Benefits to Industrial Manufacturers
Manufacturers looking to expand their operations and market share are keenly focused on operating more efficiently and increasing productivity, all while controlling costs and potentially working with limited staffing growth. And with today’s manufacturing processes being more advanced and complicated than ever before, manufacturers are investing in customized automation solutions to support their operations and business objectives. With that investment inevitably follows the question about who will support the company’s industrial controls systems? Is it better to staff the project internally or to seek outside help in the way of an PLC system integrator?
Why do Manufacturers Outsource to a Systems Integrator?
Some manufacturers may not have the level of expertise on staff in the first place, making the decision to introduce a third-party automation system integrator an easy one. Others may understand from previous experience that partnering with a systems integrator delivers quicker, more cost-effective results without straining the critical internal resources that keep operations running as usual. But for those manufacturers who have tried to embark on an industrial automation project on their own, or who are starting to plan a new technology implementation, there are benefits to hiring a professional automation systems integrator partner to consider.
Automation and PLC system integrators bring with them industry expertise to complement your business and operational expertise. Not only should an integration partner bring industry best practices to the table, but if they are proficient with your industrial automation platforms and products, they can elevate the overall quality of your investment, from solutions, to consulting, through to support.
Other benefits of working with a systems integrator include:
1. The Value of an Outside Opinion
Systems integrators are hired for their expertise and they have no interest in sharing with you anything but their honest opinions and feedback, whereas employees may not always feel 100% comfortable challenging an idea or decision. For the systems integrator, more important than agreeing with you is making sure that you have the most efficient, reliable and productive automated system in place. Once they understand your goals and challenges clearly, they may be able to offer a better solution to your requested course of action or game plan. But that said, you know your business best and it’s important to work with an integrator that places your goals above all else.
2. Reduce Time and Waste
Unlike an internal resource who may only work with a defined supply network, a control systems integrator will have established relationships with different industrial automation platform providers and parts manufacturers, allowing them to have a multitude of options at their disposal to solve your problems or improve your performance measurement. Not only is the supply network broad, but a systems integrator must continually stay on top of the latest technologies to maintain their own competitive advantage. While this benefits them in growing their business, it allows them to recommend best-in-class solutions for your particular needs from the start, eliminating wasted time and materials an internal resource may have utilized in trying to determine the best go forward strategy. Additionally, a systems integrator can typically leverage their network to receive discounts on your behalf.
3. An Extra Set of Hands
Your employees should also be part of the process, but making them responsible for a project that may not be their strength or area of expertise jeopardizes your ability to meet your objectives and misuses their time and talents. Working with a systems integrator allows your employees to remain focused on their core job and puts the responsibility on the resource with the most expertise. With your employees freed up to fulfill their primary roles, you’re also ensuring that operations continue to run as smoothly as possible during new system implementations, migrations or retrofitting.
An automation and PLC systems integrator has a vested interest in meeting your expectation as their name will be tied to the project, and hopefully, your future success. At the end of the day, they are accountable for implementing the highest-quality automation systems for your needs.
Evaluate an Automation System Integrator
Whether you’re a manufacturer looking for assistance with designing, building, installing or maintaining new and retrofitted automation systems, an experienced control systems integrator can help get you up and running faster, more efficiently and more cost-effectively than if you choose to manage the process solely in-house. If you would like to learn more about Live Automation’s proven process for industrial automation engineering success and PLC consultants, please contact us.