July 27, 2023
OEM, the original equipment manufacturer, refers to businesses that create goods for distribution by another firm. The corporation may save money by contracting out the production of the entire product or particular sections. It reduces costs and improves productivity. In addition, it frees up resources for companies to concentrate on other growth areas. Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) differs from Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). The focus of ODM is on customization rather than production. In contrast to OEM parts, aftermarket parts have their unique characteristics. When compared to name-brand alternatives, aftermarket parts are more affordable.

What is an OEM?

An OEM is a firm that supplies output devices and related technologies to other companies for use in producing their final goods. This kind of company manufactures its goods for other businesses to order to their exact specifications. Time and money are both saved for OEMs. Businesses that use third-party components can concentrate on their main competencies rather than spending time and resources developing ancillary products and infrastructure. Companies need not set up their factories or oversee OEM production in-house. Instead, they promote and sell OEM parts as part of their systems.

The concept of the OEM

To produce goods or parts for other companies to their exact specifications is the primary function of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). By contracting out non-essential functions at either end of the supply chain, businesses may become more agile, delivering value more efficiently and providing OEMs with lower-priced components. Value-added resellers (VARs) are firms that resale OEM components. They modify the items and then resell them under their labels. While an OEM often prioritizes business-to-business (B2B) sales, value-added resellers (VARs) put consumer outreach front and center. The OEM and the VAR work closely to produce items satisfying consumer needs.

To talk to prospective original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), you must sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that guarantees privacy. After comparing OEMs, you will want to have each one weigh in on the criteria. OEM selection is a two-stage process. The first stage is to choose a place, which involves thinking about things like geography, population density, available resources, and the quality of the local economy. When selecting a location, it is essential to consider local restrictions and the legitimacy of the governing body in charge of the area. Following the selection of a site, the OEM company must be selected. A supplier selection approach allows the buying department to pick a manufacturer considering many criteria such as cost, quality, and timeliness.

How an OEM product created, collaborated on and resold

Companies first determine the most effective means of meeting consumer requirements before rolling out a product to the public. They consider several alternatives, such as finding a solution independently or working with others. By teaming up with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), a company may shorten the product development cycle and save manufacturing and material expenses. Companies may create products employing best-of-breed components while maintaining focus on their primary competence.

Some OEMs do not even alter the product, only branding it with their name. While some OEMs offer their own branded products, others merely sell parts. Nonetheless, many businesses engage in both. You may also get them straight from the manufacturer.

Importance of OEM

Costs may be shared across partners, whether original equipment makers, distributors, or retailers. These businesses would not need to establish dedicated production facilities in such a situation. OEM-made goods are often less expensive because of this. Using OEM goods, components, and parts, the partner company's product lasts longer, functions optimally, and reduces the need for frequent repairs or replacements, which is good for business. The company's savings are passed on to the customer in most cases.

The benefits of OEM

i. The components of the items delivered are tailored to each client's requirements. They are pretty precise while making it.

ii. Manufacturers provide help both before and after the sale. The team will assist with any technical or engineering questions about the components.

iii. The reply time will be shorter. They intend to make timely deliveries and will be regularly monitoring performance.

iv. To ensure VAR satisfaction, suppliers must guarantee that any replacement parts will be the same or higher quality as the originals.

v. Spare parts often come with a guarantee from the manufacturer, ensuring that any faulty components will be replaced.

vi. Products of OEMs are often of higher quality and last longer than those purchased from the aftermarket.

vii. The VARs only provide one choice for replacing broken components; thus, customers are not presented with alternatives.

The drawbacks of OEM

i.  Collaboration between Original Equipment Manufacturers and Value-Added Resellers: Both OEMs and aftermarkets are located in opposite direction from one another. The aftermarket reverse drives the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to get the same or better quality and technology at lower costs.

ii. Cost: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) prices are often substantially higher than aftermarket replacement components.

iii. Delays: Availability of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) body components is often an issue. It is not uncommon for manufacturers and retailers to cause shipping and production delays.

Features of an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

     i. OEM Licenses

Original equipment manufacturers often license their products to value-added resellers.

     ii. Original equipment manufacturer in hardware

The term "original equipment manufacturer" (OEM) is often used when discussing consumer electronics like computers, laptops, and printers. Well-known OEMs include Apple, HP, Dell, Canon, and Brother. However, the components that go into such goods are known as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) hardware. It encompasses several types of hardware, including CPUs, fans, motherboards, memory chips, and hard drives. These parts are often sold as OEM hardware from the manufacturers of them.

Although components like CPUs, motherboards, and so on are readily available to the general public via retail channels, OEM hardware is often more cost-effective. However, there are costs associated. Hardware from the manufacturer (OEM) usually does not include access to customer service, comes with a limited warranty (if any), and is missing essential components for use in a more extensive system. There may be no cables or ribbons to connect the DVD drive to the motherboard.

