Auto Service World
News   April 4, 2013   by Auto Service World

AAIA Releases New PIES Version and Digital Asset Guideline

A new version of the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES), and updates to the Digital Asset Best Practices have been released by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). Both specifications, designed for greater consistency in the exchange of robust product content in the aftermarket, are available at no cost at

PIES version 6.5 is notable for its expanded support of market copy and coded product attributes. The Digital Asset Best Practices guideline includes new information about producing audio, video and PDF digital assets. The best practices also update the recommendations for product images based on improved camera technology.

PIES is the generally accepted standard method for the management and exchange of hundreds of elements of product information such as pricing, packaging, item identification, warranty, interchange, kitting, imaging and much more. Version 6.5 has been published for a 90-day pre-release to allow time for developers and trading partners to update their software and systems to support the latest version of the spec. PIES 6.5 is largely backwards compatible. The new elements added to the standard are in direct response to the growing sophistication and appetite for granular, robust product information in the supply chain.

According to AAIA: 

* Visual product information is a key component to marketing in the digital aftermarket.

* Multiple product image views, installation videos and PDF documents including product specification, MSDS, brochures and more are needed by channel partners every day.

* The Digital Asset Best Practices guideline vastly simplifies the task of capturing, managing and distributing these media.

* Dozens of decisions between competing formats and technologies are broken down by their pros and cons with a single best practice recommendation for each decision in the aftermarket.

“As the point-of-sale moves to a web browser or computer workstation, customers rely increasingly on robust content and graphical media to make a buying decision,” said Scott Luckett, chief information officer, AAIA. “Without the benefit of direct interaction with a store associate, online content must tell the full story of a product and anticipate the questions of the customer. Automotive marketers are awakening to this new reality and the AAIA standards continue to evolve and anticipate the growing requirement for rich product content throughout the industry.”

“The work of the PIES subcommittee is vital to the success of O’Reilly Auto Parts,” said David P. Ortega, vice chairman, PIES subcommittee, and director, electronic catalog systems, O’Reilly Auto Parts. “We depend on suppliers who can send us robust product content, including full libraries covering all digital assets available in compliance with the standard. Conforming to the standard improves time to market on updates and enables us to market more effectively their products, satisfy our customers consistently and therefore improve sales by creating a better informed customer.”

For the complete PIES specification and the Digital Asset guideline, visit

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