PartsTrader LLC, a Web-based parts sourcing, quoting and ordering platform supporting the automobile collision repair industry, has announced that it has fully implemented the Business Message Specification (BMS) standard into the PartsTrader system. PartsTrader says it is the first company to officially adopt the standard for all transactions originating from a collision repair facility.
The BMS standard was created by the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) in 2004 to support the long-term technology innovation and data privacy needs of the collision industry. BMS replaced the original Estimate to Management System (EMS) standard, which was first introduced to the market in 1994.
"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 PartsTrader CEO Rob Cooper. "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."
According to PartsTrader, the current EMS (Estimate to Management System) standard is a "flat file" that takes all data from an estimate and puts it into a standard format. This data is usually then exchanged with multiple trading partners in the overall repair process, without regard to how much data any particular participant really requires to accomplish their specific part of the process. PartsTrader states that at a time when data privacy is a significant concern for individuals and businesses, and portions of the data related to a collision repair job are highly sensitive, the passing along of such large quantities of, in some cases, unnecessary data, is problematic.
PartsTrader says the BMS standard addresses this problem by creating separate business process "messages" that only relate to a particular component of the overall claims/collision repair process. Trading partners, for example a parts supplier and a collision repair facility, 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. This, according to PartsTrader, dramatically decreases the possibility of sensitive or confidential data ending up where it doesn’t belong.
The PartsTrader system has solely incorporated the BMS standard ever since its launch in March 2012. Since not all parties yet utilize the BMS standard, a critical component of the PartsTrader process is a proprietary application that resides on each collision repair facility’s "local" computer. When an estimate is written and an EMS extract is created by the repair facility’s estimating system, the EMS extract is converted to a BMS message that only contains data pertinent to a parts ordering transaction; customer name, address, phone number and other unnecessary data are deleted. It is this BMS message that is then transmitted to the PartsTrader sourcing, quoting and ordering system.
PartsTrader intends to use only the BMS standard in future integration with applications currently utilized by its customers.
"PartsTrader has made a clear market commitment to utilize only the BMS protocol when transmitting data between trading partners," said Cooper. "While we would prefer that all industry systems utilized the BMS standard, if there are companies that can only output EMS extracts, we’ll 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."
PartsTrader has been a member of CIECA since August 2009.