Issue: Jan 2005


New Web-Based Parts Information System for Developed Ford Dealer Network



by Lenny Case



Under a development agreement with Ford Motor Company Enigma Inc. and Clifford Thames are to build a browser based electronic parts catalog (EPC), it has successfully moved to the final phase of product development and testing. Initial dealer testing began in June of this year and has been well received by a group of dealers selected to pilot the product. Final product development and dealer testing of this EPC, which provides up-to-date parts information for all Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles via the Web, LAN and DVD, with full print-on-demand capability, will run through the fourth quarter of this year. Ford will offer more than 4,500 Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealerships in the United States access to this new interactive EPC in the first half of 2006. Dealer personnel will enter a vehicle identification number (VIN), or other key identifier such as model, model-year and trim package, to generate a fully customized parts catalog for the specific vehicle being serviced. Drawing from more than 20GB of VIN and parts information, this catalog will have a consistent user interface whether delivered via the Web or by DVD and will be updated online, dramatically reducing the current update process from as much as eight weeks to no more than one week.

The EPC will be linked with existing FCSD (Ford Customer Service Division) applications that are currently in use by parts managers, allowing them to track the latest part requirements and to check inventory availability in their region. In addition, full DMS (Dealer Management System) integration will be available to all dealers who subscribe to Reynolds & Reynolds and may integrate with additional management systems in the future to ensure a seamless flow of information, which is a key functionality request from the dealers. With this new offering, dealers will be able to simplify the parts selection and procurement process, likely decreasing incorrect part orders. Enigma designed a similar product for Ford of Europe to sell to its dealers in 2004, which has been so successful that more than 65% of European Ford dealerships are currently using this EPC.

"The Ford Motor Company understands the global dimension of vehicle maintenance and the business benefits of making sure its dealers have access to up-to-date parts information," said Jonathan Yaron, chairman and CEO of Enigma. "Enigma already helped Ford introduce a state-of-the-art EPC to the European market, where it was well received by dealers. Now, Ford is working with Enigma and Clifford Thames to utilize their product knowledge and technical expertise for a new parts catalog that will help improve dealer support, customer experience and overall brand perception here in North America."

About Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With more than 325,000 employees and 110 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company and Hertz. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit http://www.fordvehicles.com

About Clifford Thames Clifford Thames is a specialist provider of outsourced services to the Automotive Aftermarket in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. With over 250 employees delivering products and services into 120 countries, Clifford Thames has established itself as a leading provider of parts and service data management, publication services and business process outsourcing. These core services are aligned to a creative consultancy and business development division designed to build additional revenue and profits for retailers and OEMs. http://www.clifford-thames.com/.

About Enigma Enigma is the only software company delivering a complete aftermarket platform that improves the profitability of the installation, operation and maintenance of complex equipment. Enigma creates a dynamic encyclopedia of service, parts and diagnostic information, captures technicians' expertise and connects to vital corporate systems to manage an optimal service and support workflow. By turning service and support into business opportunity, Enigma maximizes customers' profits through improved workforce productivity, parts logistics and equipment uptime.

Enigma's rapidly expanding list of customers includes: Bobcat, Bombardier Aerospace, CAT Logistics/MG Rover, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, Goodrich Aerostructures, Ingersoll-Rand, Japan Airlines, John Deere, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Mazda, Nortel Networks, PSA, Rolls-Royce, SBC Pacific Bell, United Airlines, United States Army, United States Army National Guard and Volvo Cars.

Enigma is a privately held company, headquartered in Burlington, Mass., with offices in San Francisco, London, Paris, Munich, Toronto, Tokyo and Tel Aviv. For more information, visit Enigma's World Wide Web site at http://www.enigma.com/.

Enigma 3C is a registered trademark of Enigma, Inc. All other trademarks or tradenames belong to their respective owners.


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