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  • 1. Your Money Tree Your electronic data is a business asset that can be transformed into a ‘money tree’ if you care for it properly. Good data equates to increased sales, greater speed to market, reduced non-damaged returns and lower printing costs among other benefits. However, it’s not easy to make a money tree grow in the automotive aftermarket. The ACES standard is a moving target that gets updated (moved) every 30 days. Retailers, Resellers and e-Catalog providers match your data against this target. If your data is rejected because it’s ‘off target’ it can add 90 or more days to your time to market. That is why managing your own products against industry standards internally with web services is the best way to fast track your data ahead of your competition, ensuring completeness before it's submitted to data receivers. Making this responsibility a part time job for someone within your organization, who is not a catalog professional, is a risky decision. It’s very tempting in a tight economy to avoid the cost, but there can be an expensive downside. Your data is only kept up-to-date as time permits. Improper fitments are not addressed in a timely fashion creating returns. Data authoring mistakes create invalid and conflicting records causing lost sales from major delays getting to market. PIES data that is only filled out to the minimum information requirement puts your products in a competitive disadvantage at the point of sale. A retailer, re-seller, consumer or jobber has a choice of selecting parts that have digital images, installation guides, specifications and other relevant information or parts that don’t. Guess which part gets purchased? Evokat is a great vehicle to drive your data to market, but it won’t get you there if your driver runs it off the road. If you’re too small or cash strapped to afford a full time professional to harvest your money tree think about outsourcing the responsibility to a professional cataloging person that doesn’t have to be a full time employee. We may be able to help find you such a person. Remember, if your salesperson is spending hours trying to decipher the complexities of the ACES standard, they aren’t out selling anything, and if it's outsourced to someone other than your catalog or product specialist, you could add significant time to market.