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Starparts has reached out to me to gather some ideas.

Hello Steven,
We are in the early process of next steps for StarParts improvements and we have a long list of requests from the dealers and we know there are many issues with the data and we are working on that as well but I’m looking for above and beyond type of enhancements. I listed some of the stuff below being thrown around but were looking for a game changer something that would make parts guys jobs easier.

Better search
o Stamp number search
o Partial part number search
o TRM number search·
Include electrical connector stuff in StarParts·
Parts locator in StarParts·
5300 integration·
Digital images on parts·
Take a picture of the parts and the catalog would locate the part in the catalog·
Full integration with ADP or R&R

Thanks,Jeff

I would like to see added a quick reference number for each type of part that when entered brings you that part of the catalog.
oil filter xxxx, thermostat xxx1, frt pads, xxx2. Ford and Chevy catalogs do this already

In the user note section for part numbers add a third column that allows dealers to add notes that all other dealers can see.

Design some sort of simple screen share so when on the phone we could direct the customer to www.star.share125 or something a basic computer user can utilize.


Post you ideas here. I will be more than happy to pass them on.

Steven
 
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Couple of things I can think of off the top.

When you are in the search, double clicking on the line to take you to that illustration like you can in PAIS type cataloging.
No reason why MSRP should not be shown, or at least an option to be turned on in the main cataloging. Hiding it in the exchange area is just extra steps that wastes time for a counter guy.
I also dont see why they cant integrate the PDC inventories into Starparts as well. So you can double click on a part# and see what PDC has it etc.
I like that they have the chemical button for the year etc, but I really did like it when they showed the recommended oil/atf/af in the component area. So when you go to oil filters, it would show you what grade oil it takes etc.
I would also like to see the ability to jump up or down a year in the cataloging with a single click. To find those problem child parts in certain years ( 2008, 2012 from what I have seen ). So IOW you click and it takes you to the same basic vehicle in the same spot in cataloging one year up or down. Make it so that you can go back or forward as much as needed to verify the range of something etc. I can think of a number of times where that would have saved me a ton of time when searching for a hard to find part, or something that is only cataloged in one year.
A quick way to go back to previously used VIN's without having to use the bookmark feature. Like I drop down box similar to what PAIS uses. I cant tell you how many times I have had to interrupt looking up parts for a big body order to answer a phone, and then retype the VIN in ( quicker than using the bookmark IMO ) to go back to what you were doing...

I am sure Ill think of more :) I grumble about Starparts all the time. hahaha. Thanks for reaching out!

Danno
 

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Howdy --

Rather than have a parts locator service as an integral part, just get a login from D-2-D Link/OEConnection. Then once you login to that service, you can minimize that screen and pull it up as needed. On the GM side of things, it now has warehouse/depot stocking information, plus stocking dealers, and possibly pricing information. A "one stop shop" situation. WIth that screen minimized, it's ready all the time. Seems like they even have some parts book information capabilities on OEConnection now (but only for the last model year or so in Chrysler)?

The item about motor oil and such can be problematic. Some vehicles take different viscosities of motor oil for the same engine in different vehicles of different model years, possibly. Plus, that would require an interface between service manual information and parts information, which probably does not exist AND would need to be programmed. The motor oil rating and viscosity information can usually be found on the oil filler cap, in many cases, but the best place to look is in the applicable service information . . . which, on the GM side of things, can be accessed through "Service Information" on the main (what used to be called "DealerWorld") access portal for dealers and dealer employees (with applicable registration and passwords). From this particular website, all service information/manuals can be pulled up, plus TSBs and such, plus many other items.

Again in GM, there were some model years that a transfer case would take Dexron ATF for lube, yet one model year either way could take normal axle lube. Same with manual transmissions of the 1990s, too. This is why it's best to check the applicable service literature and then look for updates/changes in the TSBs. The GM SnapON database now references TSBs for particular parts, but doesn't really elaborate about what or why the TSB existed.

In the SnapON parts database for GM, if a full VIN is typed in the window, it stays there and can be recalled as a drop-down situation from that window. Once it's there, you can re-find and re-click on it.

If you're in the catalog listing, there's a way, via clicks, to go to an illustration with that part in it, for the designated vehicle.

What my associates do is to get into the various websites (tires, OEConnection, local computer system log-ins, etc.) and then minimize those screens when they aren't being used. They'll usually do TWO local computer system log-in, then color the backgrounds differently. One is used for billing functions, with the other being used for inquiry functions. These two screens can be cascaded manually and clicked on as needed. Widescreen monitors are a MUST!

When we had the prior Bell+Howell parts database, with CDs in the server, we could put in parts notes. The current SnapON system has that capability, too, but the format for the parts notes can easily get lost or not be noticed, unlike in prior times. Using a different color for that dialogue might be a good idea.

