If the user of a construction or work machine discovers a defect or if this is detected by a service technician, the new suitable spare part often has to be found quickly. Machine breakdowns can cause delays in production, which means that orders are not processed in a timely manner, and financial losses are imminent.
If a new spare part is required, the procurement means only one thing: effort. Because in reality, finding the right spare parts is often very difficult, because the right spare part is not immediately identified or found. Several telephone calls and an extensive search on the Internet can be necessary in order to find the right spare part.
For this reason, people looking for spare parts often seek help from your service workshop and expect to be told at short notice when they can expect the spare part in question and how much it will cost. All in all, the search for and procurement of spare parts is an unpleasant task that companies are reluctant to deal with.
But what is it that makes a spare part search so difficult and, above all, how can you remedy this? In this post, you will find the 9 most common reasons why a spare part search is so difficult and what you can do to make it as easy as possible for your customer.
A spare part search is more difficult when you are looking for parts for machines older than 10 years
Machines that are already 10 years old or older make a spare part search extremely difficult. The reason for this is that older models are no longer being manufactured today, and the production of individual spare parts will also be reduced or even discontinued at some point.
In addition, it is often the case that spare part names or spare part numbers change, and the defective spare part can no longer be found via the known declaration, term or EAN. In this case, users of a work machine turn to the manufacturer or contact their service technician, who then embarks on the possibly quite time-consuming search for the spare part. Especially when it is a very inexpensive product that needs to be replaced, the effort is not in proportion.
1. A spare part search is made more difficult because the exact components are required
A spare part search is made considerably more difficult by the fact that spare parts that are not exactly identical may not fit the component you need and may not be suitable for their purpose.
If the spare part does not fit exactly, the performance or lifetime of the machine may be reduced. Not to mention the technical problems that may arise from the use of an incompatible spare part. Customers may lose the right to warranties, or the particular construction machine may no longer comply with safety regulations, which may even make your customer liable.
Due to the wide range of spare parts available online and in brick-and-mortar stores, as well as inaccurate spare parts lists, choosing the right spare part is often a hotbed of purchasing errors. Repairs are further delayed, necessitating additional time and financial resources.
2. A spare part search is made more difficult by the fact that not every spare part comes from the device manufacturer itself
Spare parts that come directly from the manufacturer are usually much more expensive than if they come from a manufacturer who merely replicates the spare parts. Customers who need to know that the spare part is an original item should pay attention to the abbreviation OEM. Original spare parts from the supplier bear the abbreviation OES. IAM is the abbreviation used for spare parts that come from the independent aftermarket.
Due to the wide range of spare parts, the lack of a uniform designation and partial renumbering, it is very difficult to locate individual spare parts on the Internet. If original goods are then offered on the same market with replica spare parts, the potential for confusion is great, and the effort required for your customer with regard to making comparisons is relatively high.
3. Each supplier, whether they are a manufacturer or distributor, has its own spare parts nomenclature
The assignment of article designations varies depending on the manufacturer and does not follow a precise or general pattern. Some manufacturers rely on sequential numbers, use special in-house abbreviations or name their articles and spare parts according to the place of installation.
In addition, the fact that different languages are used for naming spare parts and that diacritics are lost due to system errors complicates the search for spare parts. In some cases, German-language designations are completely missing, which slows down the customer further.
4.Spare parts lists are incomplete or unclear
Spare parts lists include all necessary and installed spare parts that are required to replace worn or damaged parts. If these are incomplete or too confusing, they are of little help to the individual set with the task of replacing these parts. Spare parts need to be found and ordered quickly to reduce the downtime of a machine and keep operations running in a regulated manner.
Large companies often have service contracts with partner workshops. Smaller companies do not have this. They need to keep downtime as short as possible and find a reliable way to procure their spare parts correctly, quickly and efficiently.
5. Inadequately maintained master data makes it more difficult for companies to carry out a spare part search
Spare parts or spare parts lists are often kept in an Excel spreadsheet, but this is not recommended due to the fact that they are not always up to date, cannot be accessed by several users at the same time, and are insecure to use.
Spare parts that are prepared and made available via master data require continuous updating and maintenance, which in turn involves a lot of effort and reduces the time available to employees.
