Reseller, access free product data from hundreds of brands.
Webinar | February 29, 2024 | Retailers: Learn How to Boost Sales With Great Product Content Without The Technical Or Manual Hassles

Best Practices for ACES and PIES Data Management 

Learn key strategies for managing ACES and PIES data in the automotive aftermarket industry, including the use of Product Information Management systems and tips for data accuracy and integrating ACES and PIES with your business systems.

Developing the finest automotive products is only part of the challenge for companies in the aftermarket.

On top of developing killer products, companies must take those products to market and connect with buyers worldwide across multiple channels. Product data management would be nearly impossible without a universal standard for aftermarket companies to utilize across these channels, which is why the Auto Care Association developed ACES and PIES in the early 2000s. The Auto Care Association boasts nearly 3,000 members and affiliates, representing about 150,000 entities in the motor vehicle parts, accessories, tools, equipment, materials, supplies, and services sector.

Those who’ve managed a product catalog know that managing ACES and PIES data can be a real challenge without a well-honed strategy and the right tools to control the vast swaths of data. 

Continue reading to discover best practices for managing and updating ACES and PIES Data so you can manage your catalog more effectively and ultimately drive more growth. Check out our ultimate guide to ACES and PIES for an even deeper-dive into the standards that drive aftermarket data.

ACES: Universally Accepted Fitment Data

Aftermarket Catalog Enhanced Standard (ACES) is a cornerstone standard in the North American automotive industry, focusing on the management and exchange of automotive fitment data.

ACES is a vital tool for manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in organizing vehicle fitment data across various platforms and systems.

The ACES data provides detailed guidelines for the format and exchange of extensive data on automotive parts and their suitable uses, covering details such as vehicle year, make, model, engine type, and corresponding parts information. Implementing ACES leads to accurate and uniform product data sharing, vital for enhancing supply chain effectiveness, minimizing part selection mistakes, and boosting customer satisfaction in this competitive market.

PIES: Details and More Details

While ACES addresses one aspect of data, the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) is another crucial component for standardizing and managing product data.

PIES includes critical elements such as:

  • Details like part numbers, descriptions, pricing, and technical specifications, including dimensions and weights, to ensure uniform product understanding across the supply chain.
  • Provision of images, diagrams, and other digital content, enhancing product identification and marketing approaches.
  • Crucial data on part interchangeability among various manufacturers, assisting in inventory diversification and optimization.
  • Crucial insights into part compatibility with specific vehicle models or equipment, improving product application accuracy and customer advice.
  • Includes specific packaging dimensions and weights, critical for logistics and cost planning.
  • Compliance details with industry regulations, ensuring legal standard adherence and minimizing liability risks.

In short, ACES ensures consumers find the appropriate product for their vehicles, while PIES adds the remaining details, making the product an attractive choice for buyers. 

Challenges in Managing ACES and PIES Data

Keeping ACES and PIES data up-to-date is an ongoing process that demands constant monitoring and updates, a task that can be resource-intensive and challenging to manage at scale.

Both ACES and PIES deal with managing a large volume of detailed data. This includes complex specifications of automotive parts, fitment information, and extensive product attributes. The immense quantity and complexity of this data make it a challenge to maintain its accuracy and consistency. Moreover, the automotive industry is constantly evolving, with new vehicle models, parts, and specifications emerging regularly.

Standardizing data across different systems and platforms presents its own set of challenges. It’s vital to ensure the data is of high quality, uniformly formatted, and compatible for accurate part fitment and effective product content distribution. This complexity increases when these data standards need to be integrated with systems such as ERP, inventory management, and e-commerce platforms.

These challenges require a seamless flow and usability of data across varied technological platforms and interfaces, adding complexity to the process. If these challenges are not addressed, the repercussions can range from product returns and negative reviews to severe consequences like being removed from a selling platform. Learn more about how to troubleshoot common issues in ACES and PIES management to avoid these issues.

Best Practices for Managing ACES and PIES Data

Now that we’ve covered the importance and challenges of managing aftermarket product data, let’s dig into some helpful best practices for building a successful product management strategy. 

Tools and Software Solutions

One of the most effective tools for managing ACES and PIES data is a Product Information Management (PIM) system. 

