Vertical Development Earns Mighty Distributing’s Excellence in Service and Support Award

vertical development receives mighty distributing award

Vertical Development earned Mighty Distributing’s “Excellence in Service and Support Award” for helping them provide better parts information to their franchisees and customers. This award represents efforts made through a partnership spanning over 15 years as Vertical Development has helped Mighty deliver unparalleled support for their franchisees and customers. ShowMeTheParts provides Mighty with multiple solutions to deliver detailed parts information to their customers.

When Mighty Distributing System of America needed help, they turned to Vertical Development to manage their catalog system. As Mighty has developed their business, Vertical Development has been with them each step of the way, helping them transition to the digital age and build their support network. To recognize this exemplary service, Mighty gave Vertical Development their 2016-2017 Excellence in Service Award.

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What Do Self-Driving Fleets Mean for the Future of Aftermarket Parts?

driven by technology

Self-Driving cars are getting a lot of press, whether it’s Google cars roaming the streets, GM’s purchase of Cruise Automation, or Uber’s plan to put a fleet of self-driving Ford Fusions to work carrying passengers around Pittsburgh. How will this shift to self-driving vehicles affect parts management for fleets when their use becomes widespread?

What makes a self-driving car or truck different from a regular vehicle? To make a car self-driving, a system is added that uses a series of sensors to make judgments about driving conditions and react accordingly. A lot of the interface is already in the modern vehicle with systems like throttle-by-wire, adaptive cruise control and the steer-by-wire system recently introduced in some Infinitis. In other words, from a purely functional perspective, this just adds another small set of electronics to today’s electronically complicated systems.

In practice, there should be a major difference in how and when parts fail. Replacing human drivers with electronics means a consistent driving style across the fleet, and that should lead to fairly consistent wear patterns. Parts like brake pads and suspension components may wear with such consistency that they can be put on a maintenance schedule just like oil and filter changes.

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microGreen Filters Launches New Searchable Catalog Powered by ShowMeTheParts

microgreen catalog

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.

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ShowMeTheParts Gets Server Upgrades

speed and stability

ShowMeTheParts.com started out as a stock 2006 Ford Mustang. Over the past ten years, we’ve made many improvements. One year, we swapped out that V6 for the V8 and added a hood scoop. Another year we threw on 19” rims and gave her a nice paint job. These improvements attracted more and more customers over the years; growing our client list and our database. However, expansion and innovation hasn’t come without a few growing pains.

Through the years, we’ve dealt with browser incompatibilities, database downtime, changing Apple and Android requirements — you name it, we’ve seen it. No matter the problem, we always worked hard to tackle them head on and remedy them as fast as possible. More importantly, we’ve learned from each problem we’ve faced.

It’s the knowledge of our past that drove us to our greatest upgrades to date.

The upgrades began with a new server infrastructure that is faster, more reliable, and easily scalable to keep up with demand. The new system has real-time monitoring; it tells us immediately if a server goes off-line so we can work on getting it back up and running as soon as possible. In an effort to be more transparent and accountable for our service reliability, we plan on releasing monthly uptime reports in the near future.

On the software side, we’ve upgraded our applications to use the latest web technology and allow for centralized roll outs. With new versions of browsers coming out almost daily, our team is constantly testing our software to make sure it works perfectly on all major platforms and browsers. By switching to a centralized release system, we can push changes to our customers immediately, so everyone using our products will always have the latest features. That means reliable results across the more than one million application lookups per month — no matter how end users are accessing the database.

To put it in car language, most novices are only concerned about making the engine fast. But if they don’t put the same time and money into the brakes, steering and suspension, they will have a car that is fast but unstable. Just like with the Internet, fast but unstable is likely to cause a crash. Our recent upgrades give you both speed and stability.

The added performance gives us room to grow, and we’re still able to roll out new product information in a matter of days ensuring that the information you and your customers use is always up-to-date. Simply put, ShowMeTheParts works even better now and will continue to work as we further expand our software’s capabilities.

Get the fastest, most reliable database in the aftermarket industry, contact Vertical Development today. Call us at (847) 609-9540 or email sales@verticaldev.com.

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Aftermarket Supplier Husky Spring Creatively Moves into e-Commerce with ShowMeTheParts

husky spring website

Recently, we shared a story with Aftermarket Business World’s Technology section about how Husky Spring, an aftermarket supplier of springs and suspension parts, used ShowMeTheParts to develop an online catalog and strong e-commerce presence.

