How to recognize the right system integrator for your needs

The Industrial Automation sector requires specific knowledge and technical skills. For this reason, finding the right partners who are able to understand your needs and put into practice what you need in the right way is not always so easy and immediate.

What should you look for in a System Integrator? Here is a short guide to recognise the ideal partner.

    1. How does the system integrator work?

    The method of work is often based on experience: this is refined over time and the longer a system integrator has been in the industry, the greater the experience gained from past projects and the different types of customers with whom a system integrator has had to deal.

    1. What is the approach to automation and business management like?

    The approach to automation and business management in general are two other aspects to consider when evaluating a potential partner / system integrator.

    In terms of the method related to automation, it is good to assess, for example:

    • The amount and quality of time the company devotes to listening and the details and dynamics of the project;
    • The tendency to be open to projects that are also new compared to those normally developed;
    • Being up-to-date on the latest technology and Industry 4.0 trends;
    • Trying to understand if the modalities and costs of the work are in line with the market average or if they are too much (or too little) simplified

    From a business management perspective, we recommend assessing:

    • The number of employees and turnover rate;
    • The economic and financial situation of the firm;
    • How frequently and to what extent does the system integrator in question subcontract its projects.
    1. What is the retail approach to software, hardware and networking? Is the staff sufficiently qualified?

    Ideally, the system integrator should have no problem getting to grips with the details of hardware, software and networking functions. For this reason, the presence of highly qualified personnel with a versatile technical and scientific background that can be applied to different client needs, leads the system integrator to guarantee a high level of service.

    1. Do you have the skills to manage the delicate problems typical of the sector?

    Being a system integrator is definitely a delicate job that requires attention to detail and the ability to manage the many issues that may arise during the project.

    So it’s always good to assess the system integrator’s ability to define unique solutions for the specific application.

    What best practices are typically applied and in which industries?

    Another aspect to consider is which best practices the system integrator is normally able to apply and in which industries they normally apply them.

    A good systems integrator team of experts can create hardware and software for any automation project. This also includes the ability to design and produce custom systems for various processes.

    1. Is the system integrator reliable enough to guarantee a medium- to long-term partnership with the client?  

    The ability to listen to the client’s needs and put them into practice on time and as expressly requested is not always something so obvious. For this reason, the ideal partner knows how to organise his resources effectively and is able to guarantee continuous support to the customer; all this in the long run allows the creation of that relationship of trust and mutual interest on which a solid business relationship is based.

    “More than just a supplier of fancy equipment, an integrator should be a partner who understands your goals and has the expertise to help you succeed.” 

    (S. Angle, esperto in Sistemi di Automazione Industriale)

    Source

    1. Angle, “Choosing an automation integrator: factors that matter”.

     

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