Parts Planning at Herth+Buss

18. Apr 2017 | Technology + Products

Meet the guys from Parts Planning

Whether for a Nissan GTR, Mercedes AMG GT or a Renault Twingo – we in Parts Planning can track down any part from every conceivable car model and manufacturer. With a little gumption, some technical expertise and the appropriate injection of coffee, we get to grips with even the smallest screw or bolt!

Including myself, there are four parts planning specialists in the Research+Development Department. We ensure that every customer can find the right part for the right vehicle. But what exactly is parts planning?

It constitutes the start of every new product launch. Using newly approved vehicles as a basis, the respective vehicle manufacturer’s original part numbers (OE numbers) are written up for all relevant parts and those which may be of interest to Herth+Buss in the future. It is carried out using electronic parts catalogues (also known as EPCs) from the individual vehicle manufacturers, which are the tools of the trade for each and every Parts Planner. Whether BMW, Mercedes, Toyota or Ssangyong – each of the 45 manufacturers with their own parts catalogues has its own peculiarities, and often its own difficulties.


Parts Design, Parts, parts planning, Research and Development, Herth+Buss


New vehicle models = new opportunities?

The market launch of a new vehicle model doesn’t just open up doors of opportunity for Herth+Buss. Also for all the other players in the independent aftermarket.

At Herth+Buss, we actually keep our first-to-market promise! If a new vehicle is launched onto the market, we are one of the first companies to hear about it. This affords us the opportunity to plan the appropriate parts and offer these to our customers as soon as possible. With approximately 45 new models from the various vehicle manufacturers approved in 2016, this gave rise to new competitive opportunities and also the possibility of offering our customers the full range of items.

EPCs – a labyrinth of technical drawings and OE numbers

Our task is to identify the right part in a jungle of numbers, exploded drawings and – unfortunately – many incorrectly translated terms. Generally speaking, the basic structure of an EPC is always the same: engine, body, electrics, chassis and transmission. Within these categories, however, every manufacturer also has other sub-categories, internal codes, criteria, designations and so forth. Sometimes the specifications don’t even actually make any sense or just cause confusion. Or maybe you can decipher “Harmony of the passenger compartment BLEVER marking position 1”?

For some manufacturers, especially the French ones, logical thinking doesn’t actually help at all. In these cases, it’s just a question of searching laboriously in all areas available to us. For the worse examples, we sometimes also have to try to solve the puzzle in pairs or even threes. Once we have succeeded in finding the part we were looking for, the sense of relief among all those involved is palpable.

Parts Design, Parts, parts planning, Research and Development, Herth+Buss


The OE number – not just any old number!

And all this effort just for a silly number? – Yes! After all, the OE number covers a great deal more information and many more functions than you might think. On the customer’s part, it often constitutes a decisive criterion for them to look for a cheaper alternative from Herth+Buss. For the supplier, it serves as an important reference in order to manufacture the desired part. For us, the full spectrum of specifications and information can be called up using the EPC. Here, for example, it is possible to check which vehicles this particular part is installed in. So it’s not just any old number after all!