Part 1: interactive spare parts catalog - the most important facts

Published: 2022-02-18 Updated: 2022-05-03
Subject: Manufacturers Operators Identify spare parts Sell spare parts

Are you already using spare parts catalogs, but not yet digitally? Then it's time to discover the most important facts about interactive catalogs and their benefits for your business.


What is an interactive spare parts catalog: definition

An interactive spare parts catalog is the digital update to binders and manuals that weigh kilos. Instead of being printed on paper, the catalog is generated digitally and is then available via data carriers such as CD, DVD, USB stick or via intranet and Internet.

The interactive spare parts catalog basically contains the same information as a paper or PDF catalog - with the difference that the data is always up-to-date and linked bidirectionally with parts lists and other information.

All data relevant for identifying and ordering spare parts is therefore available in linked form. This applies, for example, to pictorial representations such as exploded views, photos, 2D drawings or 3D models.


For whom is an interactive spare parts catalog relevant?

When it comes to handling their spare parts, many companies today face major challenges. These include:

  • spare parts and service information scattered throughout the company
  • lack of access to the expertise of employees
  • high effort for distribution and updating of information
  • the need to manually maintain data that is not bundled in ERP or PDM
  • lengthy identification of spare parts and relevant information
  • lack of possibilities to optimize spare parts logistics

Many of these challenges have the same root cause: there is a lack of a central pool for service-relevant data that can be controlled by a single tool. Instead, companies use different tools and programs for all steps in after-sales service. As a result, much of the data is outdated or difficult to find.

An interactive spare parts catalog is relevant for all manufacturers who face the above challenges and want to digitize their after-sales service. It enables them to support their customers, service technicians, support staff and trading partners with an intelligent, digital platform. This provides all the information that office and field service employees need for their work. On the other hand, operators benefit from the advantages of digital spare parts catalogs during maintenance.


Spare parts catalog for manufacturers

In terms of service for manufacturers of machines, plants, equipment, vehicles and components, spare parts are one of the biggest revenue drivers of all.

An interactive spare parts catalog is the basis for these companies to support customers and employees with modern and efficient service solutions.


Spare parts catalog for operators

Today, operators of machines, plants and vehicle fleets are often under cost pressure and are struggling with mega issues such as digitalization and a shortage of skilled workers. In day-to-day business, their top priority is uninterrupted operation and effortless maintenance of their machinery and equipment.

A digital spare parts catalog helps these companies to quickly identify and order spare parts to reduce failures and downtime to a minimum.


Value added by digital after-sales service: machine builders and operators benefit several times more

For companies in the plant engineering and mechanical engineering sectors, the spare parts business is an integral part of their corporate strategy. That's why representatives of these industries rank digital spare parts catalogs and web stores among the top 5 of their planned IT investments.

An intelligent digital service information system with web store connection enables precisely these companies to successfully implement their strategy. This means that all important data is available at all times and bundled in one system. This speeds up the processing of spare parts orders and brings numerous benefits - for manufacturers and for operators:


Benefits for manufactures

  • Relief: The service team is noticeably relieved - on average, 30% fewer calls end up in the ordering hotline.
  • Sales increase: Since spare parts orders become convenient and simple, delivery times can be accelerated and incorrect orders can be avoided - for more customer loyalty and sales.
  • Transparency: The interactive spare parts catalog can be linked to enterprise resource planning, design, logistics and more to ensure that up-to-date data is always used consistently and transparently.
  • Efficiency: The spare parts catalog brings order to service information and enables companies, their employees and their customers to work faster and more efficiently.
  • Time savings: Spare parts catalogs can be generated at the push of a button and updated and distributed much more easily than before.


Benefits for operators

  • With the spare parts catalog, operators can find and order relevant spare parts in a short time and thanks to intuitive navigation.
  • Interactive spare parts catalogs are user-friendly and always contain up-to-date and complete spare parts and service information.
  • A digital catalog reduces the effort required for identifying parts and thus for preparing maintenance measures.
  • Required service and spare parts information is available anytime and anywhere.  


How does an interavtive spare parts catalog work?

In an interactive spare parts catalog, all visual elements and information are linked in the background via hotspots with information in parts lists. The data transfer is bidirectional.

If a service technician or support staff member clicks on parts of a drawing, he immediately sees the associated parts list information. This works in the same way in the opposite direction: If the catalog user is in the parts list and clicks on an item, the associated part is immediately highlighted in the drawing.




An interactive spare parts catalog provides "smart information" - data that makes processes such as maintenance or the identification of assemblies and spare parts intelligent and efficient. Linking information and smart structuring makes it easy to navigate through the spare parts catalog.

Different search functions or navigation by click bring the user quickly and without detours to the target. Navigation in the catalog is either via a structure tree or by clicking on the graphical representations. Entering data or filter functions also simplify the search.

If the spare parts catalog is also equipped with an ordering function, users save even more time when procuring spare parts.


What are the prerequisites for introducing a spare parts catalog?

If you want to benefit from the advantages of the interactive spare parts catalog, you need one thing above all: the will to simplify processes and digitize your spare parts business.

Would you like to get a comprehensive overview of the functions of the digital spare parts catalog? Try it out for yourself:

Request online demo

What are my next steps?

Once you have decided to digitize your after-sales, create your spare parts catalog and set up your service information system in just four steps:

  • Step 1 - Data import: If you are working with heterogeneous data from different systems, this is not a problem - a comprehensive tool set supports you in normalizing, structuring and preparing your data.
  • Step 2 - Data processing: You can import your data manually into the standard template and then post-process or add to it. In the automated variant, the system takes over the catalog creation.
  • Step 3 - Quality assurance: Thanks to various mechanisms such as the catalog preview based on the WYSIWYG principle, quality assurance of your catalog is effortless. Adjust it until it exactly meets your requirements.
  • Step 4 - Publication: Now you are ready to publish your spare parts catalog. Choose the publication you want: online, offline (USB/CD) or on paper. Your data will be published in any medium - without any extra effort for you.


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