The main sources of errors in the master data maintenance of a spare part include:
missing data, e.g. because prices are missing, delivery times are not specified, or material numbers are not completely maintained
too much data, because, for example, a supplier offers an article in different variants or has the same article under several article numbers
notes on individual installation locations or customer-specific functions being added
incorrectly stored data, which mainly relate to the intended use, the designation, the price or the delivery time
6. A spare part search is made more difficult by the extensive range of online retailers and brick-and-mortar retailers
If an offer is too extensive or if a small spare part differs very slightly from another version, those looking for spare parts are often overwhelmed by the jumble of articles and need a lot of time to compare the individual components, variations and prices.
While brick-and-mortar retailers do not always have the exact spare part required in stock and have to order it, those looking for spare parts on the Internet are downright bombarded with options. The offer does not only refer to original parts, but especially when spare parts are produced and sold by third parties, the comparison with the original goods is very time-consuming.
7. A spare part search is made more difficult by models or brands disappearing from the market
Whether manufacturers are large or small, no company is protected against a corporate breakup, sale or merger. This means that it is always possible that a brand or manufacturer of a construction or work machine simply no longer exists. Spare parts are therefore no longer produced and can only be purchased second-hand or as a "non-original spare part".
A spare part search is made much more difficult because there is no general point of contact for one's own equipment, and those searching for spare parts have to repeatedly search for the right spare part.
8. Spare parts from manufacturers that do not exist in Germany are difficult to find in the global search
National manufacturers who are based in Germany are much easier to find in a spare part search than dealers who are internationally established and do not have a German company headquarters. Countries in South-East Asia in particular do not make it easy for us to find the right spare part for our construction machine.
On the other hand, the language barrier also hinders the requirements for quality and availability, which is a major challenge.
9. The time available for procuring a suitable spare part is short
Spare parts often have a long delivery time or delivery dates that cannot be met. At the same time, spare parts are precisely those parts that are needed quickly, at short notice and urgently, since they are usually needed when a machine is defective or a component is worn out. Waiting for spare parts always represents a loss – in terms of finances, productivity or time. It becomes even more problematic when the long-awaited spare part finally arrives and does not fit.
Everything related to a spare part search is time-consuming. Therefore, numerous online shops and spare parts providers offer internet-based solutions that support you with a spare part search. As you do not need to know the designation, EAN, article or material number of the component, you can quickly find the component you are looking for using images, language and text.
Carrying out a spare part search with Partium
Partium's spare part search is particularly suitable for the industrial sector and companies that deal with maintenance, after-sales and service. Partium efficiently modernizes the hitherto difficult spare part search process, reduces expenses incurred by follow-up support and supports your business in achieving your sales targets.
With the SaaS solution, you simplify the spare part search enormously, because you benefit from an AI-based software solution that is able to recognize spare parts based on image, text and language and provide the matching spare part.
The unique feature of the software solution lies in the combination of these three sources of information. Since all existing information is linked together, the probability of finding the right spare part quickly is very high while the time required is minimal.
Thanks to the revolutionary pairing of all information sources, Partium provides an unprecedented possibility to search and find spare parts, which has never been accomplished by anyone else before.
In addition, you obtain essential data about the search and purchase behavior of your users, as the self-learning application logs exactly this process and allows you to perform an in-depth analysis. Get solid data on why a customer abandoned an order, bounced, or hesitated. The advantage of this feature is that you are able to adapt your spare part search to ensure that it is as efficient as possible and your customers find their way around.
Good user-friendliness is essential for reducing the number of requests made via the service hotline. By reducing the volume of inquiries via the hotline, you will gain more time for the core business and will be able to work profitably and use your working time for new projects.
With Partium, you will be able to advance your spare parts business in a future-oriented manner, boost it and achieve long-term success. By making the spare part search easy and, above all, fast, you enable your customer to find spare parts quickly without having to resort to a third-party supplier or picking up the phone in frustration because they couldn't find what they were looking for on the Internet. By saving your customer time and making the spare part search easier than ever, you will stand out from your competitors and attract customers who will prioritize ordering from you due to the ease of use.
Make the difference: make the spare part search easy!