A spare part is any interchangeable component belonging to a machine or system in need of service or repair. For example, the owner of a Land Rover who has been experiencing problems with suspension will go to 4×4 wreckers to get his or her vehicle checked. Spare parts and service centers, or 4×4 wreckers, are skilled in assessing and fixing anything related to off-road vehicles.
The spare parts industry
The automotive market is one of the major stakeholders in the spare parts industry. Due to rapid advancements and industrialization in the automobile industry, consumers now have more buying power when it comes to cars. Regardless of the location or accessibility, as long as there is a need for it, a vehicle is always present to provide convenience and efficiency for the user.
With increased demand and spending capabilities, the spare parts industry is expected to grow on a global scale, in terms of technological progression, design, and features. As parts of vehicles become more fragmented, each having its purpose and specialization, each becomes vulnerable to duplication. Counterfeit spare parts are being offered at lower costs but with almost the same quality (minus the stamp and seal of the original brand manufacturer).
What sets spare parts aside from consumable parts is the former’s material master record. Every spare part has its unique serial code, so to speak, unlike consumable items like gasoline, which can’t be tracked to the end consumer. Because of the high quality and attention to detail, as well as the tracking identification number tagged on every spare part, it becomes challenging for counterfeit items to thrive in the market, unless the client decides to take the substitute.
For off-road vehicles, there is an added demand for safety. Cars that are made for long drives are expected to function smoothly and dependably. Service centers that specialize in four-wheel drive must ensure that the spare parts being installed are of the highest quality.
The future of spare parts
The spare parts industry has always been one with many challenges. Manufacturing, storing, and logistics of spare parts are expensive and time-consuming endeavors. Unless a particular shop manufactures the pieces itself, it will need to act as an intermediary between the original supplier and the customer. There are also instances where a specific part is out dated and infrequently ordered that the manufacturer stops making it altogether. Customers are forced to stock up on spare parts if possible or turn to third-party suppliers.
The arrival of 3D printing is making tidal waves in the spare parts industry. For automobile manufacturers, installing a 3D printer into production will boost efficiency and thus help them gain a competitive advantage in the market. With the right expertise, smaller companies could also opt to utilize a 3D printer to print their own spare parts, especially those that are always out of stock but cannot be supplied in larger quantities.
The future of spare parts could also mean that original manufacturers will result in selling the copyright to those with 3D printing equipment for extra profit and save logistics costs in the process. In this case, a close business partnership is essential between the supplier and the smaller companies to ensure that standards do not drop. The only obstacle with 3D printing today is the lack of technical skills and knowledge of the full potential of the approach.
The spare parts industry is one that will always remain traditional in some aspects but with a lot of room for automation due to its close ties with industrialization and technology.