The Auto Care Association recently commissioned a heavy-duty industry feasibility study on behalf of its HDDA: Heavy Duty segment to determine the viability of establishing product information standards for the heavy-duty aftermarket supply chain. Findings of the industry-driven study were presented on Jan. 25 during Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) in Las Vegas.
“There has been increasing interest in the heavy-duty community to find a way to standardize and streamline aftermarket product data to improve accuracy and efficiency and, in turn, boost the bottom line,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “This study is the first step toward the development of a standard that will enhance product management and support processes, increase productivity and decrease costs in the supply chain.”
The three-phase HDDA study, conducted by Pricedex Software Inc., investigated current industry data exchange practices, reviewed reference data tables used in each sector and determined industry practices for product attributes and product category hierarchies. Input from manufacturers, distributors, ERP vendors and industry associations was sought and an advisory committee of industry executives provided information and oversight.
The heavy-duty industry feasibility study concluded that:
- Developing a heavy-duty data practice is feasible through leveraging the work of others and creating a data superset to support all segments
- Rich content is beneficial to the heavy-duty industry including vehicle vocation, product specifications, interchange data, VMRS coding and images
- Conducting data planning and management, and learning from others, will help ensure that data standards can be useful to all industry participants
- Stakeholders must understand that this effort is one of collaboration, not competition, seeking to standardize existing available data, not to divulge proprietary information
“We are very pleased to announce we are moving forward with this important initiative because of the overwhelming support of the industry,” said Hanvey. “A work group of stakeholders is being formed now to create the standard.”