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TecAlliance, Europe’s leading replacement parts information/service and repair data/parts ordering system provider, is constantly striving to improve the services it provides to its many users to help them get the very best out of the huge information resource that is stored within its combined data, in order to increase efficiencies within their businesses.

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It is therefore another major development that the TecAlliance team has been able to unlock the information contained within the vehicle identification number (VIN) given to every vehicle during its manufacture, including commercial vehicles (CV), with a new product called the VIN Decoder.

“The development of the VIN Decoder is the culmination of thousands of man-hours of labour,” explains Shaun Greasley, commercial director of TecAlliance UK and Ireland, “and along with many other benefits, it provides users of the TecDoc CATALOG electronic parts identification and cataloguing system, with a very useful alternative search tool.

“As a result, alongside the existing make, model, year and VRM search methods, the VIN Decoder allows them the option of using the vehicle’s VIN number to accurately identify the vehicle for which the replacement part is required, along with the subsequent suppliers of that part.

“This level of individual vehicle identification allows the CATALOG system to pinpoint the right part, first time and is particularly useful in those instances when vehicles with a chassis number up to 234002 for example, are fitted with a part that differs from the one fitted to those from 234003 onwards.

“There are many examples of this phenomenon, which is why CV factors using less refined cataloguing systems have to revert to the policy of sending workshops multiple parts to cover the possible options and then hope that the parts not required are undamaged during the returns process and can be returned to stock.”

In addition to the benefits for parts distributors, the VIN Decoder development is also good news for those with service and repair responsibilities, as it also has ramifications for the service and repair data held within the TecRMI system.

“Using the TecVINFILTER option, CV installers and fleet workshops with a TecRMI licence can access service, repair, recall and time allocation information for manufacturers including IVECO, MAN, Mercedes Benz, Scania and Volvo, ”continues Greasley. “By using the VIN, alongside a secondary search criterion such as the engine code, they can identify the vehicle on which they are working in the most efficient manor.

“After entering these details, the TecVINFILTER will find the vehicle and display the search result as a unique ID: a single vehicle with its own NType number (a TecDoc standardised vehicle identification), which not only provides access to a multitude of service and repair information, but also links the parts and the matching part numbers necessary to complete the job in question.”