The Auto Care Association hosted technology standards conferences in El Salvador on March 19 and Guatemala on March 21 in a series of technical missions to key Latin American countries as part of an export promotion award the association received from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The conferences, attended by top local auto care industry executives and government officials, focused on the processes around standards development and maintenance. Topics covered included detailed adoption methodologies for existing standards, ACES (Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard) and PIES (Product Information Exchange Standard).
The conferences were co-organized by the U.S. Commercial Service Office with the U.S. Embassies in El Salvador and Guatemala. A delegation comprised of Auto Care Association staff and Evaristo Garcia of Integrate Data Facts, a strategic partner to the association on various standards initiatives, attended and presented at the conferences. The delegation also spent two days meeting with key industry stakeholders to identify strategic partners for the development and implementation of standards for these markets.
“We are very excited to replicate the Auto Care Association’s standards in our region in order to enhance the development of our aftermarket product lines,” said Ricardo Moreno-Carrera, aftermarket regional manager of Excel Automotriz. “We have the responsibility to the industry to offer a better service to our customers. We look forward and confirm our support in the development of this tool in Central America to bring our industry together.”
Excel Automotriz has a large aftermarket presence in Central America, with stores and distribution centers in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama.
ACES makes compiling an electronic catalog with high-quality, consistent content about thousands of product lines possible and efficient. Using ACES, suppliers can describe vehicle configuration with valid database values. Suppliers can define product terminology with a database of product names, all in a computer-readable format for the exchange of this information from supplier to receiver.
PIES defines the rules of managing elements of product information, product images and product attributes. PIES defines the format of the information and the valid values. With PIES, customers and those in the distribution chain will know what a product looks like, what it weighs, the size of the box and how many are packed inside, the length of the warranty, the country of origin, the performance attributes and more.
For more information on the technology standards, visit autocare.org/technology.