4 Questions About Interactive Spare Parts Catalogs

Published: 2019-03-25 Updated: 2023-11-17
Subject: Tools and technology Creating spare parts catalogs Selling spare parts Identifying spare parts Ordering spare parts

It is known, that the topic interactive spare parts catalogs and service information systems is getting more and more important within the production business. That is why we decided to answer the 4 most asked questions, we deal with in our daily work life.

1. What is an interactive spare parts catalog?

An interactive or electronic spare parts catalog is an electronically generated catalog, published via data media (like CD, DVD, USB stick) or communication networks (Internet, intranet).This catalog contains all relevant data for spare parts identification and ordering in linked form. Of course illustrations like pictures, 3D graphics or exploded views are not missing. The illustrations are linked with their corresponding information within the parts list via hotspots. So clicking on a specific part in the graphic will display the related parts list information. Diverse search functions or the navigation in the spare parts catalog enable the identification of required assembly groups or parts.

You may navigate in the catalog via a structure tree, which reflects the catalogs hierarchical structure. Otherwise, illustrations allow navigation to specific assembly groups and parts with just one mouse click. Most of the interactive spare parts catalogs are provided with an ordering function (shopping cart).

2. Why is an interactive spare parts catalog required?

Whether plant or mechanical engineering, vehicle construction, component or equipment manufacturing, the spare parts business became strategically more and more important within the last years. Spare parts are a major revenue driver in service for companies with business in plant and mechanical engineering. That’s why it is not a surprise, that electronic spare parts catalogs and web shops are ranked in the Top 5 of IT-investment projects of mechanical engineering.

Manufacturers track with a huge interest, how the market meets their requirements to offer customers, service technicians or dealers fast support and simplify the purchase order processing. For this reason, electronic spare parts catalogs with web shop connections are applied increasingly.

Companies are often confronted with the following Challenges:

  • Spare parts and service information is located in different places and systems
  • Expertise and know-how of employees is not always available
  • Continuous distribution and updating is extremely time-consuming
  • Often manual data update, connection to ERP or PDM not continuous
  • Spare parts identification is costly and takes a while
  • Greater effort required to identify and use the correct information
  • Optimized spare parts logistics turns out to be quite difficult

The solution:

An intelligent electronic service and information system with web shop connection.
This way, you achieve that all data is bundled in one system and available at all times. Furthermore, the purchase order processing of spare parts is accelerated and the service and order hotlines are relieved considerably.

3. How manufacturers benefit by using a spare parts catalog?

The manufacturer benefits from an interactive spare parts catalog by an optimised supply of spare parts, service and product information due to a standard user interface. Besides, simple navigation and visual identification relieve the pressure of your service and order hotline: for an improved service quality.

Optimal Integration

  • The catalog system can be easily integrated in other business processes (connection to ERP, design, logistics, etc.)
  • Full integration in your system environment with the help of standard interfaces
  • Consistent use of existing data (parts lists, drawings, 3D models, schematics, prices, service documents such as manuals, etc.) for spare parts catalogs

Greater Efficiency

  • The production times for creating your spare parts catalogs are shorter
  • You receive "Catalogs on demand", thus saving costs
  • Minimum effort creating catalogs and updating data and catalogs
  • Cross-media publishing / Single source catalog production: Production of all catalog media (print, CD, internet, mobile devices) from one data pool
  • Easy to use – Configuration without programming knowledge
  • Improved quality and your spare parts and service documentation/information continuously stays up-to-date
  • Catalogs in all required languages

More Revenue

  • Faster processing of spare parts orders – simple, fast, accurate, all around the clock
  • Fewer queries thanks to clear, up-to-date information: Reduce the pressure on service and order hotline
  • Shorter downtimes of faulty devices, machines or systems
  • Spare parts orders will be simplified, the delivery accelerated and incorrect orders avoided, for more customer loyalty and turnover

Added Value - More Efficient Service

  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Stronger dealer loyalty
  • Increase in spare parts sale
  • Improved and more efficient service thanks to better information
  • Optimised workflow all alround spare parts

Greater User Friendliness

  • User-friendly and self-explaining, illustrative catalogs with complete and up-to-date spare parts and service information
  • Defined and targeted access to spare parts catalogs and information for employees, dealers or customers
  • Device, machine, system or customer specific catalogs per mouse click

Keep Your Data Always Up-To-Date

  • Faster catalog updates and reduced effort while creating them

4. How service user benefit by using a spare parts catalog?

  • Find Information simple, fast and accurate: with short search times when searching for spare parts, wear parts, accessories and service information
  • Easy navigation and visual identification takes the pressure from your service and order hotline: for a better service quality
  • High Usability User-friendly and self-explaining, illustrative catalogs with complete and up-to-date spare parts and service information
  • Always Up-To-Date Data: Faster catalog updates and reduced effort while creating them
  • Convenient Access: Service and spare parts information available at any time and any location