THE ILLUMINATOR

VOLUME VII

Mobile Friendly MyCarParts
ALSO  IN  THIS  EDITION
INVALID  APPLICATIONS TO  KEEP  OR  NOT  TO  KEEP? PAGE  2 All  MyCarParts  online  catalogs  recently   received  a  free  enhancement  to  enrich  the   viewing  experience  on  mobile  devices.  The   updated  interface  includes  more  mobile   friendly  applicaEon  search  lisEngs,  as  well  as   a  reorganized  product  informaEon  page  to   beGer  present  your  products  on  the  smaller   mobile  screens. By  making  MyCarParts  more  mobile   friendly,  Illumaware  conEnues  to  support   the  delivery  of  your  catalog  directly  to  the   customer  and  installer.  PuKng  your   informaEon  directly  in  their  hands,  whether   in  the  garage  or  along  the  side  of  the  road,   generates  grass  root  support  for  your  brand   and  can  lead  to  a  purchase  decision  being   made  well  before  the  customer  arrives  at  a   store.  ALer  the  purchase,  leveraging  the   new  mobile  MyCarParts  interface  to  deliver   addiEonal  assets  such  as  installaEon   diagrams  and  warranty  informaEon  will   further  enhance  your  brand  loyalty  in  the   marketplace.

PRIORITIZE  HOLES WITH  VIO  INTEGRATION PAGE  3

DUPLICATE  ENGINES? PAGE  3

THE  ATTRIBUTES  ARE  COMING THE  ATTRIBUTES  ARE  COMING PAGE  4

This  enhancement  may  provide  a  great   opportunity  to  raise  awareness  about  your   online  catalog  with  a  new  press  release  or   through  social  media.  If  you  have  any   quesEons  about  how  to  include  addiEonal   product  informaEon  or  digital  assets  to   complete  your  online  presentaEon,  please   let  us  know  and  we  will  be  happy  to  help.

2012 Fall Leadership Days In San Francisco
The  AutomoEve  ALermarket  Industry  AssociaEon’s  Fall  Leadership  Days  conference  will  open  September  5th  in  San  Francisco,  CA.   The  conference  provides  an  opportunity  for  the  associaEon’s  staff  and  volunteer  leadership  to  assemble  and  discuss  industry   challenges  and  opportuniEes.  It  is  at  these  meeEngs  where  changes  are  proposed  and  approved  to  industry  standards  such  as   ACES  and  PIES. Brian  Williams  will  again  be  in  aGendance  represenEng  Illumaware,  helping  to  ensure  our  ability  to  meet  the  data  requirements  of   a  dynamic  industry.  If  you,  or  a  member  of  your  organizaEon  will  be  aGending  and  would  like  to  simply  meet  or  discuss  new   opportuniEes  we  may  assist  with,  please  contact  Brian  in  advance  of  the  conference  at  Brian.Williams@illumaware.com.

