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Wednesday August 27

AAIA Reports Data Errors Cost Aftermarket Supply Chain $1.7 Billion Annually

Data errors on basic product information cost $1.7 billion annually for aftermarket suppliers and distributors, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) Electronic Commerce Committee reported at the Aftermarket eForum in Chicago. The primary finding is a result of the committee's product information case study.

Scott Luckett, AAIA's vice president of information technology announced the findings during a presentation at the eForum.

"The study makes a strong case for industry wide implementation of the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES)," Luckett said. "We're pleased that decision makers in the industry will finally have the quantifiable evidence they need to make informed decisions about investing in item data cleansing and synchronization."

The study demonstrated that there is a wide degree of variance between the trading partners' item data, causing significant financial and supply-chain problems in the industry. According to data submitted for comparison in the study, 51 percent of the items submitted by manufacturers had no recognizable equivalent in their trading partner's submitted files.

"No aftermarket retailer or distributor would consider opening the doors for business without a full and complete electronic catalog application database," said Ed Heon, founder and CTO of Profile Systems, who assisted with the study. "Yet it is common to open for business with absolutely no electronic product information on hand for over 50 percent of the SKUs available from your suppliers."

The study included six pairs of trading partners and involved product lines that each pair had in common. The trading partners' data was matched on part number, UPC code, reseller pricing, product descriptions, unit of measure and minimum order quantity. Leading manufacturers and their resellers participated in the study, including Dana Automotive Brake Parts and Clevite Engine Parts, Delphi, Federal-Mogul, Gates Corporation, Global Accessories, Advance Auto Parts, CARQUEST, CSK, NAPA, O'Reilly and Reliable.

Based in West Springfield, Massachusetts, Profile Systems is a privately held developer of product data and supply chain management solutions for business-to-business electronic commerce.

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) is a Bethesda, Md.-based association. The organization is comprised of manufacturers, distributors, jobbers, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers' representatives and other companies doing business in the automotive aftermarket. AAIA formerly served the aftermarket as APAA and ASIA.

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