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April 21, 2022

Revolutionize Your Digital Assets with the Latest Best Practices Guide

by Jonathan Larsen, Vice President, Standards & Digital Products

April 5, 2022, marked the beginning of the 90-day review for the industry to take a look at the last update of the Digital Asset Best Practice document, with July 4, 2022, for its next release. The Digital Asset Best Practice document was released on the autocare.communifire.com site in the technology standards space. Once this file is released it will be moved to the Auto Care Digital Hub. In this blog post, I will provide a brief history of the Digital Assets Best Practice Guide, what has been updated and a few benefits that you will be able to take advantage of with this latest release.

Brief History of the Digital Asset Best Practice

  • October 2005 – Initial Image best practice guide
  • April 2012  –  Updates to include additional digital assets
  • April 2016 – Updated overall document and included 360 and 3D Imaging best practices
  • March 2022 –  Updated overall document and included new content and recommendations for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance

What is a Digital Asset?

When the term “digital asset” is thrown out in conversation, this typically is referencing product images. However, digital assets are so much more than images. While it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, there are additional assets that help tell the story about your product. These additional assets can include:

• An audio file of how your product sounds;
• An instructional booklet;
• A maintenance guide; or
• A product bulletin.

As of this writing, there are over 50 digital asset types that can be defined. These can be found in the Product Classification database (PCdb) in the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) tables “Asset Field Name Asset Types.” Go to autocarevip.com to download the PCdb to see all of the PIES codes for these digital assets.

The PCdb can also be used to see what is new, what is different and what can help you with digital assets best practices.

What is new and updated in the Digital Asset Best Practice Guide?

With the introduction of technology improvements and new opportunities, the Digital Asset Best Practice Guide needed a refresher. The latest updates to the guide remove outdated technology, streamline the content, and reduced multiple formats. To help with the streamlining, more than 40 pages were removed from the document as this content will either end up in a new educational document. 

Three items were removed, which included: 
- a separate data delivery method;
- the coded values related to PIES data delivery; and 
- the educational content that was part of the document. 

The separate data delivery method was removed to continue to focus on the standards of ACES and PIES to provide the communication methods for the application and product information. 

The coded values are part of the PCdb which always Auto Care one location for these coded values that can be maintained and updated when the industry needs new content instead of waiting for a standards documentation release (ACES or PIES). The codes being in the PCdb allows new codes to be out within months to get out to the industry instead of waiting 6 months or longer for documentation approval. 

The educational portion of the Digital Asset Best Practice guide was reviewed from the prior version. A new educational document that can be provided to the industry in the future however this content was removed to help focus the Digital Asset Best Practice guide to show what should be done instead of how or why it should be done.
Besides the overall clean-up of the Digital Asset Best Practice guide, there were a few new additions that will help you with communicating your digital assets. These include:

  • A new appendix that is dedicated to for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.; and
  • Updates to the product images, video and 360 best practices specification.

The Digital Asset Best Practice Guide can be found here.

How do these changes help you?

The Digital Assets Best Practice Guide has been improved to help you communicate the latest digital assets content faster than ever before and to streamline your process of using the PIES codes that are included in the PCdb. 

Thank You

I want to give a few shoutouts. First, Milt Grimes, as part of the Auto Care Standards team, has been leading all of the workgroup meetings for this project. Second, Melissa Madrigal, of Solenium group, for being the Technology Standards Committee (TSC) sponsor for this project and helping get this project completed.

Please contact us at technology@autocare.org if you have questions about the latest version of the Digital Assets Best Practice guide update.

Do you have an update to the standards you would like to see?


Jonathan Larsen, Vice President, Standards & Digital Products

I help reduce cost out of the overall supply chain by improving the quality of standards data we provide to the industry and develop new processes that help get data to our members faster. More About Me


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