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Auto Body Panels Moves Order Management to the Web with CarParts Technologies' OpenWebs Commerce Server.

Business Editors/Automotive Writers/High-Tech Writers


Real-Time Online Inventory Visibility for Repair Shops Increases

Service and Revenue Per Customer

CarParts Technologies Inc. (CPT), the leading provider of open, eCommerce and business automation software solutions for the automotive aftermarket, today announced it has successfully deployed its OpenWebs Commerce Server for Auto Body Panels (ABP) of Cincinnati, a leading member of the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA).

OpenWebs is part of CarParts Technologies' suite of integrated applications, delivered on Microsoft(R) Business platforms, that automate warehouse management, inventory management, and electronic ordering to reduce operational costs, increase revenues and improve customer service.

"After deploying CPT's DirectStep(TM) parts inventory management platform in 2002, we made a conscious decision to service our hundreds of repair shop customers with an online Web catalog and real-time inventory visibility," said Mark Purtilar, CEO of ABP. "ABP is constantly searching for ways to offer our customers better ordering capabilities, improved response times and the right product at the right time to help them complete the job to the satisfaction of the car owner and the insurer who is paying for it. OpenWebs increases the repair shops' confidence that our aftermarket parts inventory is available -- without a phone call. And it allows our staff to spend more time on complex questions, while simple inquiries are handled in seconds over the Internet. Customer adoption has exceeded our expectations in the first six months of operation."

Based in Cincinnati, Auto Body Panels is one of the largest members of the 182-member ABPA association of America, which represents the Aftermarket group of distributors supplying over $1.5 billion of parts to repair shops in all 50 states. ABP services eight Midwest states, from six locations and is growing at a rate of 15 percent annually. As car repair costs continue to rise, and insurers seek to hold the cost of repair to annual growth of $1 billion, aftermarket parts provision plays a key role in reducing the cost to consumers and insurers alike, which costs approximately 40 percent less than original equipment parts.

"Wholesale order management and customer service are very costly for distributors that work on tight margins. DirectStep and OpenWebs offer ABP new levels of integrated capabilities designed to move supply chain visibility to the Internet and provide inter-application connectivity," said Dave McCann, CEO of CarParts Technologies. "This kind of Web technology, now in production at ABP, offers the potential for even greater industry innovation -- such as real-time connection to the 30,000 plus adjusters who need to know of parts availability before authorizing repair shop purchases. ABP is a major partner and innovator in assisting CPT to address the needs of this marketplace."

About CarParts Technologies Inc.

CarParts Technologies is the leading provider of extended supply chain software solutions for the automotive aftermarket. The CarParts Technologies OpenWebs Commerce platform enables efficient online trade, integration and collaboration between buyers, suppliers and commerce service providers. The CPT technology solution portfolio of DirectStep, Tradera, VAST and OpenWebs Commerce Server are used in more than 3,000 leading aftermarket outlets including tier 1 manufacturers, program groups, tire and service chains, warehouse distributors and independent installers.

CarParts Technologies' open, end-to-end solutions allow companies to generate new sales, operate more cost efficiently, accelerate inventory turns and maintain stronger relationships with suppliers and trading partners.

Established in 1997, CarParts Technologies' complete suite of business solutions has delivered compelling returns on investment to customers across the entire aftermarket supply chain. With headquarters in San Juan Capistrano, CarParts Technologies has received venture capital funding from @Ventures, the affiliated venture capital arm of CMGI, Rho Ventures, BEV Capital, Investor AB and St. Paul Venture Capital.

Note to Editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on CarParts Technologies, visit the Web site at
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 9, 2003
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