It’s a fascinating story because like many companies, Husky Spring’s shift toward online access started with customer requests and the drive to fulfill those requests effectively and inexpensively. As we’ve shared in previous articles, the growth of online catalogs and sales in the Aftermarket industry has been tremendous in the last few years. However, many niche suppliers find that the wide-market tech solutions are simply cost prohibitive, which is what makes ShowMeTheParts, along with our partners at Fuse5 and Weblink, a viable option for so many.

Read the full story about how we worked with Husky Spring to create a thriving e-commerce presence.

Ready to get started on your e-commerce site? Call us at (847) 609-9540 or email sales@verticaldev.com.

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ShowMeTheParts Helps to Simplify Your E-Commerce Strategy

Online sales of aftermarket parts for 2015 were estimated at $6 billion, 17% more than 2014.

Online sales of aftermarket parts for 2015 were estimated at $6 billion, 17% more than 2014.

At the turn of the century, everyone was excited about e-tailing. Put any sort of store on the Internet, no matter how questionable the profitability might be, and investors would throw money at the idea.

Eventually, cooler heads prevailed, and the dot com bubble burst, but the Internet didn’t go away. More people got online, software and hardware improved, and the promise of online sales have become a reality. While the first e-commerce boom was accessed via modems connected to land lines, today customers can connect to high speed Internet from computers, tablets or smartphones. Meanwhile, tools like HTML5 and JavaScript have transformed static web pages into something that can act like a stand-alone application. This combination of improved tools and accessibility has resulted in an explosion of online sales, and the aftermarket parts industry is no exception.

How important is e-commerce to aftermarket sales?

Online sales of aftermarket parts for 2015 were estimated at $6 billion, 17% more than 2014. This growth rate is expected to continue with an increase of $1 billion or more each year for the foreseeable future. This isn’t a sales channel dominated by newcomers, either: 19 of the top 50 online aftermarket parts sellers today began before the Internet, either as catalog sellers or brick and mortar parts chains. If your business isn’t online, you’ll be missing a lot of potential sales over the coming years.

How do you give your current parts business an online presence?

ShowMeTheParts ProductVertical Development was around before the Internet reached consumers, and we’ve been there every step of the way since, actively developing tools that join catalog technology with online accessibility. Our software includes a set of modules, making it easy to connect your standard paper catalog to our own ShowMeTheParts online database.

e-Tailing opens the door to providing more information than is practical with a paper catalog, but it also means customers won’t be able to see the part until it’s delivered. Our software is built to help bridge the gap, bringing customers the information they need to make purchase decisions. Our software supports the Auto Care Association’s Product Attribute Database (PAdb), providing customers with standardized information about part attributes including materials, colors and applications. Along with PAdb, the ShowMeTheParts database can also include technical documents, photos, and 360-degree views of parts, while VIN and license-based search tools help customers correctly identify their vehicle so search results will only show parts that will work with their car. That means, customers know exactly what they’re buying, and sellers don’t have to deal with as many returns.

Since there’s no publishing date on an online database, new information can be added as soon as it becomes available. With ShowMeTheParts, this data can be pushed to sellers and customers in days instead of weeks or months. If you’re a seller, chances are the parts you sell are already in our database: ShowMeTheParts already covers 4.5 million parts and 8.5 million interchanges from over 300 manufacturers, making it the largest public parts database on the market. We can help you create a ShowMeTheParts-based site that is limited to the parts that you carry while allowing you to add specific information like pricing and availability.

search-engine-friendly app

Designed to be easy to use on small touchscreens, while still offering all of our powerful search tools

The Internet is more accessible than ever thanks to smartphones, and we’ve built ShowMeTheParts to work with them, too. It offers a separate interface that’s designed to be easy to use on small touchscreens, while still offering all of our powerful search tools. We can also deliver this experience as an app for iOS and Android to cover the majority of devices, as well as a mobile-friendly web page that can be used by any device without requiring a download.

If you’ve been thinking about making the jump into e-commerce, now is the time. Sales have never been better, and Vertical Development can make the transition to online sales and cataloging easy with our pre-built tools and database.

Ready to partner with us to take your product sales online? Give us a call at 847.609.9540 or email sales@verticaldev.com.

