Ford of Europe Rolls Out Electronic Parts Catalog

FordEcat gives technicians at 4,600 dealerships direct access to latest parts, service information

FordEcat gives technicians at 4,600 dealerships direct access to latest parts, service information

Burlington, MA — October 18, 2005 — Ford of Europe this week has rolled out a browser-based electronic parts catalog — called FordEcat — built on aftermarket service and support technology provider Enigma's 3C Platform.

With FordEcat in place, parts technicians and service advisors at 4,600 Ford of Europe dealers in more than 42 European and Middle Eastern countries can receive up-to-date information on parts and service for 45 different car models in 17 different languages via the Web and CD/DVD. Ford said the FordEcat system enables faster and more efficient parts and service identification while boosting Ford's overall aftermarket footprint across the region.

Prior to the Enigma-based FordEcat, Ford of Europe relied solely on third-party vendors for the development and distribution of its electronic parts catalog. Using Enigma, Ford has integrated its catalog, labor and operations information into one, unified browser-based application that delivers the parts and service information required by parts technicians and service advisors.

By taking the process in house, Ford said it has established a direct link to its dealerships and reduced the time to distribute new materials. As a result, in less than one year, more than 65 percent of its dealer network has chosen the FordEcat system, solidifying the aftermarket revenue stream and establishing centralized management and control of service and support content.

Dealerships play a vital role in Ford's reputation as a leader in the European automotive industry. Providing dealers with the necessary tools to deliver superior customer service is a top priority for Ford. With Enigma, Ford said it is able to develop the FordEcat program in-house and streamline the delivery of vital information to its dealers and independent motor traders. This strategic decision has already paid dividends in capturing market share and improving all facets of Ford's aftermarket business.

FordEcat brings together 600,000 parts records and 15,000 technical illustrations from 45 vehicle-model catalogs and other service and support documents, including supersession instructions and labor, service and parts pricing, into a dynamic encyclopedia of parts and service information. By simply entering one of the 20 million unique vehicle identification numbers (VIN) or through configuration-based filtering, parts technicians and service advisors are presented with the information needed to service a specific vehicle.

FordEcat users also have the opportunity to customize the appearance of repair instructions, providing greater or less detail depending on preference and job being performed. FordEcat also ties directly into various dealer management systems for parts ordering and warranty information.

In addition, FordEcat offers customization features that enable dealerships to tailor the application to their specific needs. For instance, dealerships can supplement content from Ford with their own service and parts information, including localized pricing.

Technicians can also attach collaborative eNotes to FordEcat data to share information with other users about new problems or emerging best practices that may impact current maintenance procedures or part sales. Technicians can even bookmark specific tasks and create shopping list templates for common configurations and repairs to speed parts ordering.

Ford has always been an industry leader for innovations in the design, manufacturing and maintenance of automobiles, said Enigma CEO Jonathan Yaron. With the FordEcat system in place throughout Europe, Ford is demonstrating its commitment to providing Ford drivers with the best and most efficient maintenance. Enigma's technology is paving the way for Ford to bolster its aftermarket presence and increase its bottom line.

Read the Aberdeen and Servigistics report on service parts pricing: Aberdeen: Service Parts Pricing Optimization Shows Benefits.

More articles about service parts management.

Companies in this article