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PartsTrader adopts CIECA BMS standard

Order Reprints

July 16, 2012—PartsTrader has fully implemented the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association’s (CIECA) Business Message Specification (BMS) standard into its Web-based parts sourcing, quoting and ordering system, according to a press release issued Monday.

Chicago-based PartsTrader said it is the first company to officially adopt the CIECA BMS standard for all transactions that originate from a collision repair facility. The BMS standard, which replaced the original Estimate to Management System (EMS) standard, was created by CIECA in 2004 to support the long-term technology innovation and data privacy needs of the collision industry.

"We recognize that the old EMS standard was sufficient for the market's initial effort in passing information between a select few market participants," said Rob Cooper, CEO of PartsTrader. "However, as the needs of the market changed, and the amount of data being requested of partners grew, there have been very real and appropriate concerns over 'who has access to what?' We felt it important to address the data privacy issue right from the start."

PartsTrader said the EMS standard is a flat file that puts all data from an estimate into a standard format. The data is typically exchanged with multiple trading partners in the repair process, without regard to how much data any particular participant requires to accomplish their specific part of the process. Passing along large quantities of unnecessary data can be problematic for repairers, PartsTrader said.

The BMS standard addresses the problem by creating separate business process messages that only relate to a specific component of the overall claims and collision repair process, PartsTrader said. Repairers and trading partners only exchange data that specifically pertains to their transaction. The BMS message does not contain any data that is not directly needed to facilitate a transaction between the two parties. 

Since not all parties in the industry utilize the BMS standard today, the PartsTrader system includes an application that converts EMS files to BMS messages, which only contain data pertinent to a parts ordering transaction such as customer name, address and phone number.

"PartsTrader has made a clear market commitment to utilize only the BMS protocol when transmitting data between trading partners,” Cooper said. "While we would prefer that all industry systems utilized the BMS standard, if there are companies that can only output EMS extracts, we will convert those EMS extracts into BMS messages and delete the rest of the data so that we adequately protect the data privacy of the primary party, whether a consumer or a business."

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