The Parts Availability Promise: A Competitive Necessity in Uptime Industries

The Parts Availability Promise: A Competitive Necessity in Uptime Industries

OEConnection (OEC) coined the term Parts Availability Promise (PAP) to describe a growing trend in uptime industries. Heavy equipment brands make this promise to customers as a commitment of support after the sale, helping ensure the value of machinery by providing the necessary parts to return the vehicle to operation. This also aligns the brand behind a simple, easy-to-understand yet powerful message.

What are Traditional Parts Offers from Brands?

Traditional OEM parts offers tend to be very basic and may not include a customer commitment. Here are some messaging examples for buyers on Construction Equipment company websites:

What makes a Parts Availability Promise effective? 

The easy answer might be confusing to some: This is the baseline customer expectation. So, you may be asking “How is this a differentiator?” Unfortunately, most customers only remember when parts WERE NOT available, which happens far too often.

The beauty of PAP messaging is that it requires no explanation. It’s simple, straightforward, and easily identifiable as an “uptime” offer. All operators understand that parts are the enabler – without them equipment remains idle.

Parts Availability is such a strong message, that many manufacturers often lead with it on their websites. Dealers embrace the program because they know it sets them apart from their local competition. Some, like Bobcat dealer Compact Construction LLC, make it part of their offer even without an OEM program.

The PAP message works across the ownership lifecycle – closing customers on new equipment, helping ensure loyalty to OEM service during ownership and driving owner loyalty to brands and dealers.

The OEM commitment effectively helps departments work together to deliver the promise. Since a customer promise is a commitment from the brand, a PAP creates a beneficial negative consequence if the commitment is not met. OEM’s can easily track the process gaps and costs of fulfilling the customers’ needs. Without a PAP, customer problems often go unrecognized in most companies (with the exception of lost revenue).

What are Components of OEM PAP programs? 

Major brands have changed the game with well-planned offers, commitments to having parts in stock, and, in some cases, customer restitution if promised parts are not available. Here are typical components: 


  • Guaranteed availability for select models and parts 
  • Large, non-stock parts sometimes guaranteed “next day” 


  • At all dealers 
  • At “Select Dealers” 
  • “Ship to Site” 


  • Same-day availability at the dealer 
  • Guaranteed next-day availability at the dealer (often for non-stock parts) 


  • In-warranty Vehicles 
  • Part of service contract 

Restitution if promise not met 

  • “No restitution” is common 
  • Cash 
  • Parts Credit 
  • Guaranteed vehicle availability 

While many PAP program components are consistent, no two programs are the same. Here are a few examples of existing “Parts Availability Promises” OEMs offer: 

What are the OEM and Dealer Components required to enable parts availability programs? 

Robust OEM supply chain. 

  • The OEM commitment starts here 

Retail Inventory Management (RIM) Programs, like OEC PartsEye, provide the necessary components to develop the program and ensure local availability, including: 

  • Planning support 
  • Reporting and data links between OEMs & Dealers 
  • Suggested Daily Order to ensure availability 
  • Compliance reporting by location 
  • Program management reporting 

Participating Dealer Program 

  • For most OEM”s an agreement to participate with requirements must be part of the program unless it is covered by their franchise agreement.

Logistics Coordination 

  • If a part must be expedited to meet program requirements, then is must become part of the process For many OEM’s, PAP programs can lower the number of expedited parts and result in cost savings.


  • PAP programs change an OEM’s approach to supporting customers, and generally are beneficial, lowering cost & lost sales. Tracking financial performance helps support the program’s effects, and can help find additional opportunities for improvement.


  • Dealer or customer restitution (if applicable) 
  • Program cost tracking 
  • This customer offer is only effective when communicated to customers (including customers in purchase consideration) 

What does this mean for Uptime Industries like Construction Equipment? 

Uptime customer programs are diverse – even within an industry like Construction Equipment. 

Predictions for the next 5 years: 

  • Most manufacturers in Construction & Agriculture will adopt Retail Inventory Management to create a supply chain partnership that extends to the customer. 
  • RIM enabled data reporting & economic benefits will show the value of business lost by not meeting customer minimum expectations. 
  • A Parts Availability Promise will become the baseline offer and a competitive necessity 
  • More brands will use data to develop advanced uptime offers 
  • Operator purchase decision models will likely shift from short-term considerations to the value created by the vehicle while operating & total cost of ownership (TCO) 

About OEC OEC connects those involved in the vehicle parts and repair ecosystem, so they finally have an easier way to get their job done. They get access to the network and data needed to transform selling, sourcing, leasing, managing, billing, and claims. The OEC Remote Inventory Management (RIM) Solution, PartsEye, is the leading RIM provider in North America, creating 5,000+ daily stock orders for 6,000+ dealers every day.'
Eric Johnston
Eric Johnston is an Uptime Industries Consultant for OEC. He is based in New Jersey.