In Part I of the Six Qualities to Consider when selecting an Industrial Automation systems integrator, I discussed Product & Application Knowledge, Application Engineering & Development Experience, and Product Offering. Part II will address the final three of six qualities I consider vital to selecting the appropriate systems integrator.
The Final Three Qualities all Systems Integrators should have:
4. Quality of Product & Relationship with Manufacturer: You want a long lasting product, so any hardware for an industrial application should have an initial availability of 5-7 years for procurement. If your project is for multiple PCs over a period of time or there is the possibility of an expansion, you’ll want a solution that enables you to standardize across your platform. It’s also important that the manufacturer of the product is growing and in good financial standing. The integrator should have at least a 5-10 year relationship with every proposed manufacturer. This lets you know that you won’t get left at the altar without the product you need.
5. Ability to Deliver on Time: At the end of the day, nothing else matters if someone can’t deliver on time. So many deals break down when deliveries are promised and for one reason or another, someone doesn’t come through with a delivery. I must say that scope creep and any other changes that are different from what was originally stated will have a direct impact on timeline. When software changes occur or hardware configurations must change because essential information was omitted from the Functional Design Document (FDD), time and budget will take a hit. If everything is stated in the FDD and a timeline is presented for development, implementation, debugging and support, it’s important that your selection stands by that. If the ability is there to deliver, there should be no reason why it doesn’t occur.
Systems Integration
6. Presenting Accurate Budgetary Numbers: There could already be a budget in place or you could be looking to the systems integrator to let you know what an implementation would cost you. It’s important that a systems integrator relays accurate budgetary information. This enables you to submit the appropriate requests/proposals and make a detailed presentation to whomever the decision maker(s) might be. When incorrect budgetary numbers are relayed via verbal conversation or proposal, it can hold up project sign-off and may even lead to a termination of all services. One must keep in mind that scope creep, unexpected technical roadblocks and the inability to secure required information from the end user will impact budget beyond the proposed numbers. If variables like this don’t occur, a good systems integrator will follow their formal proposal to a “T” and if they misquoted something, they will “eat” the difference.
I really hope that the information I have provided regarding the six qualities to consider when selecting your Industrial Automation systems integrator is helpful as you look for outside assistance with your Industrial Automation application. If you have any questions or would like to know how L-Tron can be of assistance to you, please contact me at 800-830-9523, ext. 126 or via email at