Choosing Automation? Choose Quality.
During your search for automation, it is important to learn as much as you can about the company and how they plan to help you during your construction, and just as important, after they hand you the “keys” to the system. While you are preparing to automate, take these factors into account when evaluating automation partners.
Find a company that takes out the middle man:
When looking to automate, ask if the company you plan to work with builds their own equipment or has a contract with another company to build for them. Your project will run smoothly when a company not only designs your system, but also builds it in their own warehouse.
If you’re a US-based company, look for a company that designs, builds, services and maintains your system from their offices in the US. This can help take the worry out of communication errors or specifications that are lost in translation, or modifications that get lost in the ever-growing inbox of the person you tried to email. It is easier to communicate modifications of equipment when it is all under one roof.
Quality is key:
Ask the perspective company about their quality standards. When your warehouse takes the step towards the future, that future shouldn’t last 5 years. Your equipment should be built to stand the test of time, like Firmenich, who has been using the same cranes for over 24 years. A cheap price tag might be appealing during the design process, but the old saying “you get what you pay for” is still said because it’s still the truth.
While technology advances, make sure that the automation can advance with it. Don’t get sold on the future capabilities only to find out that the equipment won’t work due to poor craftsmanship or an inability to upgrade. Your warehouse will advance, and the automation should be able to advance with it.
Service when you need it:
When your equipment needs to be serviced, it can be frustrating to hear that the only person available to help is across the globe and you must pay to get them to your warehouse and back. Find the company that has teams located within their customer territories so that they can quickly service their customers. The company should continue to expand their team. A company that expands their book of business without any new service members can create an unbalanced oraganization that can no longer help customers efficiently. Down-time and costly repairs can wreak havoc on profitability.
Automation should be a long-term investment that creates an efficient, profitable warehouse. Never overlook quality and service standards before you make your choice--that short-sighted error could end up costing you more down the road. If you are looking for automation, click here to get in contact with a member of our sales team.