Automotive aftermarket businesses confront a distinct set of difficulties that are not found in other sectors. Unlike other firms, automobile care companies must deal with significant data demands and marketing issues.
With internet purchasing becoming increasingly popular, especially owing to the current COVID-19 epidemic, consumers’ demand for more digitization has never been higher. Online shopping has not only made the process easier and more convenient, but it also allows customers to read product reviews from other buyers, assess pricing options, and discover the greatest values that suit their demands.
By 2021, the worldwide automotive aftermarket industry is expected to grow to more than $722.8 billion, with digitally-influenced car sales in the automotive eCommerce sector projected to rise even further. As a result, those who operate in this area should concentrate their attention on eCommerce and online purchasing platforms and invest in ACES and PIES software that best meets their needs.
The ACES and PIES software industry has also grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. What was once a niche market for aftermarket automotive retailers is now becoming an essential part of their operations. ACES stands for Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard, while PIES stands for Product Information Exchange Standard. Both ACES and PIES are used to manage data about auto parts, including fitment data that can be used during the ordering process.
For this reason, you will need to determine the best ACES and PIES software to make the best use of the solutions out there on the market.
How Does Auto Part Catalog Management Work?
The Auto Care Association’s Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard (ACES) and Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) are two of the most essential elements. The Auto Care Association, formerly known as the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, created ACES and PIES to manage and exchange fitment and part number data among themselves and their customers.
The ACES and PIES standards collaborate to offer users a mechanism for improved vehicle coordination and configuration. As an automobile eCommerce business owner looks for a specific piece or add-on, they will consult ACES data to see whether it may be used in a certain vehicle configuration.
If the part is suitable, it will proceed to the PIES data standard to confirm whether it fulfills all necessary criteria. They’ll be confident that the component will fit the expected vehicle and meet all of their demands as a result of this procedure. This will eliminate any guessing when it comes to purchasing automotive components.
However, keeping track of data is considerably more difficult than it appears. It’s not a one-time procedure that you finish and forget. The Auto Care Association updates its databases every month, adding and deleting various vehicle configurations. Other variations will occur as new research affects your Original Equipment (OE) fitment patterns or when you establish new channels with a trading partner inside your supply chain.
When your catalog data doesn’t keep up with these continuous changes, it will “spoil.” In other words, it will become outdated, and all of the associated components will go unnoticed when someone is looking for them. It’s well-known that all automobiles – light or heavy-duty, agricultural, marine, or Powersports – are made up of hundreds of components and dozens of compatible accessories. Knowing which automotive parts and components fit which cars is next to impossible since there are so many new market entrants and manufacturers to remember.
If you have sufficient auto repair industry expertise, a thorough understanding of fitting data, and plenty of time on your hands, you may manually manage your product information. Certain aftermarket fitment data suppliers, such as eBay Motors, Amazon, or other eCommerce platforms, will sell you their compatibility catalogs and charge a fee to access their product information. However, if the auto parts or accessories in your inventory are not found in these catalogs, you will need to enter that fitment data by hand.
If you want the most out of an aftermarket eCommerce data validation tool, however, you’ll need to know what to look for. Here’s a quick guide on how to pick the finest ACES and PIES software for keeping your automotive aftermarket data up to date and selling automotive parts and components at a higher rate than ever before.
What the Best ACES and PIES Software Solution Needs To Include
Many digital asset management programs are available, but not all of them will give you the necessary advantages to stay ahead of the competition. The tools that may assist you in today’s highly competitive and increasingly digitized business environment have many characteristics in common. We can include the following among them.
Effective Application Fitment Management
A professional automotive industry ACES and PIES tool will need to connect you to the Vehicle Configuration Database (VCdb), the Parts Configuration Database (PCdb), and the Product Attribute database (PAdb), all of which are issued by the ACES and PIES standards. Keep in mind that these databases and any other necessary subscriptions will generally require payment. A competent program will allow you to access it without incurring those extra fees.
Not only will a good aftermarket catalog solution help you address the issue of keeping up with monthly changes in product and vehicle definitions, but it will also assist you in managing your data. Your data management program will not only have to be able to evaluate your catalog’s data against the new standards, but it will also have to provide you with a set of easy-to-access dashboards containing the results.
It should also provide you with clear and achievable answers and data mapping options that can be customized to your needs and demands. This implies that you may go as basic as a year/make/model combination or add more information such as exterior styles, engines, fuel types, brand IDs, and other factors depending on your requirements and standards.
Provide Actionable Insights
Aside from allowing you access to the databases mentioned above, a professional catalog management system will also provide a live vehicle mapping interface that offers real-time feedback on all available car configurations that match your targeted specifications. Because new vehicle models and components are introduced into the market regularly, and old ones being redefined, maintaining your catalog data in good working order is an absolute necessity for the software.
It should also have user-friendly and highly intuitive interfaces that highlight any problems areas and solutions for you. While no system will solve all fitment data issues, they should handle most of them. In addition, your ACES and PIES solution should be capable of identifying any areas where you could add more information in a way that allows you to achieve all of your coverage objectives.
Allow for Product Branding
It should go without saying that a great aftermarket ACES and PIES catalog solution will guarantee that all auto parts data is entered correctly and maintained as consistently as possible. It must have a list of specific product data metrics to allow your aftermarket firm to check for existing product data issues and other similar anomalies.
Also, the platform will have to consider all of your branding needs and any brand-specific overrides for your PIES data elements and target ACES data notes. As a result, you will be able to customize your product information based on your channel partner-specific requirements and private label demands.
Comprehensive Data Security
Finally, the system must secure your digital assets from data breaches. Antivirus and anti-malware protection, multi-factor authentication, DDoS Protection, unified threat management, HIPAA and PCI DSS compliance, and access control lists should be included and ready to use.
Evokat Premier is one of these aftermarket catalogs that will provide you with all of these advantages. Because it’s a cloud-based, Software as a Service – SaaS platform -, you can manage your data from anyplace there is an internet connection. It will also assist in boosting the speed to market, minimizing product returns, and minimizing lost sales possibilities.