Control system integrators play an increasingly important role in the adoption of industrial technologies. They help manufacturers leverage new software and hardware solutions by streamlining implementation processes, integrating components from different vendors, and establishing best practices for greater efficiency and uptime. In doing so, they become partners with companies that adopt new control systems rather than simply vendors of those systems. Fortunately, the market for control system integrators is growing more accessible to smaller manufacturers who might not have previously considered hiring a third party to assist them with implementation. The best integrators will work with you throughout the entire process to ensure the smooth implementation of your chosen control system without sacrificing quality or efficiency. When evaluating potential partners, there are 5 key qualities you must review before making a final decision:
Expertise in your chosen control system
Before you dive into other aspects of your potential integrator, make sure they have significant experience working with the control system you plan to implement. Ideally, the integrator should be able to discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and optimal use cases for the control system you’ve chosen. They should also understand how their own services can help you maximize your return on investment. If they don’t have expertise in your chosen system, they should be able to explain why they’re still a good fit for your project.
Ideally, you’ll be able to find an integrator that offers reasonably priced services for implementation. If a company is much more expensive than other integrators with similar experience, it’s worth digging into the reasoning behind the price difference. A high-priced integrator isn’t necessarily a bad choice, but their services should come with a significant value above and beyond the standard offerings of less expensive companies. Alternatively, a lower-priced integrator might be a good fit if their services provide an excellent value for the price. At the end of the day, you’re going to want to select a company that doesn’t overcharge for its services.
Proven track record of success
Any control system integrator worth their salt will be able to point to a list of successful implementations. Ideally, they’ll have references you can reach out to to get a better idea of how the integrator works in the real world. If a prospective integrator doesn’t have a track record of success, it’s critical that they’re able to explain why. If they’ve only been working with clients for a short amount of time and don’t have a track record, it’s worth asking why they feel confident in their abilities to assist you.
Solid reputation and trustworthy brand
Beyond the specific success stories and references of a potential integrator, you’ll also want to consider their general reputation and brand. How do other companies in your industry view the integrator? Have they heard anything about their services that makes you hesitant to partner with them? Are there any patterns of feedback that make you concerned about working with the company? Ideally, you’ll find an integrator with a solid reputation and brand that is trustworthy among other companies in your industry.