Selecting a Systems Integrator: Craftsmanship (Part 3 of 4)
This article is part 3 of a 4 part series. In part 1, we outlined “3 Things to Look for When Selecting a Systems Integrator“. In part 2, we discussed the importance of a good concept. Stay tuned for part 4.
Craftsmanship—attention to detail, pride in final outcome—is at the heart of any successful integration. 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: There is no room for shortcuts when the time comes to finally bring your solutions to life out of the concepts that you have invested so heavily in creating.
At the moment of implementation, expediency needs to be placed aside. While time is often of the essence in all business, it is imperative to take the proper care and diligently pay attention to every detail at this critical phase.
Free Guide: Top Order Fulfillment KPI Indicators
Here is a list of some of the most often overlooked items to show what is at stake when timing takes precedence over a complete and accurate implementation:
- Project planning with other trades to avoid conflicts and costly mistakes in all areas, not just those areas directly related to the material handling system such as building and utility
- Meeting early in the project cycle and ensuring buy-in from all project stakeholders
- Adherence to codes and life safety concerns
- Proper safety devices and guarding around all moving units and pinch points
- Lapping of guardrails on conveyors, skewing of rollers, etc. to handle widest materials possible
- Reliable signage both for safety and usability to aid operators throughout the system
- Taking the time to functionally define the software and interfaces that will be required to complement the customer’s business processes and provide robust supportability
- Complete documentation and training to empower the customer to truly own their system
Attention to Detail in the Modern Business World
A successful implementation takes a high level of attention to detail. But this personal attention to detail often gets lost and overlooked in modern business commerce today.
You don’t even have to look far to see what I’m talking about. For example, Skype has replaced face-to-face meetings in the last decade or so. This is convenient, for sure, but it is in face to face meetings that relationships are built, trust is established, and accountability assured. Face to face meetings give you a first glimpse at the craftsmanship that your partners have to offer in a way that digital tools simply can’t replicate.
A proper systems integrator needs to bring things back to basics by giving clients what they deserve and nothing less. They need to exceed expectations and deliver on promises. They need to take a strong sense of pride from the work that they produce—and this pride and customer satisfaction must come over everything else, including profits.
One thing that we have insisted upon at Conveyco, and that has remained true as we have grown, is a commitment to this personal attention to detail. If we are going to put our name on something then the work that we do must meet the extremely high standards that we have set over more than three decades of successful integrations.
Beyond Pride and Finish
Craftsmanship means so much more than its traditional meaning of pride, fit, and finish. It is something that is mutually rewarding between a customer and their systems integrator. Both parties need to look at the system running after it is made live and be proud of every detail that has gone into creating it.
But it takes one more thing to make for a truly effective integration, and that is commitment. If there isn’t any follow through, then all of the work put into a project will have been for naught.