Being on the back counter, back then, when I'd catch a casting or stamp number on a part, or a tag ID, I'd add "Might be ________ as ________" in the note field. I figured that if I was seeing that during the warranty period, our front counter people would be needing that information in a few years, from our wholesale/outside customers. Capturing that information early, I feel, is beneficial for everybody . . . but not everybody would add notes.

The current SnapON system is supposed to be updated nightly, via the Internet, for new VINs and such of vehicles just produced, rather than getting them in the monthly updates and such.

In the later 1980s, when we were having PROM updates for the ECMs, to address specific driveability issues on the new TBI engines, what was in the parts database was quite behind what "Engineering" was telling our techs to use. Of course, we had no knowledge of those "future numbers", plus when we ordered them, they cancelled as "not yet available". This underscored the lag time between when parts got the items in stock and Engineering ordered them as updated items.

Remember that the more functionality you build into the database, the MORE memory it will take to run it, with faster processors being a definite plus, too. You should see the memory it takes to run the new SnapON system, compared to a normal computer. Even then, there were some functions, like changing from the parts listings to illustrations' full page size.

One thing I miss from the old B+H system is the shorthand model designations that would go directly to a catalog. For example, I could put in "C85BN69" and it would go directly to "Chevrolet Car", 1985, Caprice Classic 4dr . . . and then we'd progress from there. To me, this was NEAT and expedited things nicely. I don't know that the newer SnapON system will do that, as when I've tried it, it asks me what I'm trying to do. It might have had some issues when they changed some of the model designation information to 1 digit from 2, in the 1990s. Furthermore, with the original C85BN69, I could add the GM parts group and it'd go that much farther into the catalog on the first shot.

On the GM side, with the VIN loaded, you can also pull up the build sheet items for the particular vehicle, plus how it all decodes. This can help, too.

It might not apply for Chrysler, but with GM and ACDelco items, we now have "OES" (original equipment service) and what I term "Aftermarket ACDelco". Over the past decade or so, the prior ACDelco part numbers have been consolidated with the GM part numbers. The ACD part number is still there, but so is the GM Parts part number. The "Aftermarket ACDelco" is listed in an adjacent area to the normal listings.

In prior times, GM had a "Standard Parts Catalog", as Chrysler had them as a separate section in their parts catalog. On the GM side of things, some things have been deleted over the years, as other parts have not been updated, like wiring connectors and such. But those items can be found via the ACDelco TechConnect website, in living color. A neat thing is that a majority of the TSB basic information is available via other publications available through the Tech Connect website.

I guess I need to check out y'alls StarParts situation and see what's all there.

Enjoy!
CBODY67
 

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Howdy --

Rather than have a parts locator service as an integral part, just get a login from D-2-D Link/OEConnection. Then once you login to that service, you can minimize that screen and pull it up as needed. On the GM side of things, it now has warehouse/depot stocking information, plus stocking dealers, and possibly pricing information. A "one stop shop" situation. WIth that screen minimized, it's ready all the time. Seems like they even have some parts book information capabilities on OEConnection now (but only for the last model year or so in Chrysler)?

The item about motor oil and such can be problematic. Some vehicles take different viscosities of motor oil for the same engine in different vehicles of different model years, possibly. Plus, that would require an interface between service manual information and parts information, which probably does not exist AND would need to be programmed. The motor oil rating and viscosity information can usually be found on the oil filler cap, in many cases, but the best place to look is in the applicable service information . . . which, on the GM side of things, can be accessed through "Service Information" on the main (what used to be called "DealerWorld") access portal for dealers and dealer employees (with applicable registration and passwords). From this particular website, all service information/manuals can be pulled up, plus TSBs and such, plus many other items.

Again in GM, there were some model years that a transfer case would take Dexron ATF for lube, yet one model year either way could take normal axle lube. Same with manual transmissions of the 1990s, too. This is why it's best to check the applicable service literature and then look for updates/changes in the TSBs. The GM SnapON database now references TSBs for particular parts, but doesn't really elaborate about what or why the TSB existed.

In the SnapON parts database for GM, if a full VIN is typed in the window, it stays there and can be recalled as a drop-down situation from that window. Once it's there, you can re-find and re-click on it.

If you're in the catalog listing, there's a way, via clicks, to go to an illustration with that part in it, for the designated vehicle.

What my associates do is to get into the various websites (tires, OEConnection, local computer system log-ins, etc.) and then minimize those screens when they aren't being used. They'll usually do TWO local computer system log-in, then color the backgrounds differently. One is used for billing functions, with the other being used for inquiry functions. These two screens can be cascaded manually and clicked on as needed. Widescreen monitors are a MUST!

