Plead ignorance

It’s not ideal, but sometimes you just have to call the supplier or OEM directly and ask for help. The aftermarket is introduced to hundreds of new components and systems every year. Even the best counter people don’t know every part every time. And in cases where a part is totally new, it can even be too fresh to be searchable in a supplier catalog or third-party cross reference tool.

While it’s rare, Purcell says his team has called OEMs over the years to solve component riddles.

“It’s pretty much our last alternative,” he says. “But there have been critical situations where it was needed.”

The key is to remain focused on the customer, Purcell says. The OEM is just as focused on customer service in those situations as the aftermarket.

“When the manufacturer understands it’s an emergency they are very responsive,” he says.

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