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SEMA Internet Symposium 2009


Today\'s automotive aftermarket environment demands accuracy and completeness in product data in order to conduct business. AAIA\'s ACES and PIES product data exchange standards help manufacturers …

Today\'s automotive aftermarket environment demands accuracy and completeness in product data in order to conduct business. AAIA\'s ACES and PIES product data exchange standards help manufacturers connect and sell with their customers.

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  • PIES for trading and orderingACES for fitment and lookup


  • 1. Mythbusting the ACES and PIES Data Standards
    Gigi Ho
    Co-founder & Data Goddess
    the leading comparison shopping guide for automotive parts
  • 2. Current state of product data in our industry.
    The real meaning of the terms being used.
    What are the goals and why we NEED data standards.
    What is and what is NOT “electronic data.”
    Where to start, how to start, who to help.
    What we’ll cover in this presentation…
  • 3. Why should you care?
  • 4. SEMA Data Pilot Results
    Phase 1 – 2007
    Phase 2 – 2009
    Read full report at…
  • 5. Phase 1 Overview
    4 warehouse distributors
    7 manufacturers
    To confirm that incomplete, non-standardized data results in losses to the SEMA market equivalent or higher than other market segments.
    To confirm data standards were appropriate to SEMA market.
    To encourage adoption of industry data standards.
  • 6. Phase 2 Overview
    5 warehouse distributors
    19 manufacturers
    To continue to prove the inefficiencies of current data practices in the SEMA market and use information to encourage adoption of data standards.
    To show participants that perfect, synchronized data lowers costs, shortens time to market and increases sales.
    To encourage the adoption of industry data standards.
  • 7. Price variances between Manufacturer and Distributors’ inventory systems
    Phase 1 - 2007
    Phase 2 - 2009
  • 8. Part Numbers in Distributors’ system thatwere NOT in Manufacturers’ system
    Phase 1 - 2007
    Phase 2 - 2009
  • 9. Part Numbers in Manufacturers’ systems thatwere NOT in Distributors’ systems
    Phase 1 - 2007
    Phase 2 - 2009
  • 10. Money being thrown away…
  • 11. What’s it all for?
  • 12. GOAL: Distribute consistent data electronically to everywhere you do business
  • 13. Problem: Disparate and inconsistent data locations within a company
  • 14. Problem: Channels have proprietary or require multiple formats
    Manual Format Manipulations
    Manual Format Manipulations
    Manual Format Manipulations
  • 15. Enter the Data…standards
  • 16. ACES (AAIA Catalog Enhanced Standard): current electronic cataloging standard comprised of vehicle year, make, model, engine and vehicle attributes in a relational database, delivered in an XML format.
    AAIA Legacy: original AAIA electronic catalog standard for year, make, model, and engine, represented in a 7-digit ID number and delivered in a flat file format.
    PIES (Product Information Exchange Standards): standardized fields of product information, like part number, descriptions, price, etc., delivered in an XML format.
    Data Receiver: distributors and retailers you send parts data to that utilize this data to sell parts, such as Digital Performance, Amazon, Summit Racing, O’Reilly’s, etc.
    Delimited Text File: an array of data separated by any character; most common delimiters are tabs, commas, and vertical bars (aka, “pipe”). This is a flat file format.
    XML (Extensible Mark-up Language): tags that define and validate data and facilitate transmission and interpretation of data between organizations.
    See more definitions at http://www.sema.org/btc-geek-speak-eglossary
    Let’s get the terms down
  • 17. Product data standard is used for trading between you and your business partners (data receivers).
  • 18. Sample product fields
    Brand Identification
    Part Number
    Part Type
    Part Description
    Universal Product Code (UPC)
    Dimensions and Weight
    SEMA BTC PIES template contains 32 fields, 12 are required.
  • 19. Click any Template Field below. An Instruction Box will then appear on the spreadsheet next to field selected.
    SEMA BTC PIES Template
  • 20. Part Numbers
    No special characters (*, /, $, ”, etc.)
    Make them descriptive of the part and not just what vehicle it fits.
    Without this, your products can sit up to 72 hours before going to the shelf
    Minimum 400x400 pixels at 72dpi
    White background
    Leave between 5-15 pixels around border
    Keep shadows to a minimum
    Make sure your pricing is current
    Key product fields
  • 21. BAD descriptions from manufacturers
    Ford Boss 351
    DTC-60 12mm
    00-02 Mustang V6 polished
    rtrdrldsltdzpfrnt 1988-96 Corvette 13in. Lh
    GOOD descriptions from manufacturers
    [Mfr Brand] Polo shirt – XL – Navy
    May be silly – but you know what the part is, don’t you?!
