OptiCat, the supplier-centric global data management company, has announced that, in concert with select manufacturers and TecDoc , it will begin developing the Global Vehicle Data Exchange (GVDE). This is intended to be the most comprehensive set of vehicle tables through its new synchronization initiative in conjunction with other organizations, including select manufacturers, TecDoc and industry associations. “OptiCat is working with AAIA and TecDoc, with input from some of our members, to eliminate barriers between North American and European vehicle data tables,” said Steve Handschuh, president and COO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), during a news conference here today. “It is very important to note that this effort is not usurping or altering ACES, its VCDB or TecDoc standards; rather it’s creating a logical connection or a bridge between them.” “The GVDE initiative will eliminate redundant efforts suppliers now have to undergo to prepare data for makes and models in various areas of the world,” Handschuh said. AASA is a major Opticat shareholder. “I want to emphasize that while early efforts are very promising, this is a long-term project.” AASA has represented aftermarket suppliers in OptiCat since February 2010 when MEMA acquired an equity position with OptiCat, joining co-owners MindQuest and TecDoc. AASA manages MEMA’s interests and ensures suppliers directly influence OptiCat’s functionality and direction. “We recognized early in the development stages that OptiCat represented the promise of a stronger manufacturer position in the aftermarket,” Handschuh explained. “Since February, AASA has worked with select industry executives, consultants and the board members of AASA and MEMA to ensure the interests of AASA members were represented.” OptiCat provides supplier-controlled development, aggregation and delivery of critical supply chain data, including application, product attribute and digital assets Higher level of control over digital intellectual property Software technology that enables validated data to be delivered real time to data receivers Real time validation of data sets Safeguards to prevent data with errors from being delivered to receivers Delivery of data that takes place between suppliers and receivers and is based on rules they establish “There continues to be a tremendous amount of buzz in the industry regarding the promise and potential of OptiCat,” Handschuh said. “It will require some effort, and there might be some redundancies for some time, but the ultimate vision of OptiCat delivering validated, accurate, timely, protected data through one simple portal is worth the effort,” he concluded.