The Future of OEM Manufacturing
COVID-19 affected many people’s lives physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. This also affected several different businesses, causing them to halt their production. Fortunately, even though the pandemic still lingers, there are many OEM manufacturing companies that can still meet the demands and needs of many customers.
If you’ve ever considered working with an OEM manufacturing company, but you aren’t sure how that relationship will look due to the market’s changing trends, you aren’t alone. Many different companies are turning to OEMs to help with their production needs to keep up with product quality demands. If you want to learn more about OEM companies and how they can benefit your company in today’s changing landscape, continue reading below.
What Is OEM?
An Original Equipment Manufacturer, also known as OEM, is a company that produces and sells parts of a product or products for a particular company. That company then takes those parts of a product or complete product and sells it to their clients. OEMs commonly operate in the computer and auto industries.
An original equipment manufacturer often works directly with a retail company. For example, Lenovo’s computer parts aren’t all manufactured by Lenovo themselves. Instead, Lenovo utilizes a manufacturing company to create their processors.
Examples of OEM
To better explain how an original equipment manufacturer works, let’s use Company D as an example. Company D manufacturers several different versions of a memory card to sell to various computer manufacturers or retailers, like Lenovo or Dell. Those companies are considered value-added resellers who will sell their version of the product to their clients.
OEM vs. Value-Added Reseller
Value-added resellers, also known as VARs, sell products from the OEM, but they also incorporate certain added features before doing so. The two companies benefit from one another because VARs help original equipment manufacturers sell their products.
OEM vs. Aftermarket
While an OEM produces original equipment, an aftermarket manufacturer creates products that are made to look like and work with those of an OEM. To simplify, aftermarket parts or products are not original because different companies manufacture them.
Some of these aftermarket companies are locally based, whereas others are foreign-based. Although these parts are cheaper, they don’t have the same guarantees that an OEM part or product would.
How to Make Aftermarket Parts
As we all know, as time passes and technology advances, well-known auto companies, and technology companies release updated versions of their products. Most auto companies update their vehicles at least once every six years, and phone manufacturing companies change almost every year or two. So what happens to those old models and machines used to create those products?
These companies sell them. Many manufacturers purchase those old molds and models to create similar products to market.
Example of Aftermarket Products
You commonly see aftermarket parts in the auto industry. Auto shops and insurance companies prefer to use aftermarket parts over OEM parts whenever someone gets into an auto accident and needs their vehicle fixed. This is because aftermarket products are cheaper to manufacture and purchase.
Characteristics of an OEM
If you want to know if a company is an original equipment manufacturer, there are a few characteristics to look out for. For example, OEMs sell licenses which means they typically sell their product licenses to the resellers they market to.
You can easily purchase hardware off the internet through an OEM or a retail product manufacturer. However, the OEM hardware typically is shipped without cables or adapters necessary for the installation and operation of said hardware.
OEM software isn’t very common, but there are OEM software products. Some of the OEM software products created are versions of Windows productivity software, operating system, and security applications. This licensed software typically does not come with technical support, but it is instead provided with basic documentation and a few logos.
Most of these products are created for specific machines. For example, an OEM Windows system for an HP computer won’t operate the same on Dell or Lenovo. Even more so, that certain software may work for one specific HP model, but it won’t perform the same on other models.
Benefits of Original Equipment Manufacturers
There are several different benefits of using an OEM manufacturers in china. For example, when working with an OEM, you can expect a quick response time because less time is required to identify and produce the parts you need. Most manufacturers you work with like to have their products assembled and sent to you within a timely manner.
When replacing a part on a machine or a vehicle, you will want to have the utmost confidence that the replacement part is the same, if not better, than what was there before. The only way to secure this confidence is to use an OEM. When using an OEM manufacturing company, they will ensure that your products or parts of a product are created and tested to match your original specification.
When approaching OEM support engineers, you will want to be reassured that those engineers have access to the same engineering team that designed your products or parts. Most, if not all, OEM support engineers do have that access, which will provide you with a wide variety of engineering and technical support. OEM staff members are pretty knowledgeable, and they can help you with all your part needs.
Value and Lifespan
When replacing parts in your products or machines, you expect that you will continue to get the same performance you had before needing the replacement. Buying from an OEM manufacturing company ensures that your replacement part will have that same quality, and there will be no degradation in performance.
Having a warranty is one of the most important benefits when working with any OEM manufacturer. Should your company receive your parts with any defects, or if the parts are faulty, you can always reach out to your OEM. They will make sure to make it right so that you aren’t stuck with unusable products.
