With major changes in the global automotive aftermarket industry, ACES and PIES software has become more important than ever. A major shift between vehicle manufacturers is on the way as customer demands change, and technological progress appears to be accelerating. A fundamental transition is underway between automobile companies.
Auto eCommerce firms must consider emerging market demands and pressures, which are already placing new responsibilities on them to lead. It’s critical to keep in mind that the North American automobile aftermarket is worth more than $16 billion. It’s also expanding at a rate of 15% each year. The overall aftermarket sector of the automotive industry is worth around $381 billion, while the light-duty vehicle market accounts for roughly $282 billion of it.
Digital technologies, in addition to the automobile industry’s increased product and service offerings, have also bolstered $150 billion of automotive parts in both brick-and-mortar and online sales channels. That amount is expected to surpass $160 billion over the next several years. As a result, it’s reasonable to believe that ACES and PIES software demand has never been higher.
Automotive aftermarket companies are continuously searching for new ways to compete and increase income. ACES and PIES software can assist them by managing their fitment data, which is the most important part of any auto parts retail business. Through cross-sells and/or up-sells, ACES and PIES software allows automobile parts stores to better manage their inventory, minimize time on the sales floor per customer visit, improve conversion rates (and therefore profits), as well as enhance customer experience.
If you have ever been interested in ACES and PIES software solutions, then this article is for you. ACES and PIES data standards are a cornerstone of the automotive aftermarket industry. They allow manufacturers to create fitment data that can be shared with dealerships and consumers alike. In addition, ACES and PIES software solutions have become increasingly important as more companies rely on these standards to share their fitment data. This guide will help you get started with ACES and PIES software!
What Are The ACES and PIES Data Standards?
The Aftermarket Catalog Enhanced Standard (ACES) is an automotive aftermarket standard for managing and exchanging automotive catalog applications data. Manufacturers, suppliers, and merchants can use industry-standard vehicle apps to send and receive automotive product data. This information includes the car’s year, make, and model as well as more specific information such as part types, engine type, fuel type, and more. It’s worth noting that ACES data is kept in several databases. These databases are the Vehicle Configuration Database (VCdb) and the Parts Configuration Database (PCdb)
The Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES), on the other hand, focuses on product data management instead of catalog application information. This refers to all automotive components, parts, and accessories. PIES information also includes approximately 20,000 distinct product types across 180 electronic data elements in 20 different categories.
This PIES data is provided by some of the biggest retailers and warehouse distributors in North America so that others in the aftermarket can utilize it. The information in the PIES XML files includes a comprehensive range of product features, including product weights, sizes, kits, pricing, brand ID, UPCs, and more. The PIES standard is governed by the Product Attribute database (PAdb).
ACES and PIES standards are designed to be used together. Those who wish to buy a certain component or accessory will first check ACES data to see if the part will fit the intended vehicle. They’ll determine if it can meet all of their demands by consulting PIES data if it does, allowing those in the aftermarket sector to cut out any uncertainty about part ordering.
ACES and PIES require access to the Brand Table, which is a postmarket brand identification database. The Internet Parts Ordering (IPO) database manages the flow of information used to locate, order, and inquire about product availability. The IPO also uses the Brand Table, which contains brands, sub-brands, and parent companies. It may help firms speed up the time it takes to get their products on the market. In addition, the Brand Table will assist businesses in reducing redundant data, category management, product mapping, and errors while comparing different brands.
Why Do You Need ACES and PIES Software?
Most auto parts stores will have thousands of components and accessories in stock for special orders. Their customers are also divided into various categories based on their demands and passions. Repair shop owners, dealers, and individuals who wish to repair or improve their vehicles themselves may all be included in this category. It should go without saying that these customers will have distinct tastes and expertise when placing orders for goods in their shopping cart.
The difference between aftermarket vehicle parts and the rest of the other industries comes from vehicle fitment data. There are hundreds of distinct automobile models on the road, as well as tens of thousands of components and add-ons for each one. These accessories and components tend to be utilized on a variety of different cars. The typical auto part will fit about 32 distinct automobiles. There are also several cases where parts and add-ons interact with each other while others are completely incompatible. Fitment data will provide retailers and customers with this information regarding auto part compatibility and other useful technical details.
Brand loyalty is more common than quality preference in most cases.
Many clients are unaware that the vehicle’s original manufacturer may not produce aftermarket goods. In this situation, compatibility information will illuminate the problem by connecting the information gap and establishing a relationship between different vehicles and the many car components and accessories available on the market. This is where an ACES and PIES software package will come in handy.
How To Use ACES and PIES Software Solutions
If fitment data is left unattended and will begin to spoil, automotive aftermarket businesses risk seeing fewer sales, more customer complaints, and many more product returns.
Since the ACES and PIES data standards are updated often, maintaining this huge quantity of compatibility information is a never-ending task. The Auto Care Association does not only keep track of new components and add-ons that enter the market. The organization also updates its databases once a month, incorporating new parts and accessories as needed. The ACA has introduced numerous changes to automobile features and configurations, among other things. To stay in line with ACES and PIES requirements, aftermarket vehicle part firms will be required to keep their own records up to date.
Setting up an auto-part database isn’t as straightforward as it appears. If the modifications introduced by the ACA don’t match your fitment data, you’ll have holes in your catalog. When this happens, consumers will be unable to find the components they are looking for.
Both Amazon and eBay Motors maintain master vehicle lists that are frequently updated. These products are organized by category and geographic location to allow buyers to see how fitment data for any particular automobile brand or model has evolved. Both eBay, Amazon, and other similar eCommerce platforms, such as Walmart, use manual processes for importing fitment data and updating it regularly. This is a better alternative than depending exclusively on information stored in their databases, auto-part software, and inventory management systems.
