Serving Customers Better in the Manufacturing Aftermarket

13 October 2023

How can manufacturers boost parts sales, customer loyalty and profitability in 2023?

For manufacturers, keeping up with increasing aftermarket demands is crucial. Partful surveyed 200 executives from UK manufacturing SMEs to assist OEMs with this mission. With these insights, we can help you bridge the divide between customer expectations and traditional aftermarket experiences. Our report outlines the need for manufacturers to streamline and simplify parts identification. By providing practical support, we aim to help you better satisfy your customers, achieve your sustainability objectives, and increase your revenue.

Key Findings


Our research reveals ordering errors are a prevalent challenge for SMEs in the manufacturing industry, leading to financial costs and loss of sales.
  • Ordering Errors Prevalence: 4 in 5 SMEs in the manufacturing industry are grappling with ordering errors, a significant challenge affecting the aftermarket.
  • Mistakes Made: Nearly half of the mistakes made by customers are due to the misidentification of parts.
  • Costs Incurred: Among the surveyed SMEs, almost half incur heavy financial costs because of order errors. Nearly 46% considered it the most significant burden of these mistakes.
  • Effect on Sales: 81% of manufacturers believed they lost sales to third parties due to suboptimal sales processes, with 26% feeling the most significant consequence of ordering errors is customer satisfaction and retention.

Parts Ordering Errors: An Industry-Wide Challenge 

Almost a quarter of UK manufacturers say problems with ordering accuracy affect at least 1 in every 20 orders. The study delves into the causes of these errors and identifies the parties responsible.

Customers are most often held accountable for the inaccuracies, with 25% of manufacturers attributing the errors to them. The report explores ways to help your customers improve their order accuracy and minimise mistakes.

The Cost of Parts Misidentification

Ordering errors can place a heavy financial burden on manufacturers. Mistakes result in significant expenses, particularly in reverse logistics and initial distribution. Not only do these errors affect customer satisfaction, but they also drive customers away, with 81% of manufacturers reporting losing sales to third parties.

For the average SME, parts sales contribute around a fifth of turnover - a substantial source of revenue prone to errors, delays, and refunds!

Preventing Parts Identification Errors

Offering a seamless parts ordering experience is crucial to maintaining customer loyalty. This report provides guidance on improving your after-sales service, minimising errors, and enhancing the overall customer experience. It's vital to simplify the ordering process and leverage digital solutions to create an efficient and customer-friendly purchase experience. By doing so, you can reduce errors and delays and create a positive experience for your customers.

A word from Sam Burgess, CEO, Partful

In the UK, ‘right to repair’ legislation has already been passed that compels manufacturers to provide repairers with access to spare parts as of July 2023.

This paper looks at how manufacturers can better serve those customers who are looking to buy spare parts. It provides insight into why ordering errors happen, highlights the consequences this has and looks at the digital solutions that can reduce this problem. We hope you find it both informative and helpful. 

Get the full report to regain lost revenue, promote customer loyalty, and safeguard your company's profitability.

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