As an equipment owner, your biggest concern should be maximizing your machine uptime and minimizing your total cost of ownership (TCO). Whether you’re in an industry that relies on commercial vehicles, heavy equipment drilling rigs, or other intricate capital equipment pieces, time is money and you are dependent on the machines you use. Making maintenance and regular servicing an essential process to the overall lifetime value of the machine.
Given those two objectives, what do you do when it’s time for repairs or machine maintenance? You’re go-to options are:
- Ordering parts made by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) online or through the local dealer
- Scouring the local community or internet to find the cheapest option available
There may be good reasons to go the economic route, but you may want to consider the negative repercussions before taking that leap. Below are five reasons why you may want to stick with the original manufacturer’s parts to enhance machine uptime:
We’re referring to fit and function here. The machines you operate are engineered to withstand a lot. Making OEM parts and assemblies a crucial part of maintenance and less likely to happen with parts designed by another manufacturer.
2. WARRANTY & SUPPORT
Occasionally the installation of a non-OEM part poses a threat to warranty coverage on a particular piece of equipment. As an example, a hydraulic system failure. In this instance, if the wrong fluid was used, a warranty claim may not pass. OEM parts themselves may have better guarantees than those from 3rd-party suppliers or will fitters.
3. SYSTEM COMPATIBILITY
With the increasing use of connected sensors and integrated data collection to monitor and record operating conditions, making sure related components are compatible is a primary concern. Manufacturers commonly use proprietary software to control machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, and other aftermarket suppliers may not have access to the code that makes everything work together.
4. RELIABLE DISTRIBUTION
Large manufacturing companies have been around for years, meaning they’ve had a long time to refine their supply chains and distribution networks. While you may believe you’re saving a few hundred dollars by buying that expensive part from a “cheaper” vendor; your work schedule may become delayed when the part doesn’t show up on time.
A part is a part, right? Except when you have no idea what the part is made of. Manufacturers have spent hundreds of years formulating recipes for sheet metal and coatings that resist corrosion and contribute to increased safety standards. OEM parts are no different. They’re engineered to be durable. In short, OEM parts will extend the life of your machine well after the initial purchase of equipment. Regardless of your outlook, cheaper doesn’t always mean better and the old saying, “better safe than sorry,” certainly applies to this notion.