At Tundra Restaurant Supply, we love restaurant parts. In fact, Tundra started as a parts company back in 1993 with the mission to empower restaurateurs to fix simple tasks in and out of the kitchen. Today, our parts catalog encompasses a diverse selection of over 22,500 parts.
You've probably heard the term "OEM parts" tossed around not only in commercial kitchens, but at your car shop as well. "OEM" simply refers to "Original Equipment Manufacturer," which means that OEM parts have specific branding; think generic versus branded products in your supermarket, where in many cases the product itself is identical.
OCM parts are often made at the same factory and by the same manufacturer, but they lack the OEM branding. Both of these parts undergo the same rigorous testing standards to ensure quality assurance. Many marketers like to associate an OEM part as being a higher quality, when in fact, you're often working with the exact same part.
Finally, aftermarket parts and accessories refer to those parts in the secondary market, and are often not made at the same factory as an OEM or OCM parts. Aftermarket parts present a significant opportunity to procure a replacement part at a fraction of the cost of an OEM part, and in some cases people find you can get a higher quality part as well. Replacement cutting boards for your prep table are a great example of an aftermarket part that could save you a lot of money without sacrificing quality.
If your restaurant equipment is still under warranty, be sure to first contact the manufacturer prior to making any fix yourself. Why? Attempting to replace the parts yourself (whether they're OEM or not) could void your warranty and eliminate any chance to recoup your costs. Many equipment manufacturers offer at least a 1-year warranty, while some offer a 2 or even 3-year warranty on specific parts. Before purchasing any new parts, check with the manufacturer first to see if you're covered.
Many times you'll hear that using non-OEM parts will void your equipment warranty, which is technically true if your equipment is still under warranty. But for most of us, our equipment is out of warranty and you wouldn't receive new OEM parts for the fix anyway. Instead, save yourself the cost of an OEM part and look to OCM parts.