BETHESDA, Md. – The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) has released version 3.0 of the Internet Parts Ordering (IPO) standard. Significant improvements have been made to the shipment and confirmation documents, as well as the addition of an invoice document. According to AAIA, IPO version 3.0 serves as a functional replacement for costly Electronic Document Exchange (EDI) or a near-real time compliment to existing EDI document exchange.
Handling special orders at any level of the automotive supply chain is costly and time-consuming, traditionally involving multiple phone conversations to check availability, estimate shipping time, place the order and confirm the order shipment, according to AAIA. Standards-based Web services allow trading partners to automate this wasteful activity and speed the transaction all the way through reconciliation and payment. IPO was developed specifically to address the requirements of order inquiry, purchase order, ship notification and invoicing in the automotive supply chain regardless of the number of line items or shipping points.
“Split shipments, backorders, product replacement and drop shipments are just a few of the complications that automotive special orders and stock orders involve,” said Scott Luckett, CIO, AAIA. “The IPO Web services were defined in this latest version to account for all these complexities and enable end-to-end automation of the order cycle and payment reconciliation. Trading partners who invest in IPO-enabled ordering processes will realize immediate ROI in time and labor savings.”
The IPO Web service definition includes a complete library of XML Schema (XSD) and Web service description files (WSDL) supporting synchronous and asynchronous communication. IPO documents are exchanged using SOAP over HTTP.
The general release of IPO version 3.0 has been two years in the making, subject to rigorous testing and industry review. There is no cost to download the complete documentation and development package. IPO Web services can be exchanged between trading partners directly or with the services of a compliant e-commerce hub or exchange. IPO is available at www.aftermarket.org/technology/IPO.