KANSAS CITY, Mo. – We’re hearing a lot these days about “big data” – who owns customers’ data and who has access to it. In addition, dealers have access to much more data – their own company data and employee data. The primary issue is how to protect it. Other concerns are who can use it and who can sell it; can it be aggregated with other data; and what government regulations need to be considered.

Customers are becoming more protective of their data and they expect companies to have a way to protect their information. Moreover, manufacturers expect everyone in the supply chain to have policies and procedures in place to help limit liability and to promote a consistent customer experience.

Western Equipment Dealers Association in cooperation with their law firm, Seigfreid Bingham, P.C., has developed a set of model forms to assist equipment dealers in protecting customer data, including a privacy policy, information security program, sales and service terms and conditions, purchase order, employee agreement and more. These are the forms dealers need to have in place to protect their organizations considering their responsibilities for data security, privacy of customers’ data, involvement with customers’ other vendors, and employee considerations.

In all, 10 agreements (seven for Canadian dealers) have been drawn up to put dealers in the driver’s seat when it comes to protecting their confidential data. Details regarding all of the available documents – pricing, ordering instructions and additional information – are available online at www.agridocshq.com.

The Association also has developed a comprehensive implementation and training guide to assist dealers with the process of standardizing operations around data privacy and adopting the information security program into daily practice. The materials include a training video to elp employees understand their role in protecting their company’s, their customers’ and their own private information.

Dealers, regardless of equipment line, can utilize these documents and training, and would be well advised to look into their manufacturers’ requirements and to explore these forms as a solution to their data dilemma. Dealers with questions can contact their state or regional dealer association, or contact Western Equipment Dealers Association at 800-762-5616.

For additional coverage of this topic by Precision Farming Dealer, click here.