Considerations When Choosing a Testing Supplier
by Aaron Branham, on Nov 10, 2020
When considering capability expansion, one of the first questions that will be prevalent is, “why choose supplier A over supplier B?” In a previous blog (9 considerations for TCO), we defined things to look for when purchasing a stand, now let's look into how to choose the right supplier.
1 – Supplier Expertise
- Is the equipment you are looking for a standard product with a company, or is this a custom build? A few areas of concern will undoubtedly be whether the supplier has been in business long enough to have experience and experts ready to resolve your challenges.
- What does their portfolio look like? The company you choose should have an established library of already proven solutions backed by OEM’s and a laundry list of customers advocating their ability to follow-through.
- Does the supplier have an installed base of equipment? One thing to consider is having someone with not only a good theory and sales pitch, but also proof of equipment in the field and evidence of functioning as intended.
- Will your supplier be able to articulate how they will fulfill your requirements? Be sure that the test stand will perform to your liking with all details outlined as to how the requirements will be met.
2 – Proven as a Trusted Supplier
- Does the Supplier have the infrastructure to support your company and the solution needed? With your challenge ahead, the supplier should have a strong engineering group to design a solution and an aftermarket team to support the equipment installed.
- Does the supplier support OEM, Military, and MRO needs? Do not pigeon-hole yourself into a market without the flexibility of expansion. You will want to ensure the machine chosen can reach across various market segments. As we have seen with COVID-19, there is a risk involved when your focus is not diversified.
- Will your supplier have the capacity to deliver your requirements? If you require multiple stands delivered to various locations at different times, it is always something to check and see if the supplier has experience with this and capacity to handle. As we all know, delays or mistakes in layered requirements have catastrophic downstream effects.
3 –Look for a Partnership
- Does the supplier have the capability to provide a full facility integration? A “one-stop-shop” approach is highly recommended where a supplier can handle the project from start to finish, from installation to aftermarket support and capability expansion.
- Does the supplier have the insight into what I will need downstream? Choosing a supplier with the ability for customization and forethought to provide a modular design with nearly unlimited expansion will be ideal to start small with ambitions to grow later.
4 – Aftermarket Support is Key to Longevity
- Will you get round-the-clock support? During these uncertain times, it is critical to maintain your current customer base and have support no matter the circumstance. Keeping the equipment up and running is critical to keeping the workflow incoming.
- Are there support options outside of in-person visits? As we have all seen, travel restrictions have been put in place domestically as well as internationally due to COVID-19. One of the options to overcome this hurdle has been remote assistance. Be sure to verify alternative support options are available should an issue arise and an FSR cannot make it in.
- Will you require full-time onsite technicians? If you are running a large operation and uptime is of the utmost importance, finding a supplier that offers onsite staffing to ensure you have immediate expertise is recommended.
5 – Value Through the Cost of Ownership
- Will the stand you choose last long enough to provide ROI? You will want to do your due diligence verifying that high-quality, rugged parts are being utilized in the assembly of your stand.
- Will the supplier have the ability to expand your capability? The chosen supplier should have an expansive portfolio of adapter options and a modular design providing upgrade possibilities down the road.
- Are you able to self engineer TPS or design in-house adapters? Finding a stand provider that provides open software gives you the freedom of developing expansion without the cost of having your supplier engineer on your behalf.