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Streamlining parts processes

New e-commerce, sourcing technology to help APA improve inventory management and online ordering
Saturday, June 8, 2019 - 07:00
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Automotive Parts Associates (APA) is deploying a number of new technologies and software updates to help members streamline the parts ordering process, increase inventory visibility, and improve their online sales capabilities.

The organization is rolling out WHI’s new SourceIT solution, and has updated its business intelligence and inventory systems.

The APA has been using a business intelligence tool and data warehouse called Data Solutions, which APA developed with WHI. from WHI. Shareholders use the system to select from more than 180 standardized reports to gain better visibility into parts demand across a variety of categories. APA is also able to use the tool to conduct product line and other analyses. The solution incorporates Experian VIO data, which is obtained quarterly.

APA also utilizes a product information and pricing portal (through a partnership with Pricedex Software) where suppliers can load pricing and product information (using the AWDA template), bulletins, marketing flyers, recalls, and other data. “We have around 125 suppliers supporting that effort, and members receive e-mails about what is loaded into the system,” says APA board member Rob Jacobs of Wichita-based Automotive Warehouse Co. “They can download all of that information in ACES and PIES format.”

APA has also launched an e-commerce B2B site built on WHI’s Nexpart tool called Ebiz.parts that shareholders can use to sell product directly to installation shops. “They can also list parts on eBay as well through that tool,” says Paul Brokaw, APA’s director of product and program development.

APA is currently in the process of rolling out the e-commerce component. “It allows APA to have supplier promotions that are directed from APA headquarters,” says Rick Caiello, director of technology management and business development at APA. “We can have supplier promotions on Ebiz, and eventually we could have marketing promotions on there as well.”

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