A Product Information Management (PIM) system is an integral solution for businesses managing ACES and PIES data, providing a centralized platform for streamlined data management and quality assurance. Its capacity to standardize data formats is essential for ensuring precision in vehicle part compatibility and comprehensive product information. 

The best PIM systems integrate effortlessly with existing enterprise resources such as ERP and e-commerce platforms, enhancing operational efficiency through seamless data interoperability. Furthermore, the PIM system’s support for multi-channel distribution empowers businesses to effectively disseminate complex ACES and PIES data across various commercial channels.

Put simply, if you manage ACES and PIES data, you need a quality PIM system. 

Tips For Maintaining Data Accuracy and Consistency

In managing large catalogs with many SKUs, maintaining accuracy is the primary challenge in managing ACES and PIES data.

To mitigate potential data accuracy issues, it’s crucial for businesses to adopt certain practices:

  • Conduct regular audits and periodic reviews of your data to ensure accuracy and completeness across all product lines.
  • Promptly rectify any fitment issues in your PIM system.
  • Employ validation tools that check your data against ACES and PIES standards, highlighting potential errors.
  • Ensure personnel managing data are well-versed in ACES and PIES specifications and comprehend the broader implications of poor data input.
  • Opt for a robust PIM system that minimizes the likelihood of user entry errors and offers transparency throughout your organization.

Integrating ACES and PIES with Business Systems

Another challenge of managing ACES and PIES data is transmitting this data internally and externally between business systems.

Product Information Management (PIM) systems integrate with existing business systems through several key methods, ensuring that information flows smoothly across various aspects of a business. This integration is crucial for maximizing efficiency and maintaining data consistency. 

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) connect with other business systems like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and e-commerce platforms. APIs allow for real-time data exchange, ensuring that changes in the PIM are immediately reflected across all connected systems.

PIM systems enhance operational flexibility by offering capabilities to import and export data in various formats like CSV, XML, and JSON, facilitating easy data movement between different business systems regardless of their native formats or standards. They also support standardized data formats such as ACES and PIES, ensuring compatibility and consistency in data sharing. 

Moreover, PIM systems extend their functionality beyond mere data exchange; they integrate at the workflow level, synchronizing processes like updating product information, publishing catalogs, and creating marketing materials, thus streamlining various business operations.

Manage a Single Source of Truth with PDM Automotive

In the competitive automotive aftermarket space, offering exceptional products is only half the battle; the real challenge lies in effectively managing and updating ACES and PIES data to ensure content accuracy.

As a comprehensive Product Information Management (PIM) system provider, PDM Automotive streamlines data management, ensuring precision in vehicle part compatibility and comprehensive product information. Our platform ensures precise vehicle part compatibility and captures extensive product information. It standardizes data formats, essential for maintaining consistency and accuracy in part fitment and product content distribution. Additionally, it seamlessly integrates with existing business systems like ERP and e-commerce platforms, improving overall efficiency. 

To help address data accuracy challenges, PDM Automotive conducts regular audits, rectifying fitment issues, and employing validation tools to align data with ACES and PIES standards. PDM Automotive minimizes user entry errors and provides organizational transparency.

PDM Automotive simplifies the intricate process of managing ACES and PIES data. Our platform ensures that businesses can maintain accuracy, consistency, and seamless integration with their internal and external business systems, positioning them for success in the automotive aftermarket industry.
Book a demo with our team to learn more.

Check out these other resources 

The Ultimate Guide to ACES and PIES 

How to Upload Fitment Data to Amazon 

How to Maximize Amazon Sales with Amazon A+ and A+ Premium Content 

More To Explore

ACES & PIES

ACES and PIES in 2024: The Ultimate Guide

If you want to do the impossible–make more money in less time within the automotive aftermarket industry–we have good news. It’s all about ACES and PIES.

ACES & PIES

How to Troubleshoot Common Issues in ACES and PIES Data Management

Get practical tips on managing ACES and PIES data in our guide. Learn how to spot and fix common mistakes like fitment errors or wrong product descriptions. This guide will show you simple ways to keep up with the best data management practices, helping you provide a better experience for your customers.

Make Content Your Competitive Advantage