Perhaps only the auto part manufacturers and suppliers themselves know how complicated it can be to accurately associate an auto part to its correct vehicle. With so many auto makers in the history of the world today, spanning decades, with all their model names, sub-model names, different size and style engines or variations in the suspension or drive train per model correctly associating the right part to the very specific correct vehicle is no small task, let alone getting every auto part manufacturer on the same page across the industry! In e-commerce, all of that information needs to be synchronized in electronic form, no paper catalogs here.
Thankfully, the automotive industry has associations that greatly help keep things organized and communicated. In North America that is the Auto Care Association, formally known as AAIA (Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association). In electronic auto parts cataloging, the Auto Care Association strictly maintains a standard for all year, make, and model vehicles and the auto parts that go with them. These standards are held within a series of databases commonly referred to as ACES and PIES.
Cataloging Application Data and ACES
The majority of the auto parts industry today is utilizing ACES data because of it’s database standards and the ability to combine everyone’s catalogs. In order to produce ACES data all of your vehicle application data needs to be strictly managed and be an exact match to the specific year, make, and model information provided by the Auto Care Association, but optimal ACES data doesn’t end there – submodel, a range of engine information, transmission types, drive types, body types, brake systems, etc… all of these fields of information can be used, but all of them have to coincide with industry standards or it doesn’t work. Applying this to your internal set of data can often be very time consuming if it’s not already managed in a non-database friendly format, but this is just the first half of actually getting an ACES file.
ACES, by definition, is an XML file; a database file, that is not one that just anyone can open and view, let alone edit or build. An ACES file is really just a bunch of code and ID numbers and requires specialty software and/or skill to achieve.
WiseAutoData has been specializing the preparing application data for ACES conversion since the dawn of ACES, but we are now offering the entire puzzle, from A-Z. We can take your raw application data and give you an ACES XML, as fast as anyone in the industry and without any subscription fees or long term commitments. For more information, check out our Quick ACES service.
Product Data and PIES
There is a lot of different pieces of information that can be associated with an individual part and while PIES isn’t as widely demanded by the industry as ACES is, the PIES standards are the best to work with and manage yourself against. Again, PIES is technically an XML database file, but often times the XML is not a requirement, as a clean spread of sheet of data or two can generally be easily applied to most systems.
For more, learn more about what the complete package of e-commerce data really is.