Making the right choice between genuine and non-genuine parts

Making the right choice between genuine and non-genuine parts

When buying parts for anything from a car to industrial machinery, you may have come across the terms OEM and non-genuine. An OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or genuine label refers to parts that they have been made by the same company that produces the end product. For example, OEM parts can be sourced from Toyota for replacements in vehicles of that make that have already been sold. Non-genuine parts are manufactured by third parties who use a blueprint of sorts to create and sell the same components. Both OEM and non-genuine parts are common in almost any industry, and it’s important to know what to look for.

If they are the same part, what’s the difference?

By far, the major reason for the presence of non-genuine parts on the market is the often expensive price tag placed on OEM products; non-genuine manufacturers aim to produce the same results with reduced costs in order to offer customers much lower prices. The trade-off you will have to consider, however, is that quality assurance is significantly higher with OEM components. When you buy a part from the original manufacturer of the system, you get the guarantee that comes with the brand’s reputation.

What you need to weigh up when considering non-genuine

Just because it’s a non-genuine manufacturer does not automatically mean anything dodgy—in some circumstances, the part offers identical performance at a much lower price. However, there are a number of factors to be wary of:

  1. Compatibility: in some cases, you may discover that your system is only compatible with original parts and will not function otherwise. You may also incorrectly choose a particular non-genuine part that is incompatible with the equipment. Be sure to confirm that a particular part will be compatible before making a purchase.
  2. Industry standards: it is usually much easier to research an OEM part to ensure it will meet your obligations as per relevant standards. When buying a non-genuine component, take the time to ensure it is suitable and will not expose your business to any liability issues.
  3. Warranty: if you have manufacturer’s warranty on a particular piece of equipment or machinery, check the details prior to purchase in case the non-genuine replacement violates the agreement and voids the warranty.

Ultimately, non-genuine parts can be a huge saving for your business. However, it’s important to ensure they are of sufficient quality and will be able to perform as required. If cost isn’t an issue, OEM components may be the path to take for complete peace of mind.

Published 24 March, 2016
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