To OEM or Not to OEM: Which ATM Parts to Buy
ATMs are filled with moving parts: rollers, belts, and things that go “whirr.” The unfortunate truth about moving parts is that they wear out. So, when it comes time to replace those ATM parts, should you go with OEM? Or should you look for a generic replacement?
The main reason people buy non-OEM parts is because they’re usually cheaper. Sometimes, their price or their availability make them an attractive option. On the other hand, OEM parts are usually built to a higher standard. So, which should you choose?
There’s value in either choice. So long as you know what you’re getting yourself into, you might do well with either. However, after so many years in the ATM industry, we know which we prefer.
What Is the Difference Between OEM and Non-OEM Parts?
There are many different brands of ATMs out there—Diebold, NCR, Nautilus Hyosung. And all those ATM brands use different ATM parts.
That’s easy enough, right?
The parts that come standard from each manufacturer are called “Original Equipment Manufacturer” or OEM. Sometimes, ATM parts are made in house. More often, ATMs include parts sourced from trusted manufacturers who build parts specifically for the ATM brand.
Non-OEM parts are made by other manufacturers. Their ATM parts are designed to replicate the parts that come standard from the factory. However, though they may fit where they’re supposed to, not all are made to the exacting tolerances specified by the ATM brand. They may use different materials or manufacturing processes, and their parts haven’t been vetted by the brands they’re designed to work with.
While this may seem like a small difference, it can be pretty big. Just because a part appears the same doesn’t mean it performs the same.
OEM ATM Parts and Longevity
One of the things we’ve found is that OEM parts tend to live longer. They’re built to very high standards, and ATM brands wouldn’t use them if they were low-quality or negatively affected their products.
Not all generic or OEM-equivalent parts cut corners or are poorly constructed, though. Some are quite well-made and provide significant value.
If you’re interested in buying non-OEM ATM parts for your fleet, you should do your due diligence. You can read reviews and see what others say, or you could try running stress- or A/B tests on replacement parts.
At Tellerex, we have performed extensive testing on ATM parts from many manufacturers. We even found a few non-OEM parts we liked, and we were ready to use them. However, non-OEM brands aren’t beholden to ATM brand standards, and they can change their production materials, processes, or formulae at any time and for any reason. OEM parts can at least guarantee consistency. After a couple of experiences of seeing non-OEM brands change up their product, we decided to use only OEM parts for ATM repair and refurbishment.
Cost Considerations in ATM Parts
OEM parts usually cost more. Still, you often get what you pay for. Here’s a little example:
Let’s say there’s a card roller in your ATM that needs to be replaced, and an OEM one will set you back $10. Then, let’s say there are generic, non-OEM rollers that you can buy for $1, $2, $4, and $6.
Now let’s say that the $1 roller lasts a month, the $2 roller lasts two months, the $4 roller lasts four months, and the $6 roller lasts six months.
If the $10 roller lasts a year, then all of the cheaper rollers will cost you more annually.
Once you factor in technician repair and maintenance costs, the $10 OEM part is the obvious bargain despite its high initial cost. It’s important to remember that the cheapest option upfront may not be your cheapest option in the long run. In fact, it rarely is.
While the example above risks being facile, it is nevertheless roughly in line with our experience. We’ve done extensive testing on aftermarket or OEM equivalent ATM parts, and we’ve found that OEM parts tend to justify their higher costs with longer lifespans and more reliable manufacturing processes.
That said, there are non-OEM parts out there that may exactly fit the bill. Especially if you know what you’re getting—and you can trust their quality—then you may benefit from skipping on the OEM parts.
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