Ask us about our complimentary Data Assessment to clean and enrich product data, improve conversions, avoid cart abandonment, and enhance customer experience. Learn more now!

Let’s face it. The heavy-duty and automotive aftermarket industry is vast and complicated. While digitizing your catalogs is a great way to get ahead in the competitive landscape, by no means does it guarantee success. Mastering the heavy-duty and automotive aftermarket requires you to go the extra mile to make sure your customers get the right information to make a buying decision — information that is complete, consistent, accurate, and reliable.

This is what ACES® and PIES standards are made for. Maintained by the Auto Care Association®, these standards are like cheat sheets for wrangling data chaos in the industry. ACES and PIES aim to give the industry a smooth ride through the maze of fitment and product information. Leveraging these standards within your data ecosystem allows you to speak a similar language within the industry to get your products to market faster.

Here are our top 10 tips to ensure that your data is in the right lane with ACES and PIES.

1. Know the Difference Between ACES & PIES

ACES and PIES standards have distinct and diverse focal points: ACES revolves around vehicle fitment data, encompassing year, make, model, and engine details, essential for ensuring product compatibility. In contrast, PIES deals with comprehensive product information beyond fitment, including product attributes, pricing, images, and marketing content, vital for presenting products accurately in catalogs and sales channels. Understanding this differentiation and also the interconnection between these standards is key to leveraging them effectively in your business operations.

2. Understand ACES & PIES Inside Out

To truly master the heavy-duty and automotive aftermarket, you must delve deep into the intricacies of ACES and PIES standards. Understand how ACES categorizes products based on application data, ensuring compatibility with specific vehicles, while PIES organizes detailed product information, such as part numbers, descriptions, pricing, images, and marketing content. Recognize how these standards work in tandem to provide a comprehensive framework for managing aftermarket data effectively, enabling seamless communication and compatibility across the industry. This understanding will lay the foundation for how you manage your data around these standards.

3. Embrace Compliance as Your DNA

Embed ACES and PIES compliance into the DNA of your business operations by treating them as fundamental pillars of success in the automotive aftermarket industry. By consistently adhering to these standards, you ensure that your product information remains accurate, complete, and up-to-date, fostering improved customer satisfaction and operational efficiency throughout the supply chain. Embracing compliance not only enhances your business’s reputation but also establishes trust among customers and partners.

4. Stay Updated with Industry Standards

Compliance with these standards is not a one-and-done deal. The Auto Care Association regularly updates these standards, so it is critical to stay on top of industry-driven changes, ensuring that your business remains aligned with the most current practices and requirements in the automotive aftermarket landscape. Staying updated allows you to adapt quickly to evolving market trends and maintain a competitive edge in the industry.

5. Find the Right Tools

Equip your business with the appropriate tools that can easily adapt to ACES and PIES standards. Invest in robust product data management (PDM) and product information management (PIM) systems that come equipped with built-in support for these standards, enabling efficient data creation, validation, and distribution. Utilizing the right tools empowers your team to streamline processes, improve accuracy, and accelerate time-to-market for your products, driving overall business success.

6. Ensure Smooth Integration

Ensure smooth integration of your PDM/PIM systems with distribution channels and other relevant platforms to facilitate seamless data exchange and updates. By integrating these systems effectively, you can minimize manual efforts, reduce errors, and ensure consistency in product information across various channels. Smooth integration enhances agility and responsiveness in your operations, enabling you to adapt quickly to changing market demands and maintain a competitive advantage.

7. Develop a Data Mapping Strategy

Devise a comprehensive data mapping strategy to transform existing data into the required formats of ACES and PIES. Analyze your current data architecture and processes to identify areas for improvement and optimization. By developing a structured approach to data mapping, you can ensure accuracy, consistency, and compliance with industry standards, laying a solid foundation for efficient data management and utilization in your business.

8. Foster Collaboration Across Departments

Promote a culture of collaboration and communication among different departments within your organization to ensure alignment and synergy in data management efforts. Encourage cross-functional teams to work together to capture, validate, and represent relevant data in compliance with ACES and PIES standards. By fostering collaboration, you can break down silos, leverage collective expertise, and drive continuous improvement in data quality and accuracy, ultimately enhancing overall business performance.

9. Prioritize Training and Awareness

Invest in comprehensive training and awareness programs to equip your teams with the knowledge and skills needed to drive compliance with ACES and PIES standards effectively. Ensure that employees across all levels understand the importance of adhering to these standards and are proficient in utilizing the tools and processes associated with them. By prioritizing training and awareness, you empower your workforce to become champions of data compliance, fostering a culture of excellence and innovation within your organization.

10. Get Expert Help

Consider partnering with industry experts like Pivotree to leverage specialized services and solutions tailored to your specific needs and challenges. Pivotree offers expertise in data classification and management, helping businesses streamline their compliance efforts with ACES and PIES standards. By partnering with experts, you can accelerate your journey towards compliance, improve the accuracy and efficiency of your data processes, and unlock new opportunities for growth and success in the automotive aftermarket industry.

Mastering the heavy-duty and automotive aftermarket is all about making ACES and PIES standards central to your business strategy. To achieve this, you must leverage the right tools and expertise, and foster a culture of excellence to navigate the complexities of the industry consistently. And if you’re wondering where your data currently stands in this context, make sure you take the free data assessment.

Get your Complimentary Data Assessment >>

About Pivotree: Pivotree designs, builds, and manages frictionless commerce experiences for brands and their customers around the world. We provide end-to-end solutions and services in Commerce, Data Management, and Supply Chain for hundreds of brands globally.