Management Glossary

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original equipment manufacturer
Typically abbreviated as OEM, this term is a misnomer. An original equipment manufacturer is not a manufacturer (at least not for the product(s) sold under an OEM agreement, but possibly for other products). Instead an OEM sells products made by others. The OEM may design the products, but not manufacture them. The products are sold under a brand owned by the OEM, not the original manufacturer--although some recognition may be given to the manufacturer. Even "manufacturer" is misleading as the term OEM is also used in the software industry. In this case, software is sold under a brand name that is not owned by the company that developed the software. OEM software may be a complete product, but it may also be a component within a broader application that includes some software developed by the OEM and/or others.
Contributed by: Managerwise Staff

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