Projections show that the global automotive OEM market will reach a value of $39.503 billion by 2028.
When it comes to aftermarket car parts, the general belief is that they may be lower in quality than factory originals. Your old air conditioner, for example, finally gives out after all of these years. The next day, you head into the dealership and purchase a factory replacement for optimal performance.
Auto parts aren’t the only thing produced by OEMs – in fact, they can create all kinds of components for various industries. So how do you decide between the two? Well, first you need to know about OEM products.
In this guide, we’ll go through what they are, why you should use them, and anything else you need to know.
OEM Products Defined
An OEM (original equipment manufacturer) is a company that makes parts that are considered to be as good as the components of products from another manufacturer. For example, a manufacturer that makes smartphone screens that are as good as the ones that come as standard in iPhones would be classed as an OEM.
OEMs generally work closely with VARs (value-added resellers) to add value to an original item, which the VAR then sells. An OEM may make custom designs based on the needs and specifications of a VAR.
How OEMs Work
An OEM typically makes sub-assembly parts, but will sometimes produce completed items (although this is rare). An OEM as above, that makes smartphone screens, may also make a range of other electrical components. They might then sell these on to a company like Samsung or Apple, which assemble these parts into TVs, smartphones, computer monitors, etc.
Many parts made by an OEM are quite insignificant on their own. Most final products are assembled from many individual parts before the VAR sells them under its own brand name.
As OEM product manufacturing consists of parts and components, they focus mainly on B2B (business-to-business) sales, whereas VARs sell primarily to end-users. With that being said, the number of OEMs selling directly to customers has increased in recent years.
This is mainly with certain types of products. OEMs that make computer components, for example, often sell directly to customers who build their own computers. Car part manufacturers often do the same as many people carry out car repairs and upgrades themselves.
Despite this, the auto industry contains one of the most basic OEM examples there is. OEMs manufacture parts like brake cylinders and exhaust systems, which they sell to auto manufacturers. These manufacturers then assemble these parts into cars, which they market to auto dealers, who sell them on to customers.
In recent years a new definition for OEMs has arisen, and it’s most commonly associated with the computer industry. It refers to a company that buys products, then rebrands them or incorporates them into new products under their own name.
Microsoft, for example, creates Windows software which it then sells to HP. HP incorporates this into its devices and sells them to customers under the HP brand.
In this situation, Microsoft would traditionally be the OEM, and HP would be the VAR. In most cases, however, the product guide from HP would refer to themselves as the OEM.
You do have the option, however, to go for aftermarket parts instead of OEM products. This is true for almost any component, and whenever you need to replace or upgrade anything, you need to choose which you think is best.
OEM vs Aftermarket
People often get OEM and aftermarket confused, but they’re almost opposites in some ways. OEM parts are made for specific products. Aftermarket parts are made by another company, and customers can use these as a replacement for the original parts.
There’s a lot of competition here in many industries. Among the most common is the auto parts industry.
If a consumer has a Ford Taurus, for example, and the thermostat breaks. They can replace it with an OEM part made by ABC Thermostats, which would be identical to the original one. Alternatively, various other companies make other parts that would serve well as a replacement – these are aftermarket parts.
In many situations, a consumer would go for an aftermarket part because it’s cheaper and/or easier to obtain. Sometimes it may be the only option. If the consumer is replacing a part from an older product, the manufacturer may no longer support it, meaning the OEM might not make the parts needed anymore.
Sometimes certain aftermarket product manufacturers become well known for the quality of the parts they produce. In these cases, consumers may specifically look for parts made by such an aftermarket manufacturer.
This is something else that is commonly seen in the auto parts industry. Hurst Performance, for example, is an aftermarket gear shifter manufacturer. They’re also an OEM manufacturer of some parts for various muscle car automakers.
Their products are generally seen as being superior to the parts that most cars come with as standard. Because of this, people will often choose them for replacement parts instead of going with OEM parts. People will sometimes upgrade to Hurst Performance gear shifters before their original even needs replacing.
The Benefits of OEM Products From Shield Works
When buying parts, you may need to decide what type of manufacturer to go with. Several advantages come with using an OEM.
You’re likely to get a faster response from an OEM than other manufacturers. This is because they can identify and produce the part quicker as they have access to the technical drawings. At Shield Works we aim to always keep turnaround time to a minimum, ensuring we get your parts manufactured and out to you in good time.
