Tag Original Equipment Manufacturer

Tag Original Equipment Manufacturer

Podcast: The eCommerce Opportunity

July 22, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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In March of 2016 Alan Sage was the featured guest on top marketing consultant Bruce McDuffee’s weekly podcast show, Manufacturing Marketing Matters.

As always, Bruce asks insightful questions and provides his own expert perspective. And Alan shares his predictions on the future of online and aftermarket sales for manufacturers who traditionally relied on dealer/distributor networks to generate orders and revenues from part sales and service.

Alan and Bruce discuss the increasing difficulty for manufacturers to maintain or increase revenues in light of global economic volatility, the proliferation of 3rd party suppliers, and greater competition from non-domestic manufacturers. The competition for aftermarket part sales has become even more challenging, with resellers on eBay, Ali Baba and other online channels vying for the same market share.

The solution is to create an effortless buying experience for online users, akin to the Amazon.com experience that private consumers have come to expect. That is, the ability to buy anywhere, any time, and have confidence that you’ll receive the right parts in a cash-register-ecommercetimely fashion.

Listen to the entire show and learn more about Alan’s actionable takeaways:

  • Manufacturers’ proprietary information (this includes parts catalogs) gives them a competitive advantage over non-OEM aftermarket providers, so figure out how to leverage this information.
  • Customers will pay more for convenience and reliability, so don’t make the mistake of trying to compete only on price when you can truly add value to a transaction.

Bruce McDuffee has proven to be an innovative voice in the world of marketing for manufacturers, applying concepts from B2C and other arenas to the unique challenges and needs of manufacturers. From content marketing to eCommerce to search engine optimization, Bruce stays on top of the latest.

If you’re a manufacturer wondering about the trend toward more transparent online B2B sales, or a marketer looking for advice on best practices for manufacturers, you’ll get something of value from this exchange of ideas.

Check out the podcast on manufacturing eCommerce today.

An Equipment Owner’s Perspective on Spare Parts

June 30, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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One of Digabit’s clients is Schramm, Inc., a 115-year-old manufacturer of drilling equipment supplying the global mining, energy and water industries. Schramm builds custom rigs tailored to buyers’ specifications, which means that maintenance and repair of these unique machines requires complex coordination of the right people, with the right parts, at the right time.

Complicating matters even more, many of Schramm’s products operate in remote locales, hundreds of miles from the nearest airport or major city. Job sites like this are expensive to manage, and when equipment is idled due to a breakdown or unscheduled maintenance it can cost the equipment owner tens of thousands a day in lost productivity and labor costs.

Consider the problems posed by this scenario for a job site’s mechanics and operations manager, as they attempted to keep equipment running up to 24 hours a day:

  • Technical support materials often consisted of a generic set of manuals that did not accurately reflect the actual machinery.
  • Support documents such as illustrated parts books were delivered in print with the machine, or in PDFs on a CD, which means they were practically impossible to update when the OEM re-designed and superseded a part.
  • Depending on geography, delivery of parts could take several days and cost hundreds to thousands of dollars for express service. The consequences of ordering the wrong part were magnified manyfold, considering the immense costs related to downtime.
  • Communications with support staff in the OEM’s aftermarket organization could be difficult, making identification of the correct replacement parts a significant problem when documentation was incorrect or missing.
  • In extreme cases, the ability to rapidly deliver spare parts becomes a life-or-death affair.

This was the environment for equipment users prior to Schramm’s adoption of a digitally enhanced workflow for parts book authoring and publication.

Then Schramm adopted Documoto, a modern, relational database solution that delivers product documentation in the cloud. Documoto has unlocked massive benefits for Schramm customers:Schramm Equipment-Owner-Perspective-Spare-Parts

  • Equipment users have the ability to look up detailed diagrams of parts and assemblies, in parts books that are custom-built alongside the machinery.
  • When parts or other product data are revised by the manufacturer, customers’ electronic parts books are automatically updated within a day.
  • Because part and assembly drawings are now identical to the physical components, order accuracy increased while order processing efforts dropped.

It’s surprising to learn that many billion-dollar companies still manage aftermarket support the old way. Forward-thinking firms like Schramm—and Digabit’s other clients—have discovered a 21st-century parts catalog solution, and the benefits of 24×7 customer access to highly accurate product documentation.

5 Reasons to Use OEM Parts — And 3 Reasons Not To!

April 8, 2016 Tags: , , ,
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If you work in an industry that relies on commercial vehicles, heavy equipment like drilling rigs, or other complex pieces of capital equipment, one of your biggest concerns is maximizing your machines’ uptime and minimizing your total cost of ownership (TCO).

Given those two complementary objectives, what do you do when it’s time for repairs or machine maintenance? Do you order parts made by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) online or through the local dealer? Or do you scour eBay, Alibaba and the neighborhood Harbor Freight to find the cheapest option available?

There may be good reasons to go the economical route, but don’t make that decision lightly. Here are five reasons why you may want to stick with the original manufacturer’s parts, at least in certain situations:

1. Quality

We’re referring to fit and function here. Yes, you can find an M10 x 1.25 bolt at Home Depot, but is it made from the same material as the original? Does the thread pitch really match? This is a simplistic example, but it applies even more so in the case of complicated parts and assemblies. Have you ever gone to install a new replacement part and the holes didn’t match up? This is much less likely to happen with OEM parts designed by the manufacturer.

2. Warranty & Support

Occasionally the installation of a non-OEM part poses a threat to warranty coverage on a particular piece of equipment. If your hydraulic system fails because someone changed with fluid that doesn’t match manufacturer specifications, you may be on the hook to rebuild it yourself rather than filing a warranty claim. OEM parts themselves may also have a better guarantee than those from 3rd-party suppliers or will fitters.





Documobile parts catalogs for mobile field service




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 “disruptive” vendor, the only thing likely to be disrupted is your work schedule when the part doesn’t show up on time.

5. Durability

A part is a part, right? Except you have no idea what’s in the alloy or plastic that the part is made from. Auto makers have spent over 100 years formulating recipes for sheet metal and coatings that resist corrosion and contribute to increased safety standards. Is that fender produced in Malaysia made of the same stuff? Nobody knows.

Meyer-Documoto

Why You Shouldn’t Use OEM

Of course, every rule has exceptions, and the decision to use OEM parts isn’t completely cut and dry. There are some instances where it makes sense to seek out an alternative, mostly from the perspective of reducing TCO. Here are three:

1. Similar (or Better) Quality, Lower (or Equal) Price

In some cases you can verify that a non-OEM aftermarket part at least equals the original in quality, but is simply priced lower due to the supplier’s reduced overhead or better efficiency. For certain types of applications, aftermarket parts may even be perceived as upgrades over OEM components.

2. Aftermarket Parts Made by Same Supplier

Sometimes a 3rd-party vendor actually sources parts from the same assembly line that makes the OEM parts. This can be hard to identify; however, as manufacturers usually make pains to ensure that their parts don’t carry visible markings that reveal the true maker.

3. Obsolescent Equipment

If machinery is near the end of its projected service life, it may not make sense to pay a premium for the advantages offered by OEM parts. Increased resale value will not likely recoup the additional investment required, and durability ceases to be a primary factor in the buying decision. Just find the most economical solution to get you through the busy season, and spend the money you save on a new unit!

 

LA Metro Increased Order Accuracy With Documoto