When we had the prior Bell+Howell parts database, with CDs in the server, we could put in parts notes. The current SnapON system has that capability, too, but the format for the parts notes can easily get lost or not be noticed, unlike in prior times. Using a different color for that dialogue might be a good idea.

Being on the back counter, back then, when I'd catch a casting or stamp number on a part, or a tag ID, I'd add "Might be ________ as ________" in the note field. I figured that if I was seeing that during the warranty period, our front counter people would be needing that information in a few years, from our wholesale/outside customers. Capturing that information early, I feel, is beneficial for everybody . . . but not everybody would add notes.

The current SnapON system is supposed to be updated nightly, via the Internet, for new VINs and such of vehicles just produced, rather than getting them in the monthly updates and such.

In the later 1980s, when we were having PROM updates for the ECMs, to address specific driveability issues on the new TBI engines, what was in the parts database was quite behind what "Engineering" was telling our techs to use. Of course, we had no knowledge of those "future numbers", plus when we ordered them, they cancelled as "not yet available". This underscored the lag time between when parts got the items in stock and Engineering ordered them as updated items.

Remember that the more functionality you build into the database, the MORE memory it will take to run it, with faster processors being a definite plus, too. You should see the memory it takes to run the new SnapON system, compared to a normal computer. Even then, there were some functions, like changing from the parts listings to illustrations' full page size.

One thing I miss from the old B+H system is the shorthand model designations that would go directly to a catalog. For example, I could put in "C85BN69" and it would go directly to "Chevrolet Car", 1985, Caprice Classic 4dr . . . and then we'd progress from there. To me, this was NEAT and expedited things nicely. I don't know that the newer SnapON system will do that, as when I've tried it, it asks me what I'm trying to do. It might have had some issues when they changed some of the model designation information to 1 digit from 2, in the 1990s. Furthermore, with the original C85BN69, I could add the GM parts group and it'd go that much farther into the catalog on the first shot.

On the GM side, with the VIN loaded, you can also pull up the build sheet items for the particular vehicle, plus how it all decodes. This can help, too.

It might not apply for Chrysler, but with GM and ACDelco items, we now have "OES" (original equipment service) and what I term "Aftermarket ACDelco". Over the past decade or so, the prior ACDelco part numbers have been consolidated with the GM part numbers. The ACD part number is still there, but so is the GM Parts part number. The "Aftermarket ACDelco" is listed in an adjacent area to the normal listings.

In prior times, GM had a "Standard Parts Catalog", as Chrysler had them as a separate section in their parts catalog. On the GM side of things, some things have been deleted over the years, as other parts have not been updated, like wiring connectors and such. But those items can be found via the ACDelco TechConnect website, in living color. A neat thing is that a majority of the TSB basic information is available via other publications available through the Tech Connect website.

I guess I need to check out y'alls StarParts situation and see what's all there.

Enjoy!
CBODY67
Thanks for the input CBODY67. I already implement 95% of what you suggested. My suggestions were for streamlining it even further so that you do not have to move around on different screens as often, which does take time in and of itself. Although I will say that OE Connect is too slow to be effective for me. I typically have at least 10 windows open at any one time, with 3 visible at all times ( Star, ADP and Dealerconnect ) So I was coming at it from the "make more effective use of time" point of view :)

Danno
 

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Thanks for the reply and comments, Danno. One thing is to remember that your catalog provider only uses what the OEM "feeds" it. To get the recommended oil and such, for example, included in the database would require the OEM to add those items to the catalog. That would mean extra cost at the OEM's point, which they might not be too inclined to do, in some respects.

One thing the SnapOn system has is "lists", which are built by the user. They touted this as a way to decrease the use of "pen and paper notes". When I tried it, it seemed to be too unwieldy and tricky, so as great as it might be, the old spiral notebook still seems to serve us well. Too much transition time, for example, I like the concept, though, but it just didn't work as well as they claimed it would.

I hadn't noticed that OEConnection was slow, but considering how it interfaces with the other systems, it might take a little time to get dealer stock information, depot stock information, pricing, etc. and get it all processed for presentation. Might be an Internet connectivity issue in your location?

Going between catalog illustrations and catalog parts listings seemed to also have a longer-than-desired transition period. As if it had to load too much or something? Keeping both windows open, side by side, helps.

You didn't mention the capability to send messages to off-site or on-site customers. Faxing catalog illustration pages, for example, or by email. Or the building of parts estimates electronically, plus related uses of that information?

I guess the key thing in all of these enhancements is to have the fastest multi-segment processor in the workstation computers. Plus massive amounts of memory to ensure that everything works as fast as it can--period. To decrease the "point & click" time to a minimum.

Enjoy!
 
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