With OEM parts, quality is key. We work to make sure our parts are identical to the original component, if not better. We test all parts we create to make sure they meet the specifications of the original, ensuring high quality and reliability.
Any parts you receive from us will be fully compatible with the product and perform just as the original part did. At Shield Works, we go by ISO standard work practices to ensure we maintain a high product standard. All of our processes and record-keeping also meet ISO standards, maintaining high-quality practices across all areas of our business.
Shield Works is a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE). As such we adhere to all PRC laws and regulations in terms of product manufacturing, assembly, distribution, and exportation.
All OEM support engineers should have access to the engineering team that designed the original products. This means they’ll also have access to any information or details needed to ensure the part is up to standard. With a high level of technical knowledge and support, we can ensure that we make all of our parts correctly, with minimal room for error.
OEM parts should always be as good as the original part. Because of this, you would expect them to have the same longevity. If a part serves the same function but fails much quicker, it may not be as worthwhile to replace it.
Any parts you get from an OEM manufacturer like Shield Works should last just as long under the same conditions as the parts they’re replacing. The performance will be just as good, and it will degrade at the same rate or slower.
One of the downsides of aftermarket parts is that they often don’t match up here. While they may work well enough for the same purpose, they’ll often fail much quicker. This is because they tend to be made with lower quality materials, and with worse manufacturing processes.
In most cases, an OEM manufacturer produces parts in a very cost-efficient manner. While aftermarket parts can also be very cheap, the lower level of quality means that they’ll need replacing more often, and they’re more likely to have defects from the start.
OEM parts are specifically designed to exact specifications to match your equipment. In the long run, this will keep the need for maintenance down, helping save on costs. It also means you’ll experience less downtime, further increasing the ROI (return on investment).
Shield Works is based in Guangdong, China. The cost of product manufacturing varies depending on the country in question. In China, manufacturing costs are often much lower than in many other locations.
By saving costs on manufacturing, we can offer our OEM parts at a lower price than many competitors, without compromising the quality.
While all manufacturing takes place in China, Shield Works is 100% British owned and managed. This means that we maintain western standards for communication, service, and business ethics at all levels of our organization.
People may have concerns about products being manufactured so far away from a business’ main center of operations. To ensure all standards are held we maintain 24/7 video streams from our warehouse in Guangdong. Using this you can observe your manufacturing area at any time to ensure proper practices are being adhered to.
One of the best ways of ensuring standards are maintained is to only allow authorized personnel into manufacturing zones. To do this, we use fingerprint access which helps provide full IP (intellectual property) protection at the manufacturing location.
While a 24/7 video feed is useful for monitoring a manufacturing zone, it doesn’t give a good look at the parts themselves, so you may want a better idea of how everything is being handled. We’ll give you full access to production monitoring in real-time. This way you can get details from your assembly line whenever you need them.
You can look at information such as communication lines and statistical reporting to ensure things are on track. This also means you can communicate directly with your production team in China if need be.
You can contact us at any time if there are any changes you need to make. Within our OEM manufacturing processes, we can make any adjustments to ensure your orders meet your needs. If you have any product adjustments you need to make or project requirements that we’re not aware of, just let us know and we’ll make the necessary changes.
Shield Works, with already over 17 years under its belt now, was launched the core values of transparency and integrity. We still carry these principles on today, and they’ve been a key component of our success in the manufacturing industry.
Since being founded we’ve completed over 15,000 projects. Our team is skilled in a variety of processes and sectors.
Over the years our team has tackled all kinds of projects. We can produce a range of hard goods, soft goods, and electronics such as:
- Tools and hardware products
- Automotive parts
- Safety equipment
- Bags and accessories
- Home and garden appliances
Whatever OEM parts you need, we can manufacture them professionally and in good time.
Getting Your OEM Products
OEM products are ideal if you want high-quality parts for your goods. The products we manufacture at Shield Works will always meet or exceed expectations, making them ideal for any situation.
We pride ourselves on transparency, so you’ll be able to see what’s happening with your parts at any stage of the process. We have a wide range of capabilities and can meet whatever needs and specifications you have. OEM parts provide quality, reliability, and longevity.
The team at Shield Works Precision Manufacturing is ready to take on any project you have. If you want to know more about our services, or if have any other questions for us, click here to contact us today.