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Understanding the PIES Interchange Segment

What is the PIES Interchange Segment?

ACES (Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard) and PIES (Product Information Exchange Standard) are standards for exchanging product data in the automotive aftermarket. 

While ACES focuses on vehicle configuration data, PIES categorizes auto parts based on product attributes. In this article, we will delve into the details of the PIES standard, with a specific focus on its Interchange segment.

A Quick Overview of ACES and PIES


ACES, or Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard, serves as the automotive aftermarket industry’s established protocol for the management and exchange of automotive catalog application data. This standard enables aftermarket manufacturers to transmit and receive parts data using universally recognized vehicle application attributes such as year, make, model, and other unique identifiers. 


While ACES focuses on vehicle compatibility, PIES, or Product Information Exchange Standard, is a standardized format that contains information relating to a part, including measurements, price, dimensions, etc.
The Auto Car Association developed PIES for a smoother data flow between manufacturers, distributors, and resellers. This data format serves as a common language that ensures everyone has the exact product details, attributes, and specifications on each part they offer.

The Segments of PIES

PIES is a structured set of data fields containing all of a product’s details, similar to a well-organized database. Structuring critical attributes of a product, such as titles, descriptions, pricing, and features, allows resellers to sell parts quickly and customers to find parts more easily. 
The segments of PIES include the price sheet segment, marketing copy segment, and the items segment. The Items Segment is the core component of a PIES file. Within the Item Segment, there are several subsegments, each includes even more details about the part. One of these subsegments is known as the Interchange Segment. 

Maximizing Product Visibility and Competitiveness with PIES Interchange Segment

We consider that PIES, the Interchange Segment plays a critical function, not only in relaying interchange data for the item Part Number in relation to alternative Brand Owner Part Numbers but also in enhancing product visibility and competitiveness. 

The <PartInterchangeInfo> grouping element clearly defines this segment. Within this grouping, the <PartInterchange> element houses child elements that collectively define an interchange. For each component, the <PartNumber> element instance is repeated as necessary to identify all relevant parts.

The interchange supplier distinguishes each interchange part number using both the part number itself and a corresponding “Brand AAIAID.” You can cross-reference this identifier in the widely recognized Industry Brand table.

In cases where a brand code value is missing from the Industry Brand Code table, temporarily use “ZZZN” until establishing a “Brand AAIAID” for the specific brand. If this happens, it’s advisable to populate the “Brand Label” value for clarity. However, it’s crucial to note that depending on “ZZZN” and a “Brand label” should be a last resort, not standard practice, as the Brand table undergoes frequent updates.

Cross-Referencing and Consumer Discovery

The value of the interchange segment extends to enabling brands to reference their products in connection with competing brands. This allows consumers to find their products even when they search for a competitor’s part number. The interchange segment is used to cross-reference to Original Equipment (OE) part numbers. 

Referencing a brand’s product with the correct OE part number through interchange information ensures consumers searching for OE parts discover it, as OE parts are often pricier than aftermarket alternatives.

Benefits of PDM Automotive

Our mission is to empower automotive aftermarket companies to increase sales across all distribution channels, minimize return rates, and boost profit margins by delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Our innovative platform addresses a wide array of challenges and reduces operational expenses associated with creating, administering, and monetizing parts content. It enables streamlined catalog content management, product listings, inventory, pricing, and orders across digital channels, encompassing significant marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.

Efficiency – PDM Automotive streamlines data management processes by utilizing the PIES interchange segment. This saves time and reduces errors in product listings and cataloging.

Accuracy – Standardization ensures that your product information is consistent across all platforms, reducing confusion and boosting customer trust.

Compliance – PDM Automotive helps you stay compliant with industry standards and regulations. This is particularly important in the automotive aftermarket, where precise data is essential.

Competitive Edge – Well-structured, standardized product data sets you apart from competitors. It allows for quicker decision-making and faster product launches.

Customer Satisfaction – With accurate and detailed product information, customers can make informed choices, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty.

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