AUG  30,  2012

www.illumaware.com

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THE ILLUMINATOR

VOLUME VI

Invalid Applications – To Keep or Not To Keep?
A  common  area  of  discussion  regarding  the  ACES  standard  is  the  concept  of  an  invalid  vehicle  configuraEon,  and  just  how  much   value  they  have.  Defining  and  transmiKng  invalid  applicaEons  is  a  fully  supported  and  well  documented  funcEon  of  the  ACES  XML   standard,  but  it  is  important  to  understand  that  a  valid  “ACES”  pracEce  may  not  be  the  most  successful  business  pracEce  for  you. We’ve  all  been  there.  Looking  at  a  new  “Invalid  ApplicaEon”  wondering  what  changed  to  make  it  invalid  when  our  own  research   says  it  does  exist.  It  is  very  tempEng  to  simply  click  “Keep  Record  Without  ValidaEon”  and  move  on;  but  that  decision  shouldn’t  be   made  without  understanding  exactly  how  those  records  are  going  to  be  treated  by  all  parEes  from  that  point  forward. From  a  record  validaEon  standpoint  within  Evokat,  this  record  will  no  longer  be   reviewed  for  validity,  which  means  that  you  will  not  be  noEfied  if  anything  else   changes  in  the  configuraEon.  In  many  cases,  this  is  desirable,  but  it  can  also  lead  to   unknown  configuraEon  holes  by  not  keeping  up  to  date  with  minor  changes  made  to   the  AAIA  standard.  A  visual  review  of  your  applicaEon  definiEons  may  not  be  enough   to  highlight  where  differences  occur  and  that  can  lead  to  lost  sales,  especially  when   records  may  be  dropped  when  converEng  to  other  standards  such  as  Legacy. Including  these  records  in  an  ACES  XML  file  is  a  valid  pracEce  and  rather  straight   forward.  A  simple  “validate=no”  value  is  included  with  these  records,  telling  data   receivers  that  the  vehicle  being  communicated  cannot  be  validated  against  the  VCDB.   From  that  point,  it  is  up  to  the  data  receiver  to  define  if  and  how  they  are  going  to   handle  these  situaEons.  The  three  most  common  approaches  in  our  industry  today  are:   to  ignore  the  validate  value,  to  skip  non-­‐valid  records,  and  to  accept  them.   1)  The  “validate”  value  can  be  disregarded  and  the  records  processed  normally.  This  approach  can  delay  file  processing  as   validaEon  reports  balloon  in  size  and  highlight  the  records  that  were  already  defined  to  be  invalid. 2)  Receivers  can  ignore  these  records  enErely,  leading  to  coverage  differences  between  your  catalog  and  theirs.  Even  if  the  records   are  not  ignored  during  the  iniEal  processing,  a  search  tool  that  is  structured  around  the  VCDB  will  effecEvely  ignore  any  records   that  refer  to  an  invalid  configuraEon  meaning  that  potenEal  customers  may  not  be  presented  with  your  product  as  an  opEon. 3)  If  the  invalid  records  are  ingested  correctly,  and  if  the  catalog  interface  is  designed  to  allow  deviaEons  from  the  VCDB,  then  the   applicaEons  can  be  presented  to  the  customer.  Some  catalogs,  such  as  MyCarParts,  are  designed  to  handle  applicaEons  in  this   manner,  but  it  is  not  safe  to  assume  that  all  search  tools  are  designed  the  same  way. Keeping  an  invalid  configuraEon  does  have  its  place,  and  has  value  in  allowing  catalog  managers  to  author  applicaEons  in  advance   of  a  vehicle’s  inclusion  in  the  VCDB,  but  it  can  lead  to  a  false  sense  of  security  as  well.  Overuse  of  the  “Keep  Record  Without   ValidaEon”  funcEon  to  keep  your  “Analyze  My  Catalog”  scorecards  in  the  black  should  be  avoided.  Each  invalid  configuraEon   should  be  reviewed  and  researched  to  see  if  the  vehicle  was  simply  reclassified  in  the  VCDB,  or  if  the  original  definiEon  was  actually   incorrect.  Taking  the  proper  acEon  to  resolve  these  records  will  help  drive  sales,  increase  efficiency,  and  improve  relaEonships  with   trading  partners.

AUG  30,  2012

www.illumaware.com

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THE ILLUMINATOR

VOLUME VI

Prioritize Holes With VIO Integration
To  maximize  your  sales  opportuniEes  as  well  as  get  your   catalog  recognized  as  an  industry  leader,  it’s  criEcal  to  spend   Eme  analyzing  and  acEng  upon  your  coverage  holes.  The   coverage  holes  displayed  on  the  Analyze  My  Catalog   scorecard  are  an  effecEve  tool  to  ensure  the  broadest  market   coverage  possible  and  to  keep  up  with  changes  in  the  vehicle   standards. Evokat  presents  a  structured  analysis  of  your  applicaEon   coverage  against  the  VCDB  and  NAPA  Vehicle  tables  on  the   ‘Analyze  My  Catalog’  page.  Holes  are  broken  down  into  4   acEonable  levels  for  efficiency:  Makes,  Models,  Model  Years,   and  ConfiguraEons  without  coverage.  The  different  Eers  are   separated  to  make  it  easier  to  idenEfy  acEonable  holes  and   to  focus  on  vehicles  you  are  most  interested  in  serving. Even  with  this  Eered  approach,  the  holes  informaEon  can  be   overwhelming  and  it  can  be  a  challenge  to  determine  the   best  starEng  point.  That  is  where  integraEon  with  Vehicles  In   OperaEon  (VIO)  informaEon  comes  into  play.  If  you  subscribe   to  a  VIO  data  service,  such  as  Polk  or  Experian,  that   informaEon  can  be  linked  to  your  coverage  holes,  at  the   Make  and  Model  levels,  to  highlight  the  vehicles  that  should   be  given  top  priority.  Simply  provide  us  with  a  copy  of  the   VIO  informaEon  you  purchased  and  we  will  load  it  into  your   secured  database  for  use  in  reports. Not  all  coverage  holes  are  created  equal,  so  narrowing  your   focus  with  VIO  integraEon  will  help  to  maximize  your  sales   opportuniEes  in  the  shortest  Eme  possible. Polk  is  the  premier  provider  of  automoEve  market   intelligence.  If  you  are  interested  in  learning  more  about   ways  to  leverage  VIO  informaEon,  ask  us  for  a  demonstraEon   or  contact  ALermarket  PracEce   Leader  Mark  Seng  at   Mark_Seng@polk.com.

