Enigma to develop electronic parts catalog for Ford

Enigma Inc. has partnered with Clifford Thames Automotive to develop a Web-based parts-information system for Ford Motor Co.'s dealer network in the U.S.

Once completed, the electronic parts catalog (EPC) will provide up-to-date parts information for all Ford and Lincoln-Mercury vehicles via the Web, LAN and DVD, according to a statement by the two companies. Beginning in the first half of 2006, the EPC will be offered to more than 4,500 Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealerships in the U.S.

With the new offering, dealers will be able to simplify the parts selection and procurement process, a move that could reduce incorrect parts orders, according to the companies' statement.

To generate a fully customized parts catalog for the specific vehicle being serviced, employees of a dealership will be able to enter the vehicle identification number or some other identifier such as model or model year, into the system.

Because the catalog will be updated electronically, the time needed to update it will be cut from eight weeks to no more than one week, according to the statement.

The electronic parts catalog will be linked with existing Ford Customer Service Division applications that are currently used by parts managers. This will allow parts managers to track the latest parts requirements and check inventory availability in their regions, the companies said.