But even with the solutions provided by these large eCommerce marketplaces, it might still be tough to keep track of all the specifics for a large number of listings. Not only is this time-consuming and difficult, but keeping up with all the variations that occur across all your listings will be nearly impossible. It’s because of these reasons why ACES and PIES software is so useful.
You may use such a solution to improve the visibility of your entire vehicle parts catalog. Instead of having to add or edit each component, one by one, you’ll be able to automate bulk fitting importing with this software tool. That’s not all that a comprehensive ACES and PIES solution has to offer.
While it is largely determined by how each program was created and built, utilizing data management techniques should be easy and natural. The system should be able to link you to every vehicle type currently available in the Vehicle Configuration Database (VCdb), as well as product data from the PCdb and Product Attribute database (PAdb).
The software program will assist you in comparing the current data in your catalog against the freshly generated PIES and ACES XML files, highlighting any problems and offering you practical suggestions on how to fix them. You’ll also need a way to add additional information to your aftermarket parts data so it can be mapped in a customized manner. A year/make/model configuration is as basic as it gets, but you may go as complex as necessary if desired.
The ideal catalog data management solution should be able to do more than only keep track of your products. It should also be able to check your ACES data regularly, ensuring the long-term viability of your aftermarket catalog. These comprehensive health checks on both product and application data will almost certainly reveal any problems and fix them in most cases. More professional solutions provide you with additional reporting tools to see where you may add extra information to meet your present coverage targets.
What Is the Best ACES and PIES Software
When it comes to choosing a good catalog data management software, you must first evaluate the features and services that it will provide. The following are just a few of the things you should search for in such a system.
Application Fitment Management
The main goal of any good data management system is to keep your catalog up-to-date on all changes made to product and vehicle definitions used to create PIES and ACES XML files. The system should be able to compare your catalog data against the new criteria and offer remedies via simple dashboards.
It must also provide actionable insights and customizable solutions on how to improve your data mapping. This implies you may go with a basic year/make/model configuration or something more complex that incorporates additional technical details, such as engine and fuel type, body style, brand ID, etc.
A good ACES and PIES automotive catalog management software will also need to provide you with a live vehicle mapping interface. This should give you immediate feedback on all available options that match your target set criteria. New car models are updated on a regular basis, which necessitates periodic health checks on your catalog data.
Highly intuitive user interfaces will need to be provided that can identify any problems. These systems should also include the means of resolving any issues. Even if no data management system can solve all fitment data that may emerge, it should cover the majority of them. The platform should also reveal any possible chances for additional data so you can stay on track with all of your coverage objectives.
You’ll need access to a report-style library and the ability to modify these reports so that you may add the exact information you want. You should also have the possibility to enable an automatic regeneration plan and distribute data over FTP channels or send it via email.
It’s also worth noting that auto part catalog issues are somewhat frequent and can come in different shapes and sizes. As a result, it’s conceivable that altering one record at a time may not be the most efficient option. For larger tasks, you may need to be able to export your data in bulk. Such digital tools will assist you in making more extensive modifications to your catalog.
A bulk load interface will also need to provide you with a mechanism for adding or updating vehicle definitions and product data, such as prices, interchanges, descriptions, etc., via a guided process. These systems will also need to help you manage numerous change previews and quality controls along the way. These bulk choices are extremely beneficial for catalog teams who don’t have much time or resources to handle each change by hand.
An excellent aftermarket catalog software will also prevent you from making any data entry mistakes. It will guarantee that all of the information you enter into your catalog is written most consistently. It’ll need to track all of the important product data metrics required for your automobile aftermarket firm to detect any existing product data concerns and other similar issues as they arise.
Furthermore, the aftermarket catalog solution must handle all of your branding demands while allowing for any brand-specific modifications to your PIES data elements and target ACES data notes. This will enable you to create product information based on your brand standards and channel partner custom data needs.
Finally, your ACES and PIES program will need to include improved security capabilities for your fitment and product data. With cyberattacks on the rise worldwide, you don’t want your information stolen or held for ransom. Multi-factor authentication, DDoS Protection, antivirus and anti-malware protection, HIPAA and PCI DSS compliance, as well as unified threat management, are just a few of the security measures that can keep your catalog data safe.
How The Evokat Premier Software Will Help
A professional ACES and PIES platform will be able to give all of what we’ve discussed thus far and many others. This is where Evokat Premier comes in. It’s a highly flexible solution that allows you to handle various demands from a single location while also giving you tremendous configurability when it comes to authoring and reporting. Evokat Premier will provide you with extremely configurable authoring and reporting capabilities as well as a user interface that is consistent with ACES, PIES, and their databases.
Aftermarket catalog software Evokat Premier is also a Software as a Service (SaaS) aftermarket catalog solution that offers you access to and management of your car catalog applications data from any location with an internet connection. Because it’s cloud-based, you won’t need to buy anything hardware or software to use it. The system also includes enhanced security features and branding flexibility to sell your items in many markets while keeping the same brand.
Automotive aftermarket businesses are virtually always required to maintain their fitment data clean and up to date. ACES and PIES software is necessary to maintain that degree of uniformity. It will also allow you to increase your speed to market, reduce product returns, and boost monthly sales.
To put your mind at ease, Illumaware’s Evokat Premier is one of these systems that will give you all of the functions you need to keep yourself up to date with your application and product data. It will be simple for you to access and manage your data from any place with an internet connection because it is a cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.
Finally, you won’t have to spend any money on other in-house software or hardware to get Evokat Premier up and going. If you need more information about how to use your ACES and PIES data or want to try a catalog data management system that will increase your speed to market and the number of sales, please contact us right away.