Why use an integrator instead of going direct to a manufacturer? Won’t I pay a lot more working through a “middleman”?
While there are times when it makes sense to go direct to a manufacturer of material handling or storage equipment, generally you’re better off working with an integrator. Here’s how an integrator can provide value that a manufacturer simply can’t do:
• A manufacturer can only offer their solution, not necessarily the best solution for you. Any material handling or storage problem can be solved a number of ways, each way providing a different return on investment. To obtain the best return on your particular project, you need someone who can show you the various alternatives. If you go to a Voice Logistics provider to improve your piece-picking operation, guess what solution they will recommend? Yep, voice-directed picking. But what if the nuances of your operation suggest a better ROI from another technology such as Pick-to-Light?
• Manufacturers don’t have the sales forces to provide personal service. Sure, if you have a “hot” project, manufacturers will put their salespeople on a plane. But once that project is complete, they won’t be able or interested to help you improve other aspects of your operation that can’t be solved with more of their product. Time to go back to the internet to sort through the next batch of companies to help solve your next problem.
• Integrators have a history of working with various manufacturers. Rather than you trying to figure out which manufacturers are financially sound, provide good product(s), provide good service, etc., you can leverage an integrator’s knowledge of the marketplace. Since the integrator is ultimately responsible for the design and implementation of any project, it’s in their best interest to have reputable organizations behind them.
So, in the end, you may pay much less working with an integrator. The value of an integrator is in having someone working alongside you to design and implement solutions that provide the highest return for your company.