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Tuesday, 07 January 2020 16:55

CIC Subcommittees Offer Competing Suggestions on How to Deal With “Opt-OE” Parts

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Ken Weiss said six definition labels his subcommittee defined help make clear the nuances among part types. Ken Weiss said six definition labels his subcommittee defined help make clear the nuances among part types. John Yoswick


Heated exchanges that erupted during the “Parts and Materials Committee” presentation at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Vegas in November sounded “exactly what committee meetings feel like,” Aaron Schulenburg, committee co-chairman joked, and demonstrated, according to co-chairman Ken Weiss, “why we ended up with two subcommittees.”

The committee about a year ago inherited from another CIC committee the task of trying to resolve the issue of a variety of types of parts being listed as “opt-OE” on parts platforms or estimates. Weiss and Schulenburg said the committee had been so polarized on the issue that they decided to break into two “more like-minded” work groups to each form a proposal on how to most clearly describe parts available in the marketplace for those making parts decisions.


Weiss said his work group came up with six different categories of new parts that differentiate, for example, an “OEM dealer” part from the exact same part sold in the same packaging but outside the automaker’s dealer network (described by his sub-committee as an “OEM non-dealer” part). Two other of the six categories would differentiate a certified non-OEM part from one that is not certified. In between were two other categories for parts produced by the same manufacturers that produce the same parts for the vehicle manufacturer; Weiss’ subcommittee dubbed those as “Tier 1 OEM” parts if they bore the same branding as the OEM (i.e., “if the BMW part has a BMW logo on it, then this part will have the BMW logo on it”), or “Tier 1 with Branding Differences,” such as one lacking the automaker logo.


Schulenburg’s subcommittee took much of the same approach in terms of determining different part attributes (who makes the part, how it is packaged, who distributes it, who backs it with a warranty), but concluded that only a two-pronged way to classify the parts is needed. An “OEM part,” the subcommittee said, is one manufactured by or for the automaker, sold in the automaker’s packaging and within the automaker’s authorized supply chain, and warranted by the vehicle manufacturer. Any part not meeting all four of those attributes, Schulenburg said his subcommittee decided, is a “non-OEM part.”

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