The Auto Care Association today announced it is taking a major leadership role in streamlining the heavy-duty truck product information and sales processes standards. The association is contracting with Pricedex Software Inc. to conduct a comprehensive research project to define the heavy-duty parts data process by leveraging the company’s expertise in product data management and cataloging.
In conjunction with its Heavy Duty Distribution Association segment and parts manufacturer subject matter experts, the Auto Care Association seeks to develop a best practice for the identification and dissemination of product information relevant to support the heavy-duty aftermarket. Phase one of the research study will delve deeply into the way heavy-duty parts are cataloged and will provide the framework for a unique product data set, leveraging portions of the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES), which also can be applied to the commercial and “off highway” aftermarkets.
“The strength of the heavy-duty marketplace lies in the knowledge of the counterperson to make hundreds of part recommendations each day. We aim to make that process more efficient by giving them the data they need in a format they are familiar with,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association.
“The subject matter expertise and vast knowledge and experience of Pricedex in delivery of product data solutions to the global automotive, heavy-duty and industrial aftermarkets, combined with our creation of a heavy-duty industry advisory panel representing the entire supply chain, will ensure increased efficiency and market effectiveness for all stakeholders.”
“The need for standardization and improved efficiency with product data in the independent heavy-duty aftermarket is inevitable,” said Terry O’Reilly, CEO, Pricedex. “So, there really is no time like the present to get the initiative underway, and we applaud the Auto Care Association for taking decisive action to move this initiative forward. While there will also need to be accommodation for certain established practices, there can be no doubt that the end result is going to be increased efficiency in the heavy-duty and industrial aftermarkets. It will also make it easier for the end-customers to do business with aftermarket suppliers and distributors, and will undoubtedly enable them to increase their share of the market.”
The intended outcome of the project is to provide the tools and resources to facilitate heavy-duty parts manufacturers’ coding efforts for product information and product hierarchy, which could be incorporated into an electronic catalog lookup to meet the needs of the heavy-duty industry.