Implementation of PIM in the Automotive Industry

User Report by BPW - Spare Parts Manufacturer in the Automotive Industry

The BPW Aftermarket Group provides commercial vehicles with a quick and reliable supply of spare parts for trucks and trailers. With over 170 branches in 19 countries, they offer their service throughout Europe. BPW's product portfolio includes original spare parts from all relevant commercial vehicle manufacturers and also includes timely solutions for the repair of older vehicles.

Driving Force for a PIM System at BPW

Until now, BPW had maintained product data in multiple systems. With the PIM project, the company sought to establish central data maintenance and thus benefit from the following advantages:

 

  • Time savings, as data only needs to be maintained once in a single location.
  • Better data quality and fewer data errors, as all data checks are performed centrally in one system.
  • All spare parts companies (ETG) in the BPW Aftermarket Group can share the central product database and even add their own ETG products.
  • PIM as a source for exports, allowing data to be used for the company's own new webshop and ERP system, as well as for dealer portals such as TecDoc and Topmotive.
Planned benefits of a PIM system at BPW

Why the ANTEROS PIM System from INCONY?

Prior to the start of the PIM project, the BPW Aftermarket Group conducted a tender with multiple PIM vendors. In the multi-stage tender, question lists were first sent to numerous PIM providers and software presentations were then held with the few providers. After this selection process with a long and short list, BPW decided on a proof-of-concept project with INCONY AG and another vendor. In this test project, INCONY provided BPW with its own test system, trained employees who then conducted their own tests on data import of various formats, data maintenance, quality reports and data exports.

 

 

After the test phase, the BPW Aftermarket Group decided on the ANTEROS PIM system from INCONY AG. Two major factors were decisive in this decision:

INCONY's experience

  • Many years of experience with companies from the automotive industry
  • In-depth experience with TecDoc
  • Excellent references and positive feedback
 

Scope and quality of INCONY's ANTEROS software

  • Flexible data model: TecDoc plus custom extensions
  • Modern and intuitive user interface
  • Extensive functions in the standard
  • Configurability
  • Expandability, scalability
  • Multi-client capable, multi-brand capable, ...
 

“Thanks to the agile project approach, we have achieved results very quickly and even finished faster than originally planned. This is of course also thanks to the competence and motivation of the INCONY team.”

Andreas Santner, BPW
Andreas Santner, BPW Aftermarket Group

ANTEROS and its Interfaces at BPW

The PIM system ANTEROS is now at the centre of the BPW infrastructure, even serving as the leading system for the ERP (MS Dynamics 365) and transferring product data to it in Dynamics XML format. ANTEROS gets the vehicle data it uses from the Topmotive dealer portal, which also passes this data on to BPW's in-house developed online shop. In ANTEROS itself, new products are created and data from existing products is enriched and improved before the product data is transferred to the online shop and the dealer portals (TecDoc and Topmotive) in a format similar to TAF.

 

 

BPW has independently adapted the XML exporter in the ANTEROS configuration editor for the interface to the ERP system in order to determine which files, which fields per file and which tags per field need to be transferred.

ANTEROS in the IT landscape of BPW

PIM as the Master for Product Data Maintenance

To start the project, all of the BPW Aftermarket Group's own products were initially imported from the old product database into ANTEROS. Creating new products now takes place exclusively in ANTEROS, where a unique 10-digit ID is automatically generated for each product. This numbering is based on a system specified by BPW. The procedure for creating new products differs depending on the product type. Thus, supplier articles are imported in the TecDoc format TAF, while products for own brands are entered directly in ANTEROS and improved step by step. After importing supplier articles, these are supplemented in the PIM system with a generated BPW article number and, above all, ERP-relevant data.

 

 

The company currently maintains a total of 700,000 products in ANTEROS, with plans for up to one million products.

ANTEROS in Action at BPW

Access to the PIM System

ANTEROS is entirely web-based, meaning that a standard web browser is all that is needed to access the system. This simplifies access from BPW headquarters, the various national subsidiaries and also from the home office, as no software needs to be installed on the end device. To use ANTEROS, each employee is given their own user name and password; there is no limit to the number of users. Each user is assigned a user role and rights that control who can see and use which features. Of course, all data is encrypted for security purposes.

