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Wednesday April 8

AAIA Releases Online Internet Parts Ordering Standard

The Technology Standards Committee of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) has announced the general release of the Internet Parts Ordering (IPO) standard, version 2.0. IPO is an industry standard for the messages and information flow required to locate and order automotive product online.

Citing the advantages of open standards in connecting closed business systems, AAIA says IPO has the potential to transform the aftermarket supply chain. IPO makes use of Web service technologies to enable business partners to connect their disparate computer systems through accepted industry standards. This means value and benefits can be realized more quickly without the need to perform complex, time-consuming, error-prone, point-to-point integration. Open standards, such as IPO, avoid the disruption of legacy integration and deliver results at a much lower cost.

"This version of the Internet Parts Ordering standard is significant in three important ways," said Scott Luckett, vice president for technology standards, AAIA. "The volume of computer code that has to be exchanged in the course of a transaction has been reduced by more than 25 percent and the standard messages are composed completely with elements shared between the other AAIA standards such as ACES and PIES. Finally, IPO version 2.0 is the most thoroughly tested and documented specification ever published by the Technology Standards Committee. As a direct result, automotive IT development cycles will be shorter, re-use more standards-based code and deliver proven results."

Parts proliferation in the automotive industry is unrelenting and the slow-moving product in the tail end of the demand curve is growing. IPO is intended to allow aftermarket buyers to locate availability and complete special order transactions, online, between any business systems, in seconds. This has the potential to transform the aftermarket supply chain and convert slow-moving product from a liability into an industry asset.

The Internet Parts Ordering standard is fully documented with test code and schema compatible with all industry standard development tool sets. For more information, visit www.aftermarket.org and click on "Technology."

AAIA is a Bethesda, Maryland-based association whose more than 23,000 member and affiliates manufacture, distribute and sell motor vehicle parts, accessories, service, tool, equipment, materials and supplies. Through its membership, AAIA represents more than 100,000 repair shops, parts stores, and distribution outlets.

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