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checkilist for selecting a systems integrator

aug 07, 2013 laser tracker

There are many reasons you may be looking to hire a systems integrator to implement or augment an automation project. Your current team may just need extra help, or maybe you are looking for a total system design and build. Either way, selecting the right systems integrator will determine the level of success for your project.

Before you begin your search, layout what is important for you and your project. Sort out the vital qualities your system will require such as: Is there a time constraint? or What is the project's budget? The important thing is to step back and review your company's priorities. Establishing this foundation will put you on the right track to making a great decision. Below is a basic checklist that should be considered during your selection process.

In-depth technical expertise

A functional description that covers every detail of your project is helpful when making this decision. Seek an integrator who will cover details regarding how the system should react to every type of process fluctuation. It's important that the integrator is familiar with your application; they will be more apt to detecting constraints and risks.

Industry Knowledge

An integrator's knowledge and experience within your companies industry can make a difference. Having an integrator with inside industry knowledge on regulations, standards & credentials will make your project successful.

Business Partners

Although technical and industry knowledge plays a key role, there must be a sense that they will make a good business partner. A reputable systems integrator should be an unbiased partner and feel like an extension of your business, offering you the best solution to fit your automation application. Whether this will be a one-time project or if you're looking to establish a long-term relationship, having a strong business partner who communicates well with your internal team is beneficial in the long run.

A Clear Understanding

Establish an understanding of the integrators role in your project. There are many types of systems integrators, so verify their experience with all the aspects of your project, such as software programming & data collection.

Accountability

How does the integrator handle project management? Will you be assigned one point of contact throughout your project? These are good indicators of how responsive and accountable the integrator will be to your questions and concerns.

Training

Select an integrator who provides training for operators, maintenance & equipment managers. Having the proper training can avoid costly downtime and improve the quality of your system.

References

The firm's reference list is an invaluable resource in discovering competence. Note projects that closely match yours, as well as the range of overall project diversity. When reaching out to these references, ask simplistic questions that offer a great deal of insight such as:

  • Did the sales team understand your specifications?
  • Was their solution able to meet your requirements?
  • Was support offered after the install?
  • Were expectations exceeded overall?

Selecting your best match is possible with thorough research. Knowing what is important to you along with using this checklist can make selecting the right systems integrator for your project a reality. Midwest Engineering Systems has vast experience with system integration for automation, robotics and web handling applications. Contact us to discuss your project or read more about us here.

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