Having critical spares on hand is best practice, but sometimes you can be caught out by an unexpected breakdown. When it is time to order spare parts in a hurry, what comes to mind first: going back to the manufacturer for OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, or sourcing from a local supplier?
Many businesses opt for the latter, but that may become more costly in the long run. Before making this important decision, think about how OEM spare parts can benefit your business.
Some manufacturers pose limitations on the use of generic or modified spare parts, and the use of these spare parts can void the warranty on a piece of equipment. If anything should go wrong, then the costs to repair the equipment or rectify any failure could fall to you and not the manufacturer. Failures often also lead to significant consequential losses. This risk needs to be weighed prior to the purchase of any spare parts.
2. Quality (Functionality)
While many spare parts may look and function the same, generic spares are not necessarily of the same composition that OEM parts specify. Examples of reduced quality include:
- Parts not being manufactured using the same tolerances as the OEM equivalent
- Drill holes not in alignment, causing poor fit during installation
- Nonidentical pitch thread
- Inferior welding, which could cause cracking and deteriorate the quality of the entire assembly
OEM spares have one important attribute over generic spares — upgrade compatibility. Manufacturers often tweak their equipment to enable their customers to maximise throughput, output and flow.
OEM spares are always compatible, whereas generic spares run the risk of being outdated. Generic equipment suppliers will not receive equipment updates to know if a spare part has changed, so how will you know?
Value comes in a variety of ways depending on what aspect is most important to your business. The value in OEM parts is derived from in-house engineering, upgrades, modifications and optimisations that simply cannot be offered by any other generic parts supplier. Most of us associate value with the cost of the part when in fact it can also include the customer service supplied by the organisation. The OEM will always have an unpralleled knowledge of their own equipment that no generic parts supplier can match.
Value is also obtained through the total cost of ownership, a term that is used almost too often. The true cost must be compared to the inherent risks associated with installation, performance and impact that a non-OEM part can have on the entire machine and flow on system.
The value in OEM spares comes from their ability to last for a specific duration and be resilient enough to last between preventative maintenance cycles.
Availability is typically higher with the OEM as opposed to a generic supplier who needs to keep many different brands on hand at one time.
OEM’s understand that down time is extremely costly, so they will typically stock components that are considered critical to the operation of their machines. Holding stock on consignment is another way OEM’s ensure critical parts are immediately available in the event of a failure or unplanned shutdown.
Durability all comes down to the composition. Generic suppliers cannot guarantee that their substituted parts are structurally compliant like an OEM part would be.
Wear parts are a great example; OEM suppliers can give you an estimated changeout period to enable better planning.
6. After-sales Support
Whether you are in need of technical advice, training, specialised parts delivery or on-site services, OEM’s are the experts, and their specialised teams can therefore offer unparalleled support when you need it most. These valuable services coupled with the right spare parts can make all the difference in creating a more reliable and profitable operation.
As a part of your after-service support, your OEM supplier can provide a parts history on what has been sold to your site for warehousing and budgetary purposes.
If you would like further information on McLanahan OEM spare parts, click the button below to connect with a McLanahan representative.