Duplicate Engines?
As  AAIA  has  conEnued  to  expand  the  coverage  of  the  VCDB   across  the  enEre  North  American  ALermarket,  through  the   inclusion  of  the  Canada  and  Mexico  regions,  new  data   challenges  have  presented  themselves  to  Catalog  Managers   in  the  form  of  “duplicate”  engines.   You  may  have  noEced  occasions  where  the  Evokat  mapping   screen  displays  two  idenEcal  engine  values  for  selecEon,  and   wondered  which  to  select.  In  fact,  they  only  appear  to  be   duplicates  but  they  are  not.  A  complete  engine  base  defines  a   bore  and  stroke  size,  among  other  values,  as  well  as  the  more   visible  values  such  as  liter  and  cylinder.  SomeEmes  these   aGributes  are  leL  undefined  which  prevents  them  from  being   recognized  as  idenEcal.  SomeEmes  the  values  are  off  by  as   liGle  as  1  millimeter  due  to  reporEng  differences  by  mulEple   sources. If  you  are  know  your  part  fits  a  5.4L  engine  and  are  presented   with  mulEple  values,  then  you  should  select  both  engines   even  though  they  appear  to  be  duplicates.  That  is  the  best   way  to  ensure  that  the  coverage  you  want  is  defined. We  will  conEnue  to  monitor  all  changes  made  to  the  VCDB   and  to  pursue  ways  to  clarify  these  situaEons  when  possible.   If  you  have  quesEons,  concerns,  or  thoughts  on  this  point,   please  contact  us  at  any  Eme.

AUG  30,  2012

www.illumaware.com

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THE ILLUMINATOR

VOLUME VI

The Attributes Are Coming! The Attributes Are Coming!
Members  acEve  in  the  AAIA  community  are  already  aware  of   a  pending  extension  of  the  PCDB,  called  the  Product  AGribute   Database  or  the  PADB.  The  design  of  this  addiEon  has  been   under  review  for  months  and  will  likely  be  raEfied  during  the   Fall  Leadership  Days  conference  in  early  September.  Use  of   the  new  PADB  is  opEonal.  However,  an  understanding  of  its   purpose  if  your  trading  partners  have  plans  to  require  it  is   important  for  future  planning. The  PADB  is  the  result  of  a  long  overdue  and  very  challenging   effort  to  standardize  product  aGribute  informaEon  across  the   industry.  Several  teams  of  Subject  MaGer  Experts  (SMEs)   have  reviewed  aGributes  used  by  manufacturers  and   suppliers  to  determine  a  set  of  common  aGribute  definiEons   by  part  type.  The  goal  is  to  both  ensure  consistent   communicaEon  of  criEcal  product  informaEon,  as  well  as  to   simplify  the  data  authoring  process.  If  leveraged  properly,   potenEal  customers  will  not  leave  confused  as  to  whether   “color”  and  “finish”  actually  refer  to  the  same  thing,  and   suppliers  will  not  have  to  author  custom  aGributes  to  fit  the   preferences  of  specific  trading  partners.   An  addiEonal  result  of  the  PADB  projects  is  the  creaEon  of   new  “PIES  Only”  and  “ACES  Only”  AAIA  Part  Types.  The  SMEs   idenEfied  several  categories  where  the  level  of  specificity   needed  to  describe  the  product  was  far  less  than  what  is   needed  to  define  its  mulEple  uses  on  a  vehicle.  For  example,   a  bearing  may  have  dozens  of  specific  placements  on  a   vehicle,  but  from  a  product  classificaEon  standpoint,  simply   calling  it  a  “bearing”  is  sufficient.  These  new  PIES  and  ACES   Only  part  types  will  be  introduced  to  the  standard  gradually,   and  should  be  incorporated  into  your  future  catalog   authoring  plans.  Evokat  has  already  been  updated  to  handle   this  new  level  of  Part  Type  assignment,  as  a  primary  “Part   Type”  value  can  be  assigned  on  the  Product  Detail  >  Basic   page  in  addiEon  to  the  mulEple  part  types  that  can  be   assigned  via  product  descripEons.  Once  the  new  “PIES  Only”   part  types  are  released,  they  will  be  available  for  assignment   on  these  pages.     The  true  effecEveness  of  this  iniEaEve  will  not  be  known  for   several  months,  unEl  both  retailers  and  suppliers  have  an   opportunity  to  incorporate  and  author  these  values.  If  either   side  does  not  embrace  the  expansion  then  the  effort  will   have  liGle  value,  but  if  it  is  fully  accepted  by  all  parEes,   retailers  will  be  able  to  build  effecEve  comparison  driven   shopping  carts  and  suppliers  may  find  new  ways  to   communicate  their  products  selling  points.  Within  Evokat,   our  strategy  is  to  conEnue  to  provide  catalog  managers  with   the  freedom  to  define  product  aGributes  to  fit  your  custom   branding  goals,  while  establishing  a  link  between  your   aGribute  names  and  the  new  official  industry  terminology.

Contact Information Bruce Speicher
Managing Partner

800.880.4964 Adrian Klingel
Founder and CTO

Ralph Bowen

Evokat Subscription Sales

Brenda Heinitz

Director of Cataloging

Brian Williams

Director of Operations

Richelle Powell

Director of Finance

AUG  30,  2012

www.illumaware.com

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