In the aftermarket, we can find multiple types of DBs which help us to organize and link the different data that exist. But before analysing them, we’re going to explain, with the help of a chart, how the data is generated in the automotive sector.
As you can see, when a new vehicle is manufactured, it is assigned a chassis number (VIN) and linked to all the OEM reference numbers of all the parts used in its assembly.
The parts supplied by OE part manufacturers have their own manufacturing reference numbers, so there is a correspondence to the OEM reference numbers assembled.
Then we have IAM parts manufacturers which also produce alternative parts on the market and generate their own reference numbers.
For the aftermarket sector (workshops, dealers, repair centres, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers and rebuilders) all this information absolutely has to be accessed to be able to perform repairs and maintenance on all the vehicles in operation.
We would like to point out that for some time now, official organisations have been issuing statements on the need for all the information to be free and accessible for everyone, but the reality is that everybody wants to somehow protect their own data while trying to access others’ data at the same time; it’s a game of cat and mouse!
In any case, you get the idea: the processing of this whole immense volume of data is complex and presents numerous complexities. This raises the question: What different types of DBs are available in aftermarket?
1) Relations between license plates and chassis numbers (VIN). This DB is generated in each country by the respective official organisations which manage registrations.
2) Relations between chassis numbers (VIN) and OEM reference number assembled. This DB is generated by the vehicle manufacturers.
3) Relations between OEM and OE reference numbers. This DB is generated by both vehicle manufacturers and OE part manufacturers.
4) Relations between IAM and OEM and/or OE reference numbers and between different IAM reference numbers. This DB is generated by IAM part manufacturers.
5) Relations between a specific vehicle (from a determinate vehicle park definition) and IAM or OE reference numbers. This DB is generated by IAM and OE part manufacturers.
6) Relations between a specific vehicle (from a determinate vehicle park definition) and OEM reference numbers. This DB is habitually generated by companies which offer appraisal software and repair estimates and which buy information from vehicle manufacturers.
7) VIN decoders. This is not exactly a DB but rather a decoding algorithm based on the chassis number in order to get data on the associated vehicle (brand, model, type, year, etc.) or link it to a specific vehicle identifier (from a determinate vehicle park definition).
(*) In database types 5, 6 and 7, the vehicle park is a simplification of all the different vehicle models on the market, and they are nowhere near as precise as the Type-2 databases which relate the VIN (exact assembled vehicle) with the OEM references.
Every one of these databases has certain main uses or areas of use and they offer us varying levels of accuracy, but we’ll address this topic in later articles.
Anyway, it’s easy to see how hard it is to access all this data, maintain the databases or try to combine them with each other.
At Factory Data, through industry-leading data science and proprietary clusterization algorithm, we intelligently merge thousands of online and offline data sources (database types 3, 4 and 5) into a single point of integration, organizing the data obtained to bring you unique solutions in automotive parts data.