Aftermarket Terminology

The aftermarket service industry can be complicated between acronyms, shop talk, and insider jargon. With a long list of words to know, it can seem like you need a whole new dictionary to understand a simple conversation. From factory to pricing, there are a lot of words to learn, so we’ve put together an inclusive list of definitions so you can start—and stay—informed.


Aftermarket Service is considered the sales, accessories, services, and enhancements that come after a product’s sale. This can be a highly valuable secondary market in large industrial and automobile industries with long lifecycles of products. Aftermarket includes service parts and after-sales services.

Aftermarket Lifetime Value

The total revenue an OEM can expect from their installed product. This is usually calculated by product lifetime, lifetime penetration, and average annual services revenue.

Aftermarket Service

The delivery of parts, repair, enhancements, and maintenance on a product after the sale. Software that connects products can help predict and plan for these services.

Field Service Management

The management of resources involving a company’s employees at or en route to a customer’s property rather than on company property. Examples include driver and service management, locating vehicles, billing and accounting, dispatching and scheduling work, and other back-office activities.

Inventory Optimization

To put it simply, the act of balancing available inventory while keeping in mind supply volatility and market needs to make the most money (not simple at all).

Inventory Software

Software that helps original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) manage the supply chain of manufactured goods. Applications are designed to track and manage all production processes from sales to material purchases and delivery of goods.


The Internet of Things, or IoT, describes objects (or a collection of objects) that are connected by technology such as sensors, software or other processing capabilities. The technology allows objects to collect and exchange data over the internet or other networks. For inventory management, this can be particularly helpful when managing and optimizing a large number of SKUs.

Machine Uptime

Machine uptime, also known as machine availability, or simply uptime, can often be an element of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and means the percentage of time a machine or piece of equipment is in operation. Poor performance and/or lack of availability of a machine can lead to work stoppage, which includes machine repair time and increased cost.


Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM, or simply Manufacturer, refers to a company that sells products or parts of a product that are branded and/or put together by a different company and then sold under their brand.

Parts Pricing

This refers to service parts pricing in the aftermarket, also known as the “after-sales market.” Parts pricing has to be consistent and aligned with internal priorities while also taking external market valuations in consideration. The goal is to maximize profits by getting the most value from parts at a competitive price.

Price Optimization

Price optimization is finding the most effective price for a good or service that will ensure profitability and drive customer demand. In order to fully optimize pricing, a business should analyze historical data, analyze customer behavior, decide on pricing tiers, and be open to readjusting as necessary.

Pricing Software

Pricing software helps businesses collect and analyze current pricing data and execute optimized pricing based on the market. Pricing software is often split into pricing analytics, price management, price optimization, and price execution.


Software-as-a-Service is a software licensing and delivery model, also known as on-demand software. Instead of installing and maintaining software, a provider can deliver an application over the Internet. This is also known as cloud-based software. There are a variety of benefits, including security, scalability, and cost.

Service Contract Management

Service contract management refers to the entire contract process from creating, storing, and executing the terms and conditions of a service contract. The service contract outlines what the customer expects and what the provider will deliver. The management of the contract includes:

  1. Request
  2. Draft
  3. Negotiate
  4. Approve
  5. Execute
  6. Report and audit
  7. Review and adjust
  8. Renew

Service Contract Pricing

Service contracts bring in recurring profits for providers; pricing them is not an exact science. The key component is finding a price that optimizes revenue and provides the customer with what they expect to receive.

Service Parts

Service parts are parts that need replacing after excessive use. With wear and tear, many parts require replacement, like windshield wipers, brake pads, filters, etc.—which are usually replaced during a regular service visit.

Spare Parts

Spare part is a generic term for any part that can be used as a replacement. They’re usually made to be easily removed and fitted, and with the right strategy, can provide an increase in revenue and profitability.

Supply Chain

A word that’s recently been taking over headlines, supply chain refers to the entire process of producing and selling manufactured goods. From production to product development to distribution, the supply chain is a network of systems that work together to take a product from idea to consumer’s hands.


Uptime refers to the time that a machine is working and available. See also “Machine Uptime.”

Warranty Management

Warranty management is an important practice when looking to run a profitable aftermarket services department or organization. It includes the creation, implementation, registration, and administration of warranties, service contracts, and claims, and it must provide customers with the right amount of confidence and assurance without costing a business too much.