A critical part of vehicle’s whole life cost is the maintenance costs accumulated during a vehicle’s service life. Sourcing ‘kind of similar’ replacement steering parts for trucks is just one procurement example that has negative implications on whole life costs. These aftermarket products are not made to the same standards as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), so could result in costly recurring repairs.
OEM products are those sourced directly from the manufacturer of the vehicle’s original steering parts. The new OEM parts are identical to the parts that need replacing, made with the same considerations and quality assurance.
Contrastingly, aftermarket products are manufactured by a third-party company. These parts may intend to serve a similar function as the parts being replaced, but are not an exact match. It is therefore much harder to ensure the same levels of functionality and quality as the original part. This brings with it a higher risk of failure. Worst case scenario, one unfortunate accident could result in an irreversibly damaged reputation for the operator, all because an OEM part wasn’t sourced.
One reason behind this disparity in performance is that the quality of the raw materials used in manufacturing aftermarket parts varies greatly. Compare this with a premium OEM-quality part that is made from OEM-standard raw materials, tested for consistent hardness and against dynamic loads.
Price shouldn’t be the main driver
Choosing an OEM part may boost the customer’s confidence in the safety and reliability of the part, however, confidence doesn’t protect profit margins. The measurable reward comes from the reduced comebacks and downtime. If vehicles are kept on the road, profits are maximised.
Yet commercial fleet managers are still falling for the false economy of choosing cheap aftermarket parts. Generally speaking, aftermarket parts are much less expensive than OEM parts, which on first glance seems like a budget-friendly option. But as commonly put — buying cheap means buying twice. Aftermarket parts lack the OEM’s guarantee of quality, fit and function that may mean additional purchases in the short-term.
Choose OEM. Choose Pailton Engineering.
Want to know more about the priorities of this steering parts company? Check out our six core values.