastructure, data transfer and extended mark-up language (XML, the language of the Internet). STAR needs dealers as members. It needs your input and business experience. You have to ensure that your dealership information technology infrastructure can support Internet-based applications that manufacturers and other have already begun to implement. To learn more about STAR's work and how you can participate, visit the STAR Web site at www.starstandard.org/ This information was adapted from "STAR: Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail," an NADA management bulletin. Copies of the bulletin can be ordered from the NADA by calling 800-252-6232, ext. 2. Or, order an electronic version at www.nada.org/mecatalog/ Cost is $2.50 for NADA members, $5 for nonmembers, plus shipping.
 

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