Establishing your business as a top-tier automotive parts supplier is a tall order, especially when a company is just starting out. Water pump startup NovaPacific had everything in place to make sure it developed high-quality auto parts.
To help customers find the correct part for their application and provide ACES files to support customers and eCat providers, NovaPacific turned to Vertical Development. With the ShowMeTheParts database system, NovaPacific could get accurate information to customers while still being able to add to its growing portfolio of parts.
Read the full article from Vertical Development’s President, Jay Wright on SearchAutoParts.com Aftermarket Business World and see how Vertical Development and ShowMeTheParts helped NovaPacific get its parts information out to thousands of buyers.
ShowMeTheParts may get the most attention due to its position as the largest public parts database in the world, but that doesn’t mean we’ve left our other products behind. Our entire system from paper to e-catalog publishing is constantly being updated and expanded to meet the needs of our customers. We’ve decided to run this new blog series to show you some of the new features we’ve been working on.
Classic Vertical Development Feature
If you’ve worked around parts catalogs, you’re familiar with the Vehicle Configuration Database (VCdb.) This relational database is used in ACES to handle vehicle information including the year, make, model, trim and other attributes to correctly identify applications. Since the beginning, our catalog system has been set up to allow our clients to add their own entries, letting them expand the scope of VCdb well past standard vehicles.
We may be famous today for our massive ShowMeTheParts database, but Vertical Development has been a leader in aftermarket parts catalog publishing for over 30 years, developing mapping and publishing software to fit the needs of a wide range of clients. In this series, we want to highlight some new features we’re bringing to our catalog system. This time, we’re taking a look at alternative part numbers.
There are a lot of variations of parts out there. For brake pads, a company might offer standard, heavy duty and high performance pads. A suspension company may offer rubber and polyurethane versions of a bushing, standard and heavy duty springs, and a variety of shock and strut options built to fit different ride characteristics. Shopped for an oil filter lately? Those come in different ranges, too, offering different levels of filtration to fit a variety of oil change intervals. This range of options means each application may have several compatible variants.
Vertical Development’s ShowMeTheParts database can show your customers which parts will fit their vehicle, what those parts look like and what their design characteristics are. That just leaves one thing they can’t find: inventory. With the near real time inventory system, your customers can see how many of an item you have in stock alongside all the other information that helps them find what they need for their vehicle. We recently added this feature to AP Exhaust’s catalog to take some of the work out creating a parts order.
This system is automated, so when a part is ordered, it’s subtracted from the inventory automatically. These inventory changes are pushed to the website every hour, which is far faster than the days it can take to get information into a system by manually filing and checking orders against the inventory. Automating this process also eliminates errors made when transferring stock information to the system, so the inventory is always accurate.
For buyers ordering from a distributor or wholesaler, that means they don’t have to call ahead to make sure the parts they want are still available. AP Exhaust added real time reporting to their site at the request of their customers. Their distributors already use SMTP to find the parts they want to order, so it seemed logical to display the inventory alongside the parts information. This doesn’t just shorten the time it takes to make an order, it makes it easy for these customers to choose alternative products if the part they want isn’t currently available.
When SOMS Technologies wanted to create an online catalog for its line of microGreen Extended Performance Filters, its team turned to Vertical Development for help. Using the API from our ShowMeTheParts (SMTP) database, together we created a searchable catalog that integrates seamlessly into microGreenFilter.com.
microGreen filters are designed to help fleet managers and consumers reduce maintenance costs by providing higher filtration performance in a package that’s a drop-in replacement for conventional filters. This extends oil life, decreasing oil change intervals for material and labor costs over an engine’s life. microGreen filters are designed for a wide range of equipment from small engines to larger gas and diesel engines.
To help make the transition from conventional to microGreen filters as simple as possible, SOMS Technologies worked with us to develop a catalog based around the ShowMeTheParts database. This catalog allows customers to find compatible microGreen filters using either vehicle information or parts numbers. Using our APIs, SOMS Technologies was able to seamlessly integrate the catalog into their own website, giving customers access to parts information from computers and mobile devices.
How Vertical Development Helped AVM Industries Build a Self-Sustaining Digital Catalog
If you are interested in creating a catalog that meets industry standards, but you don’t have the staff or expertise to do it in-house, then we should talk! Vertical Development offers a Do It For Me (DIFM) service to organize your parts data so that it can easily be published and sent to resellers or used directly by consumers. For AVM Industries, Vertical Development’s services helped the company reach new customers by creating, hosting and updating a PIES and ACES compliant catalog.
AVM Industries is the industry leader in gas springs, and its vacuum actuators, dampers and associated hardware are used in a wide range of automobiles and industrial equipment. Chances are, if you own a GM, Honda, or Toyota, the springs supporting the hood were manufactured by AVM. Despite having such a long reach in this niche segment of automotive manufacturing, initially, AVM didn’t have the staff to support a separate catalog department. When the company went looking for a partner to help manage its parts database, Vertical Development came highly recommended by customers and data management experts.
“We took AVM’s existing parts data and mapped it to a new catalog meeting PIES and ACES standards. Once the catalog was complete, we worked together with AVM to update the catalogs each month with new application information and each quarter with new part numbers,” explained Jay Wright, president of Vertical Development. “We did more than build the catalog, we managed and hosted AVM’s catalog data, sending PIES-compliant XML files and ACES-compliant catalogs to the users of AVM’s products ranging from first party manufacturers to aftermarket retailers.”
Together, Vertical Development and AVM were able to address issues brought up by clients while making sure information was up-to-date, ensuring an easy ordering process all around.
What if you want to create a catalog yourself?
Vertical Development helped AVM with a Do It Yourself (DIY) solution, too. After five years of DIFM service, AVM had grown its staff enough to bring the catalog system in-house. Vertical Development helped train the new staff on the same tools that were originally used to build the company’s catalog. That means, AVM can now provide the same service to its customers going DIY as it did with DIFM – and with no noticeable transition for the end users.
Today, AVM goes beyond catalog publishing by making its information available through the publicly-accessible ShowMeTheParts database. The modular nature of the software made this new feature easy to add on by using already existing catalog information. Now customers can look up parts directly either on AVM’s website or on the ShowMeTheParts website.
“Vertical Development has been a very supportive partner and I would recommend them to others that would want to use the services they offer,” shared Rodney Morrison, director of the Aftermarket Products Division for AVM Industries.
Let Vertical Development Help You Get Started
No matter how big or small your business may be, Vertical Development can help you create a digital catalog system that is easy to manage and adheres to the industry standard formats demanded by your customers. You can use our tools to create your catalog in-house, have us convert your current data for you, or we can manage cataloging entirely with our DIFM services. And just like AVM, if you’re looking to do your own cataloging down the road, then we can get you started with our DIFM services, and help you transition to DIY management when you’re ready.