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Making global product management easier for the automotive aftermarket industry

09 October 2013 Mark Seng

For those of you like me who have been in the automotive aftermarket industry for a number of years, you understand the common challenge that all of us have been facing for over a decade - how do you determine if parts being sold in the U.S. or Europe have applications that can generate revenue in other parts of the world? And how do you identify vehicles that are more likely to have the same components as those on the road in different countries?

I've never found these questions to be easy ones, but the development of industry standards began the journey for all of us to get answers. Both the ACES and TecDoc solutions have made the communication of application information a much easier task. But while both are optimal solutions for the automotive aftermarket, you probably understand that unfortunately, they are only regional in scope. While the automotive aftermarket has long recognized the need for a simple, direct linkage between the two standards in order to facilitate global product management, there hasn't been an answer...until today.

WorldView is a new aftermarket solutions platform developed by Polk and it combines global VIO data, OE parts research, and your aftermarket catalogs, along with a Global Make/Model table which bridges the ACES and TecDoc standards. With the capability to leverage VIN-based vehicle registrations, annual new registration history, and detailed OE research for European markets, WorldView uses data resources to reconcile the regional differences in vehicle attribute descriptions. The result is a much clearer world view of global car Parc. And that's really good news for all of us.

While a direct one-to-one match of ACES to TecDoc might be considered the "Holy Grail" to product and catalog managers around the globe, I really think the industry misses out on revenue and profit opportunities while the search continues. However, by focusing on the global similarities of vehicles and overcoming several of the obstacles which have stood in the way (anyone familiar with Year/Make/Model vs. production ranges?), WorldView provides the automotive aftermarket with the capability to compare catalog coverage and prioritize new product opportunities on a global basis.

This new automotive aftermarket solution with the Global Make/Model vehicle table will debut at AAPEX in November. However, Polk unveiled the new database and online system at its Connections 2013 Aftermarket Symposium in August. You can see it for yourself by contacting a Polk representative.

Mark Seng is vice president, aftermarket & commercial vehicle for IHS Automotive

Posted on October 9, 2013

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