Adhering to your budget is a foundational skill required to run any operation successfully. When it comes to the parts you use, whether it’s for updating or replacing your current equipment, you want to make sure they hit two key points:
- The purchase is cost effective and budget friendly
- The part will help to improve or maintain efficiency
Your decision to purchase parts and products should be based on the two points above, particularly when you weigh the options of choosing between OEM parts and aftermarket products.
What are OEM products?
OEM, or “original equipment manufacturer,” products are those that originate directly with the manufacturer of your equipment and are identical to the products or parts you’re replacing. OEM products are new and are created with the same materials and consideration the original pieces were.
On the other side of the spectrum you have aftermarket products, which are manufactured by a third-party company and not the original manufacturer. These products and parts are intended to serve a similar function as the piece being replaced; however, due to the nature of aftermarket parts, it can be difficult to ensure that you are going to get the same kind of quality or functionality as the original piece. Therein lies the innate advantage of selecting OEM parts over aftermarket ones.
Choosing OEM over aftermarket
One of the more popular reason to choose an aftermarket product over an OEM one has to do with cost. As a general rule, aftermarket parts are usually much less expensive, which seems like a great idea when you’re on a budget. The problem with that is the lack of a guarantee—for quality, fit, or function.
OEM products are going to match what’s being replaced and that guarantees function and quality. You’ll be getting the same performance you expect and need from your equipment with an OEM replacement part because it was designed and tested under the same rigorous manufacturer standards. This means OEM products guarantee compatibility (dimensions and specifications) and are high quality.
Reconsidering the cost of the same OEM part with its aftermarket equivalent, you can begin to see that while you could end up paying more upfront, you’re investing in a quality part that has the potential to last a very long time.
Longevity is another key advantage of OEM products—and not just for the part itself, but your equipment as well.
OEM products are designed to perform and fit factory specifications and that can increase the operational life of your equipment simply because the replacement part isn’t “kind of” similar to the original, so there is no room for undue wear-and-tear that might arise from the use of an aftermarket component.
Again, the idea of OEM parts being an investment is owed to the inherent longevity of the products, meaning you could go through one or more aftermarket replacements in the span of your equipment’s life, costing you more over time. With OEM, you don’t have to worry about the parts breaking down and needing replaced more than anticipated for any specific piece of equipment.
OEM parts offer reliability that extends beyond compatibility and quality
When you purchase OEM products, you’re also gaining access to the manufacturer’s network of support, something you may otherwise lack with aftermarket parts. This helps to ensure you can get your questions answered by someone who knows the equipment and the parts firsthand, rather than someone familiar with the replacement part but only passably knowledgeable about the equipment itself.
You may also be able to expect support in the form of a manufacturer’s warranty, as most OEM parts include at least a 1-year warranty (although this varies between manufacturers and products). In many cases, if your part shipped with defects or is faulty, the manufacturer is usually happy to replace the part for you.
For large operations or projects that require expensive equipment, you want to make sure you handle them with care. If you don’t, repairs can be costly. It’s for this reason that we feel OEM parts are typically the best option for maintaining your equipment as they ensure the fewest number of mechanical problems and won’t harm the operational life of your equipment. All of this means saving money and maintaining operational efficiency to see you through to the end of your project on schedule and on budget.