High Return on Investments
Since the parts your OEM supplies are designed to perform and fit factory specifications, these parts increase the life of your product. In the long run, this can save your business a lot of money and help reduce downtime.
Current OEM Trends
The relationship between OEM companies, dealerships, and other companies has always been healthy and symbiotic. Most OEMs depend on their networks to sell and service their products.
On the other hand, these companies have fallen back on OEMs to provide specific components or parts. In the auto industry, original equipment manufacturers also have the task of financing their servicing activities while the cars are covered under warranty.
Updates to the Market
Most OEM companies are now working towards creating remote software upgrades and establishing direct relationships with their clients with subscription models. With that said, this means that OEMs are taking ownership of customer relations which usually falls back on the dealers, or as you now know, VARs.
The dealers still get a significant portion of profits from after-sales and services. Activities like new car sales or new product sales can also create a profit, but the margin is relatively small.
What Does This Changing Landscape Mean?
Consumer demands of the auto industry are changing. Apart from the shift in needing or wanting more electric vehicles, cars are now viewed as a part of a shared mobility service. Models of car ownership are changing as well, meaning that customers now view their cars like smartphones. These clients expect their vehicles to be updated and refuse to pay a premium for a service that offers benefits down the line.
OEMs are currently working on creating capabilities that reduce cost due to connected diagnostics, predictive maintenance, and over-the-air software updates. They are also seizing more opportunities for direct relationships with consumers, such as creating innovative techniques to sell cars.
Customer Trends and the Marketplace
As technology continues to advance and the way we work and live continues to change, customers are doing things more online. To support dealerships, OEM manufacturing companies have to consider the value they add.
As mentioned earlier, OEMs are set to take greater ownership of customer relationships, but they should provide additional support to dealerships to ensure they don’t just disappear altogether.
To help with this, OEMs can incentivize dealerships to drive traffic to online showrooms, or they can reward dealerships for high brand engagement.
How to Find an OEM Manufacturer
When looking for an OEM, you will want to ensure that they have experience making products similar to yours. For example, an OEM who specializes in computer parts may not have the same capabilities for creating auto parts. You also must consider if you want to use a factory in the United States or overseas. Most OEMs who have better capabilities are overseas, not in the United States.
Domestic vs. Overseas
Manufacturing in the United States has its benefits, but it also comes with a few disadvantages. With an OEM in the U.S., you have more control over production; you can also visit the site regularly and avoid dealing with international shipping logistics.
Although that may sound ideal, you will most likely have to pay more for parts and labor. With overseas manufacturing, you still have a say in your product specification, but the cost to the manufacturer is much cheaper.
Even though dealing with international shipping logistics may sound like a headache, it won’t be when you partner with the right company. They will make sure to have a dedicated contact who can speak your language and explain the entire process to you.
Review Their Certifications
Not all manufacturers in China are the same, nor do they have the same qualifications. No matter how well-established the plant is, there is a possibility that they don’t have the necessary licenses or certifications.
To ensure that your manufacturer creates your product in compliance with regulatory standards, make sure that your supplier has the proper licenses and certifications to assemble your product.
Common ISO certifications manufacturers should have:
- ISO 14001: Environmental Management
- ISO 9001:2015: Quality Management Systems
- ISO 45001:2015: Occupational Health and Safety
Each industry has its own certifications, so each manufacturer needs to have the same certificates and documents to ensure they produce high-quality products. Before working with a specific manufacturer, make sure that you check the required materials for assembling.
The last thing you want is to work with a manufacturer who doesn’t have the capacity to manufacture your parts or products. You wouldn’t want to send your money and products to a company just for your products to be stuck on a shelf awaiting their assembly.
To ensure that you don’t get stuck with a company that doesn’t assemble or manufacture your products as fast as you need, make sure you check in with your manufacturer’s production space. The OEM should provide you with information about their current output rate and deadlines.
Produce High-Quality Products
Partnering with a reputable OEM manufacturing company is critical to make sure that your business meets the demands of your clients and ensures long-lasting performance and high-quality products. Working with a reputable OEM manufacturing company is more than just finding someone reputable and knowledgeable; it is about creating a stable relationship.
You want to make sure that the company you work with values you and your business just as you do. Contact us now if you are ready to create a lasting relationship with an OEM manufacturing company overseas. Our team is prepared to answer any questions or concerns you have about our future partnership.