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One of the most important decisions that every forklift company has to make involves whether to purchase OEM parts or instead opt for aftermarket ones. The difference between the two is that OEM parts are made by the original manufacturer (Original Equipment Manufacturer), while aftermarket parts are made by external manufacturers and not specifically geared toward any specific forklift model. There are many factors that go into which type of part to buy, so this post offers an overview of what to bear in mind when deciding whether to get OEM parts or aftermarket ones instead.
Basic differences between OEM parts and aftermarket parts
Besides the obvious differences conveyed through their titles, there are several major factors that distinguish OEM and aftermarket parts. Most notably, OEM parts tend to be more expensive by a pretty significant margin, as they are sourced from countries that have higher production standards. This means that a warehouse with lots of forklifts may simply find that OEM parts are cost prohibitive. The great advantage offered by OEM parts is that because they are actually produced by the company that manufactured the forklift, the parts are guaranteed to fit. In addition, they typically come with a warranty (that often includes labor.) The quality guarantee associated with OEM parts makes it so that many companies are entirely unwilling to stock parts that are not OEM.
One of the main negatives to OEM parts is that they can be difficult to find, as they are not distributed all that widely. For this reason, it is exceedingly tough for any warehouse to commit exclusively to OEM parts, and most companies use a mix of OEM and aftermarket. Because of the inherent risk involved in aftermarket parts, it’s very important for warehouses to find an aftermarket supplier that can be relied upon.
The case for aftermarket parts
It’s easy to leap to the conclusion that because they are manufactured from a more recognizable company, OEM parts are inherently better than aftermarket ones, but this is not technically the case. In fact, it is entirely possible to find an aftermarket parts dealer that manufacturers higher quality parts than OEM ones and when you factor in the lower prices, this makes it only logical to explore aftermarket dealers.
Clearly, there are advantages and disadvantages to OEM parts. It is important for warehouses to buy OEM parts but also cultivate relationships with aftermarket companies as well. When you keep an open mind toward both OEM and aftermarket suppliers, you increase your options and ensure that you will never be left without the parts you need to keep your forklifts running.