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KYB Mobile App Adds New License Plate Lookup Feature Powered by ShowMeTheParts

kyb mobile appKYB Americas Corporation, an industry leading supplier of shocks and struts, recently partnered with Vertical Development, Inc. to add an all-new license plate lookup feature to its mobile app. The KYB app, available for both iPhone and Android devices, makes it easy for aftermarket professionals to find the correct shocks and struts among more than 3,300 items in the KYB catalog. With this added feature, the KYB app can now zero in on the proper parts using a vehicle’s license plate number.

KYB’s mobile app integrates the regular updates from ShowMeTheParts, along with the accuracy of license plate lookups to ensure that shops feel confident about installing the correct shocks and struts for a job.

“KYB is delighted to share the new license plate lookup functionality through our mobile app and online catalog, both powered by Vertical Development’s ShowMeTheParts. We upgraded our KYB cataloging with this new license plate lookup feature to help the service provider reduce the time it takes to look up parts and avoid mistakes,” shared Tim Oldiges, product manager for KYB Americas Corporation.

KYB turned to ShowMeTheParts because it is the most up-to-date public parts catalog available – with information on over 300+ suppliers and manufacturers of aftermarket replacement parts. With lighting fast turnaround time, users can be assured the information is the most current available and published in the way the supplier intends it.

Each year, KYB publishes an extensive catalog with meticulous details on its product lines. With the ShowMeTheParts integration, KYB adds entries as soon as products are released, and users always have the most recent information when searching for shocks and struts using the KYB mobile app.

For corporate sales departments, we’ve improved our already robust mobile solution so that field sales teams are able to show their products in a most-efficient manner.

To put ShowMeTheParts software to work for your brand or company, call us at (847) 609-9540 or email sales@verticaldev.com.

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Exide Technologies Implements ShowMeTheParts to Launch New Mobile-Friendly Battery Lookup for Mid-States Distributing Company

durastart

Covering 1.7 million parts with 4.4 million attributes and 8.7 million interchanges, ShowMeTheParts is the largest public parts database on the market. However, this database can also be pared down to fit specific needs without losing the depth of its content. For Exide Technologies, that means using ShowMeTheParts to help its retail partners find the right batteries for their customers, no matter the application.

As one of the world’s largest producers of batteries, Exide supplies products for private label brands as well as its own. By working with aftermarket tech leader Vertical Development, the company was able to utilize ShowMeTheParts for access to data on both types of product lines, creating a turn-key solution for retailers adding batteries to their stores.

More importantly, by using a digital format for delivering product data, Exide is able to provide retailers and customers with more information than is possible with a print catalog and ensure that the information is always up-to-date. It’s also easier to access, allowing anyone with a computer or mobile device to access the catalog.

Mid-States Distributing Company
, known as The Heart and Soul of Farm, Ranch and Home, is a 62-year-old cooperative comprised of 43 independent, farm, ranch and home retailers across the U.S. and Canada. Retail stores carry products ranging from pet supplies, power equipment, agricultural and automotive equipment and supplies, sporting goods, clothing and footwear to honey bees — a tremendous amount of variety. Having such a wide range of products means that customers could be looking for batteries to fit anything from marine products to tractors. A print catalog covering all the models and interchanges would be enormous, and with constant model changes, portions of it would always be out of date. That’s why Exide chose to go with ShowMeTheParts when creating a virtual catalog and mobile-friendly battery lookup site.

Mid-States partnered with Exide for their Durastart label, as well as some Exide branded products. Together, Exide and Vertical Development have created a mobile-friendly website at DurastartBatteries.com, so stores and customers alike can get parts information as soon as they start keeping stock.

“Implementing the ShowMeTheParts web catalog in both the desktop and mobile platform provides Exide customers like Mid-States with up-to-date application information for all the segments they serve, while covering the wide range of years their customers need. That is just not practical in a print format,” shared Lee Wilson, product information manager at Exide Technologies.

“Exide’s retail partners and consumers enjoy the convenience of having this data readily available and easy to access giving them the ability to search for their application and product information needs from any computer or mobile device,” he concluded.

With Exide adding information with each product release, the stores selling these batteries will always have the latest information right at their fingertips, and it’s still as accessible as any other ShowMeTheParts website or mobile app.

