The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) has announced the completion of its Vehicle Configuration database (VCdb) Efficiency Project, which the association says accelerates the publication of new vehicle information up to six months earlier than before. Faster publication of new vehicles to the VCdb will enable aftermarket suppliers to publish their electronic catalog information sooner, according to AAIA, which will shorten the catalog publishing cycle and contribute to increased sales of products for new model year applications.
AAIA says the project marks a significant milestone for the Aftermarket Catalog Enhanced Standard (ACES). Previously, AAIA would only publish information about a new vehicle when they had all the 40-plus vehicle and component attributes. Effective with the June 2012 vehicle database, new model year vehicles will be identified and introduced to the standard database in four stages.
“With basic information about the year, make, model name and available engines, we are able to assign codes and publish new vehicles to the VCdb months sooner,” said Scott Luckett, AAIA vice president, technology standards and CIO. “As fast as the OEMs publish additional technical and service information, AAIA will release additional data about the vehicle to the standard, ultimately reaching stage four with the publication of the complete, coded vehicle configuration and corresponding Legacy record. Publishing vehicles faster without sacrificing accuracy was the most pressing need of the committee for the VCdb Efficiency Project.”
Data management and publication of the ACES vehicle database is performed by MOTOR Information Systems.
“Supporting a four-stage research and publication process required re-engineering many of the processes and systems that MOTOR uses in support of ACES,” said Marian Maasshoff, vice president, product management, MOTOR. “The AAIA Standards Committee gave us a very clear direction, and we are excited about the benefits this project will mean to the industry.”
Most vehicles will be published in stage one (vehicle and base engine information) four to six months sooner than with the old method. Many aftermarket parts categories require nothing more than stage one information to prescribe replacement parts and accessories. VCdb efficiency is critical to keeping aftermarket companies competitive with the OE parts channel and adding to sales of parts and accessories to vehicles as fast as they roll off the assembly line, according to AAIA.
The four-stage publication process applies to passenger cars and light duty trucks intended for sales in the U.S. and Canadian market. Stage four will include the publication of a full vehicle configuration record and a Legacy make/model record, until the Legacy table is retired in December 2012.
For more information about VCdb Efficiency and ACES, visit www.aftermarket.org/technology.