Structured Data Maintenance

ANTEROS gives BPW the option of grouping its product data in different tabs, which means that the data can be displayed more clearly and maintained more easily and efficiently. The following data groupings are currently in use:

 

 
  • General: name, description, ...
  • ERP: Customs tariff number, VPE, dimensions, weight, ...
  • TecDoc: Generic articles, matching vehicles, cross references
  • Categories: e.g. for top motifs
 
 
  • Parameter values: such as installation side, length, width
  • Dangerous goods: such as class of dangerous goods, water pollutants, etc.
  • Relations: Accessories, Spare part, Spare article, Deposit article, Supplier, ...
  • Media: pictures, drawings, documents, videos
 
Structured maintenance of PIM data in ANTEROS in tabs

Parallel Data Maintenance

ANTEROS provides the option of maintaining multiple classifications at the same time. BPW uses this option mainly for its spare parts companies (ETGs). There is one classification for BPW-wide items that are relevant for all ETGs, and each ETG can have its own classification for ETG products. The ETG classifications can thus reflect specific country assortments.

Efficient Data Maintenance

The ANTEROS calculation rules enable BPW to automatically generate values or texts based on other parameters. BPW uses this for example to automatically create the ERP designation for a product from a supplier designation, the text for the generic article and an individually entered product text. This saves a considerable amount of time while at the same time increasing quality, since all of the nearly 1 million products have a designation in the ERP. At BPW, new products are imported into the ERP via the PIM, as already mentioned.

 

BPW can define the calculation rules in ANTEROS themselves via the web interface and change them at any time.

Master Data: more than just TecDoc

Thanks to ANTEROS, BPW can now efficiently maintain all master data, whether vehicle data, shop data or ERP data, in one system.
The starting point for most of BPW's products is vehicle data imported from Topmotive. This allows them to access more generic items and benefit from the resulting finer structuring of data maintenance in the PIM and for the searches in the online shop. In addition, a high number of technical criteria is used to describe a product. These play a major role in the purchase decision, especially for technical products, which is why they can also be used as filter options in the online shop. The criteria can also be used for exports.

 

 

In addition to the data from Topmotive, BPW maintains further master data in the PIM for presentation in the shop and use in the ERP system. In doing so, they can both supplement existing brands, for example with an indication of availability in the local range, and define entirely new objects, such as suppliers and spare parts companies.
BPW very much appreciates the fact that ANTEROS makes it so easy to enhance imported master data from Topmotive or TecAlliance in any way they want, using standardised structures.

Quality Checks in ANTEROS

The ANTEROS quality management module helps BPW to improve the quality of their products little by little, both for imported products and for products they create themselves. For this purpose, they create their own quality reports and use the dashboard in ANTEROS to identify problems at any time.

 

 

The dashboard provides a very clear overview of the quality deficits in the product data. As the dashboard is the first screen after login, the user is constantly reminded of data improvements. By using traffic light colours in the dashboard, problems are emphasised and prioritised at the same time. The dashboard is fully customisable and each user can create their own quality reports. The reports can be created by simple search queries or by cascading the search queries. In addition, quality levels can be defined based on data conditions to define different milestones for data quality. Just like reports, quality levels can be cascaded and thus related. This guarantees that no quality feature can be skipped or forgotten.

The ANTEROS dashboard provides BPW with an overview of their product quality

In Conclusion: A Successful PIM Introduction!

With ANTEROS, the BPW Aftermarket Group can finally organize their data maintenance efficiently. Immediately after its introduction, the PIM system has become the leading system for product data at BPW with an initial capacity of around 700,000 products. Both imported supplier data and product data for the company's own brands can be easily maintained and extended, with additional time saved through the use of automatic calculation rules. Thanks to the ANTEROS quality management module, BPW can improve their data quality in a targeted manner. In addition, the diverse interfaces ensure that the PIM data can be used multiple times and transferred to the ERP, the online store and retailer portals.

 

 

During the project, the agile project approach of the INCONY team ensured fast results and their expertise combined with the flexibility of ANTEROS ensured the implementation of all requirements.

Maintain Product Data Efficiently in International Companies with the ANTEROS PIM System - Try it out for Yourself!

With INCONY's PIM system, you can distribute data maintenance to international teams, control use via roles, rights, and workflows, and specifically check and improve the quality of your data via your own quality reports and quality gates in the dashboard. The centrally maintained data can be exported to customers and partners in many ways, and existing data and systems can be integrated via flexible interfaces and import formats. Additionally, data sheets or catalogs can be generated at the touch of a button - even in any excerpts - your customers will be amazed!

Has the BPW Aftermarket Group customer presentation convinced you? Then request your free software demo now or find out more about this technology-leading software on our website!

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