Joe Toakley, Shaftec’s Regional Sales Manager, weighs in on the debate regarding ‘reman versus new’, and discusses how factors can boost their sales of remanufactured parts.
First of all, the market has to understand the benefits of a remanufactured part over a new, cheaper one. Quality remanufacturers only work with undamaged OEM core. This means that, from the very beginning of the process, they are working with a solid piece of core which has been tested to the extreme by the original parts manufacturer to the strict tolerances and testing processes that the relevant VM pre- determined. It really doesn’t get better than that in terms of automotive quality.
The customer pays a small surcharge for this service, which is returned upon receipt of the undamaged core in its original sturdy box, which has been specifically designed to best protect the contents inside and the weight of the product.
This core, if deemed suitable (if it has passed a number of strict criterial ideals, which, if the garage removing it carefully follows, is an easy and cost effective solution) is then subject to a complete strip-down and thorough clean using the latest advanced degreasing technologies, before being shot-blasted. By this point, the casting, which is the core of the component, is completely stripped back to its original state, and is then remanufactured and tested again to the VMs dictation, using new, OE quality parts.
In terms of looking after the environment, efficiency of labour and materials, and cost effectiveness, the remanufacturing process ticks all the boxes. Therefore, the benefits are quite clear.
However, we are starting to see increasing activity within the supply chain of new units. This may appear appealing to some motor factors, due to the belief that the product is somehow ‘simpler’ by removing the requirement for the core return process.
Unfortunately, this belief is a short-sighted way to look at the supply chain as a whole. These new parts are not built on the foundations, ethos or testing processes used by the manufacturer of the original OE part. They are mass-produced in high numbers and are batch tested at best.
This means that not only can quality often be an issue with new units, but the range and the availability of a particular part is also far below what it needs to be to cater for the increasingly rising number, makes and types of vehicles which make up the current car parc.
At Shaftec, we manually test every single completed unit in real-world conditions, using state-of-the-art testing equipment, to ensure the highest quality of remanufactured parts found in the UK today.
Time and time again, we see that the factors that are successful are those that carry a good range of fast-moving parts numbers on their shelves. Availability wins on price every single time. If the vehicle is on the ramp and requiring immediate work, it doesn’t matter if one option is cheaper if it’s not on the factor’s shelf. A common misconception with motor factors on slower-moving items is that they don’t need the stock on the shelf.
For example, steering and drivetrain issues are pretty much always diagnosed by getting the vehicle up on the ramp, and, in many cases, some dismantling is required to confirm the issue. Once a problem has been identified, the garage will want the replacement parts as soon as possible in order to continue the work, rather than spending time and labour safely removing the vehicle from the ramp for it to be done another day.
A motor factor that stocks the top 100 driveshafts and top 20 racks, for example, will have a hugely increased level of availability, compared to a competitor that doesn’t stock these products because they know they can normally get the parts the next day, so they feel there isn’t much point in stocking them when they will just be taking up valuable room on the shelf.
However, it is clear as day which factor will acquire this business. Having a comprehensive range may be the primary cause behind an uptake in sales. Reliability and availability can go an awful long way towards gaining morning service kit orders, which are the bread and butter of any factor.
If we analyse sales in regional areas, the figures speak for themselves – those stocking our range are selling our products regularly and with good success, and those that don’t stock and rely on our product to be delivered on demand are far less successful when it comes to boosting their sales.
Going back to the actual parts themselves, faults found on remanufactured parts are rarely the fault of the product itself, rather the treatment the parts get by the technician fitting or removing them. Good housekeeping is imperative, so motor factors can help themselves by impressing on their customers the importance of the old unit/core being undamaged during the removal process. On top of this, unobtrusively advising best practice on installing the remanufactured unit can prevent future faults.