    Air filter universal, rubber, 2-1/16in FLG, 3-1/2in Btm, 2in Top, 4in Ht
    This description is only 72 characters. You have up to 80!
    Description samples we’ve received
  • 22. Application/vehicle fitment data is used to help determine what and how your part is installed.
  • 23. Application/fitment fields
    Brand Identification
    Part Number
    Part Type
    Year or Year Range
    Model (sub-model if needed)
    Engine (if needed)
    Vehicle attributes/qualifiers (if needed)
  • 24. Suggested application/fitment format
    Above, the part number is “related” to each year that the Chevrolet Tahoe LS was available. The year, make, model, sub-model each occupy their own column of data in this spreadsheet.
  • 25. Suggested application/fitment format
    If your data receiver, the person/company/system that you’re sending your data to, can take this format, the years can be condensed to one line but indicate in separate columns the start and end years along with the rest of the vehicle information.
  • 26. What do standardized data exports look like?
  • 27. AAIA Legacy Sample (pipe delimited)
    BXYZ|ABC1001|Shock Absorber Jeep CJ Front|1180853|Shock Absorber|2 Door Sport Utility; 4WD; Front
    BXYZ|ABC1002|Shock Absorber Jeep CJ Front|1180842|Shock Absorber|2 Door Sport Utility; 4WD; Front
    BXYZ|ABC1003|Shock Absorber Jeep CJ Front|1181270|Shock Absorber|2 Door Sport Utility; 4WD; Front
    BXYZ|DEF1001|Shock Absorber Jaguar XJ12 Front|1177848|Shock Absorber|4 Door Sedan; RWD; Front
    BXYZ|DEF1002|Shock Absorber Jaguar XJ12 Front|1177860|Shock Absorber|4 Door Sedan; RWD; Front
    BXYZ|DEF1003|Shock Absorber Jaguar XJ12 Front|1177871|Shock Absorber|4 Door Sedan; RWD; Front
    BXYZ|GHI1001|Strut Porsche 911 Front|1351617|Suspension Strut Assembly|Front; 65-9/68
    BXYZ|GHI1001|Strut Porsche 911 Front|1351628|Suspension Strut Assembly|Front; 65-9/68
    BXYZ|GHI1001|Strut Porsche 911 Front|1351594|Suspension Strut Assembly|Front; 65-9/68
  • 28. PIES XML Sample
    <Item MaintenanceType="A”>
    <Description LanguageCode="EN" MaintenanceType="A" DescriptionCode="MKT">The marketing description is often the feature points of the product or part.</Description>
    <Pricing MaintenanceType="A" PriceType="JBR”>
    <Price UOM="EA">340.00</Price>
    <Package MaintenanceType="A”>
    <Dimensions UOM="IN”>
    <Weights UOM="PG”>
    . . .
  • 29. ACES XML Sample
    <App id=“1” action=“A”>
    <BaseVehicle id=“3109” />
    <SubModelID id=“450” />
    <EngineBase id=“417” />
    <Position id=“12” />
    <Transmission id=“1197” />
    <PartType id=“10727” />
    <App id=“2” action="A”>
    <BaseVehicle id="3464” />
    <Position id=“12” />
    <BedType id=”5” />
    <PartType id="2864"/>
  • 30. They’re ugly to human eyes, but beautiful to the computer systems that process them.
  • 31. What NOT to send when someone is asking for your “electronic data”
  • 32. Excel spreadsheets made for human eyes
    You might say, “This looks great!”
    Answer: Yes, *looks* great, but completely unreadable by a computer, and therefore, will not be loaded into your customer’s inventory system for a looong time...if ever.
  • 33. Fields of mixed product information
    You might ask, “What’s wrong with this?”
    Answer: Sub-model, year range, and fitment notes are all crammed into one cell! Again, cannot be parsed automatically by a computer.
  • 34. PDF Pages, Catalogs, Guides…PDFs.
  • 35. “What can I do?”
  • 36. 12 Steps to Synchronicity
    Step 1: Admit your data files suck
    Step 2: Realize that the industry standards can help create order and PROFIT for your company
    Step 3: Make a decision to do something about it
    Step 4: Make a searching and fearless inventory of all your data silos
    Step 5: Admit to your business partners, customers and company members the nature of your data’s wrongs
    Step 6: Be company-wide ready to remove these defects of data
    Step 7: Humbly ask your business partners and customers to remove your data’s shortcomings
  • 37. 12 Steps to Synchronicity
    Step 8: Make a list of all persons in your company who will be responsible for data
    Step 9: Make sure those persons know and understand the industry standards and requirements of your customers, and appoint them as Data Lords and Ladies
    Step 10: Continue to take inventory of your data silos
    Step 11: Seek through seminars, webinars, conferences and tradeshows the current and future trends of data requirements and key contacts
    Step 12: Having had an awakening as the result of these steps, carry this message forward to others, and continue to practice these principles for even greater profit!
  • 38. Those who would help you on your journey…
    Any member of the SEMA BTC and its sub-committees
    Committee Liaison: Alan Dicker - aland@sema.org
    Any member of the AAIA Technology Standards & Solutions committee
    Committee Liaison: Scott Luckett - scott.luckett@aftermarket.org
    License SPEEDcat Cataloging Software from Digital Performance
    Seek out data service providers found at
  • 39. Questions & Answer Session