3 Things to Look for When Selecting a Systems Integrator
When most of us think about warehouse automation, we tend to first think about the technology and topics that are associated with these these systems—things like sortation, order fulfillment, AGVs, omni-channel fulfillment, and so on. But the real magic happens at a deeper and more human level through something that I like to call the “3 C’s” of systems integration: Concept, Craftsmanship, and Commitment.
To be a truly effective systems integrator, these three things must shine through or else you are dealing with someone more concerned about making money for themselves than they are with helping you solve your problems. And while there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money, your goal should be to find someone who wants to be a partner to your success—someone who adds value to your enterprise—rather than someone who simply takes value out of your enterprise.
Free Guide: Top Order Fulfillment KPI Indicators
Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing the 3 C’s in detail so that you will have a clearer picture of what an effective systems integrator will look like. Here’s a preview of what’s to come.
There are a million and one ways to solve any problem, and that means that there are plenty of options for you to choose from. A good systems integrator will be able to explain these options to you and guide you to the choice that makes the most sense for your business and goals. Instead of applying a one-size-fits-all approach, the integrator should be able to shape a concept specific to your needs that is the proper blend of capital expenditure and ongoing operational expense. We call this the RightFit approach, and it is an essential to ensure to use a data driven approach to creatively tailor a system that is customized around your unique needs.
Pre-planning a project can take anywhere from months to years, so it’s essential that when it comes time to execute your plans they go off without a hitch. A RightFit systems integrator will take timing into account, but will place the success of the project above merely getting things “done on time.” They will take pride in their craftsmanship every step of the process to ensure that your project gets done correctly.
If you’re rebuilding an antique motorcycle, what’s more important: Getting the machine rebuilt according to your predetermined timeline and then realizing that in the rush you forgot an essential component, or taking a few extra weeks to ensure that when you’re done, you can actually drive your creation?
Every implementation brings with it its own set of challenges, and you need to be working with someone who can address these challenges effectively as they crop up. Instead of judging an integrator based on everything going according to plan, you need to evaluate how they will act under pressure: Will they persevere in order to bring your project to fruition, or will they bail when things start getting tough? If they don’t have commitment, they aren’t the integrator for you.