What if a store doesn’t have a specific battery in stock? By including dimensions and other specifications in the database, customers have the information they need to ensure they’re getting a perfect match even when they can’t compare old and new batteries side by side.

Ready to partner with Vertical Development to deliver your products more quickly and seamlessly to customers? Give us a call at 847.609.9540 or email sales@verticaldev.com.

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AP Exhaust Launches New Mobile App Powered by ShowMeTheParts

new ap app

App Includes VIN and License Plate Lookup for Catalytic Converters

Recently, Vertical Development launched a collaboration with AP Exhaust Technologies, Inc. to power its new mobile app. The new AP Exhaust app, available for both iPhone and Android devices, makes it easy to find the correct part for one of the most strictly regulated pieces on cars today — catalytic converters. The AP Exhaust app zeros-in on the proper converter using information from the VIN, either by scanning a barcode or by entering the vehicle’s license plate number.

AP’s mobile app couples regular updates from the ShowMeTheParts database with the accuracy of VIN and license plate lookups to allow shops to feel confident that they are installing the correct converter.

“AP Exhaust is thrilled to announce the launch of our new mobile app, powered by Vertical Development’s ShowMeTheParts. Mechanics will find the license plate lookup feature most useful, since they will know the correct replacement parts for a vehicle upon the customer’s arrival or even when taking an appointment over the phone,” shared Gary Nix, director of marketing for AP Exhaust Technologies.

“Utilizing the ShowMeTheParts database and search functionality, the AP Exhaust app matches a license plate number with the correct VIN. The result is a list of compatible parts from all of AP’s lines, from ANSA and AP stock solutions to XLERATOR® and Silverline™ performance exhausts,” he concluded.

ShowMeTheParts is the most up-to-date public parts catalog available – with information on over 300+ suppliers and manufacturers of Aftermarket replacement parts. With lighting fast turnaround time, users can be assured the information is the most current available and published in the way the supplier intended it.

AP Exhaust adds items and interchanges to its lines regularly and releases a series of bulletins every month or two. With a traditional catalog, that would mean mechanics and parts professionals would need to cross-reference dozens of bulletins with the yearly paper catalog to find a match. With the ShowMeTheParts mobile integration, AP can add entries as soon as products are released, so users will always have up-to-date information when looking up catalytic converters using the new AP mobile app.

Vertical Development strives to be on the cutting edge of technology. We believe that utilizing the newest tech enables us to accomplish our mission of breaking down any roadblocks that exist between our users and the most current, correct data in the Aftermarket.

Ready to partner with Vertical Development to deliver your products to customers via mobile app? Give us a call at 847.609.9540 or email sales@verticaldev.com.

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Fewer Mistakes + Fewer Returns with the New License Plate Lookup Feature on ShowMeTheParts

smtp license plate

Sometimes, the biggest obstacle when finding the right part is correctly identifying the vehicle it’s being used on. A VIN has all the information you need to identify a vehicle’s construction from the manufacturer to the engine, making it easy to narrow down parts to those that will fit correctly. Unfortunately, it’s also 17 digits long and is placed in locations that make it hard to read.

There’s a better chance that the customer will know the vehicle’s make, model, year and engine, but some options may be hard to identify: sometimes there will be multiple automatic or manual transmissions, engines with identical displacements but differing internal components, and even multiple final gear options. This gets even more complicated when automakers make running changes which can mean two vehicles from the same year won’t use the same parts.

Now there’s an easy way to correctly identify a vehicle: the license plate. It’s easy to remember, easy to find, and can provide as much information as the VIN. That means fewer errors and fewer returns on incorrect parts. Vertical Development has added this feature to the ShowMeTheParts database, making its exhaustive list of parts even more useful.

Information about vehicles including the license number, VIN and title information is part of the public record. Normally, this data is used by dealerships to correctly identify parts, or in recall campaigns to assure the correct vehicle is identified every time, but Vertical Development can now gather this information and use it to help techs searching for parts in the ShowMeTheParts database.

Parts companies can add their brands and product lines to the ShowMeTheParts.com database, where end users will have instant access to find them via the new license plate look up feature. In addition, companies using ShowMeTheParts to power their own online catalogs or mobile apps can now take advantage of this new exciting feature.

To take a tour of the new license plate lookup feature and discuss how it can help your brand or company, please give us a call (847) 609-9540.

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