Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association, briefed more than 250 top parts suppliers and distributors at the Congreso Internacional de la Industria de Autopartes (CIIAM) conference in Mexico City last week on the practice of standardizing and unifying product content to lower supply chain costs and contribute to increased sales and operational efficiency.
Hanvey introduced the Vehicle Information Portal (VIP) and two respected standards for the exchange of catalog and product information: the Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard (ACES) and the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES). ACES facilitates the compilation of an electronic catalog with content about thousands of product lines possible and efficient, while PIES defines the rules for managing hundreds of elements of product information, product images and product attributes.
The ACES and PIES standards from the Auto Care Association are almost universally-adopted by suppliers and their distribution partners in North America. The consequences of non-standardized part and application data are higher product returns, fewer repeat customers and lost opportunities from related items.
“At the Auto Care Association, we recognized that our members need to exchange huge amounts of information during the course of business,” said Hanvey. “Doing business electronically today requires vast libraries of content from hundreds of sources. Without one agreed-upon automotive language and a standard way of referring to a vehicle and the spare parts, this task would be impossible.
Unlike you and I, computers have no imagination – they can’t figure out what the words mean. It’s either right or it’s wrong. And in business, ‘wrong’ costs money,” Hanvey continued. “This is why good standards-based product data is so crucial to share with our industry partners in Mexico. Suppliers who provide the detailed performance and physical attributes of their product enjoy an advantage over their competition – and can differentiate their products on features and value, rather than price alone.”
The association has developed a Mexico-specific Vehicles in Operation (VIO) ACES database developed through research with Integrate Data Facts (IDF), with product attributes for all cars, light trucks and vans dating back to 1961, including heavy duty, medium duty and off highway from 2015 forward.
A segment of North American distributors, retailers and parts manufacturers already utilize the standards in place to augment their growing business in Mexico.
The information presented by Hanvey became a reference and key conversation thread throughout the remainder of the conference.
To view Hanvey’s full presentation, access it here: http://bit.ly/AutoCareCIIAM17
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