AUSTIN, Texas Epicor Software Corp.
is celebrating the 30th anniversary of electronic cataloging for the automotive aftermarket. The company introduced the industry’s first electronic catalog
(eCatalog) in August 1984.
Today, Epicor eCatalog products and related data solutions are used by tens of thousands of parts professionals, more than 100,000 vehicle service providers and millions of consumers throughout North America and around the world. The first-generation Epicor eCatalog of the mid-1980s was limited only to the supplier lines and catalogs carried by each auto parts store. Still, many replacement parts distributors and jobbers quickly realized that their counterpeople were often twice as productive and far more accurate when they relied on the eCatalog rather than print volumes, according to Epicor. Also fueling early adoption was the rapidly accelerating growth of vehicle platforms and corresponding part number proliferation. The new eCatalog also helped users eliminate pricing mistakes, reduce returns and improve inventory control and buying practices, Epicor noted.
“Our first eCatalog opened the door to countless opportunities to improve efficiency and accuracy at the parts counter, which remains the nexus of virtually every vehicle repair,” said Scott Thompson, vice president, automotive, retail distribution solutions for Epicor. “Epicor eCatalog products are even more important and prevalent today, connecting tens of thousands of wholesalers with service providers, and driving an ever growing number of business-to-consumer eCommerce websites.”
In stark contrast to the company’s first eCatalog, the current Epicor PartExpert
eCatalog suite includes more than 10 million parts, 7,800 manufacturer product lines, and 27 million interchanges and covers virtually every vehicle make and model marketed within North America over the past 40 years. The company’s data and eCatalog solutions are now referenced in more than 70 percent of aftermarket parts sales in North America. Epicor replacement parts data also is used by leading global online retailers such as Amazon.com
The Epicor PartExpert product suite includes the Cover-to-Cover graphical eCatalog module, featuring part images and specifications; an integrated VIN decoder; BuyerAssist electronic buyer’s guide; InterChange OE and competitive interchange module; “All Lines” instant access to more than 7,800 manufacturer product lines; the comprehensive ItemExpert non-application item database; PartExpert OE original equipment parts eCatalog; and Epicor OE for Parts Not Found, a new module that enables users to identify the OE part number for applications for which no equivalent aftermarket part is available. Epicor combines these value-added tools with a complete service product suite including the LaborExpert labor estimating tool, ServicePlus OE scheduled maintenance services and parts, TireExpert tire fitment and replacement guide and RepairExpert repair information database to help users increase sales and customer loyalty.