It is because original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are the intended users of OEM hardware, and it is up to the OEMs to add value to the product by providing services such as warranties and technical support before selling the finished system to consumers.

    iii.  Original equipment manufacturer in software

In the software industry, OEM refers to the original equipment manufacturer. Companies like HP, Dell, and Samsung buy Windows from Microsoft as OEM software and then bundle it with PCs and laptops.

Companies manufacturing equipment such as printers, scanners, and digital cameras purchase OEM software. You will find that a companion app is often included with purchasing such gadgets—the manufacturer's original software.

Some OEM software is available for purchase independently, much like OEM hardware, and is often significantly cheaper than the latter. However, there are drawbacks as well. No user guide or technical assistance is usually provided. Be prepared for difficulties while dealing with technical problems after purchasing these OEM items. It will not be an issue if you are an expert in your field.

Original equipment manufacturer vs aftermarket

After a product, like a vehicle, has been purchased by a customer, there is a secondary market for maintenance and repair tools and components known as the aftermarket. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) produced the first components, whereas a customer purchases replacement equipment from a third-party manufacturer (aftermarket). River engineering often makes aftermarket replacements similar to the OEM part's original specification.

OEM ABC Thermostats formerly made a thermostat that a Ford owner would need to replace. Customers can purchase the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) component, a direct replacement for their existing ABC thermostat, or a generic equivalent.

Customers value reliability and generally choose OEM components over aftermarket alternatives. Some third-party replacements, however, outperform their original equipment manufacturer counterparts. Hurst Performance, an auto parts maker, had a reputation for producing high-quality gear shifters that drivers preferred over the factory. As time passed, Hurst shifters were so widely used and respected that OEMs began incorporating them into their product lines.

Differentiating between an OEM and the VAR

Value-added resellers, or VARs, usually vend original equipment manufacturer (OEM) goods with their twist. Both parties benefit from the partnership; VARs increase product exposure and sales for OEMs, while OEMs get access to valuable feedback and suggestions from VARs that help them improve their products.

Comparing OEM to ODM

Original design manufacturing, or ODM, is a practice wherein businesses choose items already on the market, make slight adjustments, and then resell them under their label. Original equipment manufacturers, on the other hand, make goods to order. An OEM receives a product's design from an OEM. Once the OEM has received the items from the ODM, they will sell them under their brand. Manufacturers may benefit from ODM arrangements. They can quickly adapt and speed up the process if the demand for new technology emerges, making it possible to update the items rapidly. ODMs also can mass-produce their wares.

OEM and Technology

The term OEM is sometimes used as an adjective, as in "OEM parts," and occasionally as a verb, as in the case of a manufacturer who intends to "OEM" a new product. The advancements in computer hardware are primarily responsible for this change.

Over time, VARs like Dell and HP began using third-party branded components in their products. In the technology sector, original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) has become shorthand for businesses that resell or otherwise repurpose the goods of other manufacturers. It marked a change in production dynamics and established which organization would be liable for providing warranties, customer service, and other services.

Dell's marketing materials and advertisements implied that Intel and Dell were co-developers of the CPUs and PCs after Dell began using Intel chips in their computers. In the eyes of businesses and consumers alike, Dell was the original equipment manufacturer.

What does OEM signify in the automotive industry?

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components are goods an automobile manufacturer utilizes and sells to repair shops. In some instances, aftermarket parts may be used in place of OEM components while maintaining the same level of performance.

Software OEM

OEM describes everything that comes installed on a brand-new computer or electrical device.

Should one purchase the OEM parts?

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) components are often more costly than those produced by aftermarket suppliers but are built to stricter standards. Certain aftermarket alternatives are considered trustworthy compared to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components. Consumers needing replacements would investigate available options before settling on a particular brand.

Why are OEM products more affordable?

OEM products are often less expensive because of economies of scale. The firm can lower costs and speed manufacturing by partnering with other businesses to mass-produce items. However, before buying from an OEM, you should know what you are obtaining. Products are less expensive and operate similarly, but you may not get "extras" such as tech support, which a PC manufacturer typically provides.

Are OEM components dependable?

Because they follow the guidelines set out by the partnering companies, original equipment manufacturers are recommended. They save money, time, and energy for the collaborative group. It will free them up to focus on more strategic matters for the company.


A value-added reseller (VAR) is a corporation whose goods use components from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). The VAR and the OEM work together closely, with the OEM often tailoring designs to the VAR's requirements. While original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) target other businesses, value-added resellers (VARs) sell directly to consumers. Original Equipment Manufacturer products typically go up against aftermarket, generic alternatives. OEMs are not confused with ODMs, who create unique versions of their goods for resale.