What Questions Should You Ask Your Manufacturing IT Company?
Manufacturing firms are embracing digital industrial technologies all over the world to help them produce higher quality goods for less, but how do you know your manufacturing IT company is truly leading you down the right path? Ask these 7 questions to find out.
Advanced digital technologies are already available for manufacturing firms looking to embrace innovation, and for many firms, there’s nothing more exciting than being able to produce higher quality goods for less, and ultimately, being able to better serve their clients. It’s more important than ever before to have the proper technology services and support – a team of experts who will lead you down the right path, but how do you know you’re working with or about to sign on with the right manufacturing IT company?
Ask Your Manufacturing IT Company These 7 Questions Before Signing a Contract…
- What Do You Know About Industry 4.0? This should be your first question to determine how involved they are in the manufacturing realm. Industry 4.0 represents the fourth revolution in manufacturing – leveraging the power of automation to enable a smart, more capable system that utilizes data to make informed choices. They should be knowledgeable about big data and analytics, the Internet of things, and more.
- How Do You Approach Cybersecurity? Over the past few years, research has proven that manufacturing firms are among the 5 most attacked sectors in the world. Cybersecurity is more important than ever before, especially for manufacturing firms who tend to have multiple points of entry into their network, as well as a ton of intellectual property. A multi-layered approach combined with employee training is necessary.
- Are You Familiar with Manufacturing Software? Manufacturing firms tend to use a lot of industry-specific software to handle their extremely tight deadlines. A project management software, in particular, is necessary to help you manage scheduling, resources, and predicted completion dates, as well as defined tasks and/or roles for employees. They should be familiar with a range of project management software programs.
- What Are Your Thoughts on a Scalable Infrastructure? It’s important to have a scalable infrastructure that allows you to scale up or down as required. Your infrastructure needs to be as flexible as possible as many manufacturing firms bring on more users during busy, time-consuming projects to meet demand on the production line. Ask your technology partner about their thoughts on scalability and how they plan to achieve it.
- Who Will Answer the Phone When I Call? When you’re in the middle of a pressing deadline, the last thing you want is a technology issue wherein you call and get redirected to someone overseas who doesn’t know you, speak your language or help you at all. Make sure your technology partner plans to have someone local and on their team answer the phone when you have technology challenges and/or questions.
- Do You Have a Guaranteed Response Time? Similar to above, you can’t afford to wait hours, or worse, days for a response when something goes wrong and you’re in the middle of a pressing deadline. Many technology providers have response time guarantees wherein they promise to respond to you within an hour, two hours or even the same business day.
- Will You Work with Our Vendors When Something Goes Wrong? Some technology providers will help you manage your vendors – working alongside them when something goes wrong. This is incredibly helpful when you’re in a busy environment where you don’t have time to call your Internet provider each time the connection goes out. Make sure your technology provider is willing to play middle-man to help you out.
Your Manufacturing IT Company Should Be Prepared to Answer These 7 Questions to Show That They’re Able to Handle the Fast-Paced Nature of Your Firm. If They’re Not, Call Us at (408) 214-4570.
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