Choosing a conveyor system manufacturer is no simple task, particularly when you’re facing a deadline. There are so many questions that you might have - questions about which equipment might be best for your project, lead time, execution, cost, and support, etc. That's why we put together some main questions to keep in mind.
So, here are 6 topics to keep in mind - each with an important question to consider. These should get your wheels spinning on the right questions to ask a potential conveyor manufacturing partner!
So you can figure out... DOES THIS COMPANY OFFER THE OPTIONS I KNOW I NEED?
Here is a big one when it comes to knowing which partner will provide the solutions that are right for you:
Choose a long-term conveyor manufacturing partner whose processes and general design/engineering philosophies support the unique needs your clients have. If you’re consistently asking for customizations, flexibility in design, new capabilities, and innovations, a traditional manufacturer may not cut it (at least, not without making you pay an outrageous price for it!). Choose a manufacturer, like Glide-Line, who not only accommodates these requests, but plans their entire manufacturing process around them and does so at little to no added cost.
So you can figure out... EXACTLY WHAT TO EXPECT IN TERMS OF CONVEYOR LEAD TIME
Lead time and speed of the build are important questions because you need a solid, dependable timeline to present to your client. Questions regarding lead time can help you determine how reliable a manufacturer’s timeline is, and how accustomed they are to meeting fast deadlines. Aim to work with a manufacturer experienced with and prepared for the lead times you need most often.
So, here's a pretty simple one here to figure that out:
Many of our customers ask very specifically: can you build this particular conveyor in this specific timeframe? Our answer is almost always a resounding yes. Most conveyor systems manufacturers’ lead times from order to delivery are six to 12 weeks. Sometimes this can be expedited for a hefty fee.
You may consider asking instead: Is your manufacturing process built with short lead times in mind, or are lead times immovable in your build process due to external factors?
Partnering with a versatile conveyor systems manufacturer like Glide-Line will do the most to shorten your lead time. Glide-Line’s manufacturing process is built for quick lead times; we can ship conveyors in two to three weeks, and devices such as lifts, lift and transfers, lift and locate stations, and more in four to six weeks. This conveyor lead time is cut in half compared to other manufacturers and saves your client significant time and money.
So you can figure out... HOW THE CONVEYOR-BUILDING PROCESS WORKS
This answer gives insight to how the manufacturer prioritizes their engineering and assembly. Typically, a manufacturer will describe a more outdated method that takes a long lead time, or they prioritize quick lead times to give customers the best experience possible.
With Glide-Line’s modular design and simple construction, conveyors and systems can be built and SHIPPED IN DAYS, NOT WEEKS. We have streamlined our entire assembly process with smart design and digital fabrication, making it possible to rapidly deploy without compromising quality or construction integrity. And with our ability to make these components in house, Glide-Line supports highly configured or customized solutions quickly and just-in-time for assembly.
So you can figure out... HOW TO DETERMINE THE COST OF YOUR CONVEYOR SYSTEM
The return on investment of your conveyor or CONVEYOR SYSTEM CAN BE MEASURED VIA ITS THROUGHPUT, energy costs/savings, quality improvement, and time cost/savings for manufacturing, operation, and maintenance. There is obviously a lot to this, and depends upon your company’s specific determination for ROI. At Glide-Line, we’d be happy to walk you through the key factors to help determine this.
So you can figure out... IF A MANUFACTURER IS A GOOD FIT FOR PARTNERSHIP WITH YOUR COMPANY AND YOUR CLIENTS
To determine if a manufacturer is a good fit, it’s important to ask a number of questions about the manufacturer, its process, and previous customer testimonials. This will allow you to evaluate the manufacturer in more detail using its “soft” qualities, and lets you know if you can count on the manufacturer to support you throughout the process.
Here is one important one to get you started:
Each manufacturer likely has a specialty in the industry - something they’re passionate about and known for. Glide-Line, for example, is best known for flexible designs that can be adjusted and customized to any size, and our clients appreciate the attention to detail we pay to solving conveyor challenges whole-heartedly with innovative solutions.
So you can evaluate... THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT YOU WILL RECEIVE FROM THE MANUFACTURER
Service on your client’s conveyors can be provided by both internal and external sources, depending on their current set-up. However, it’s important for your conveyor manufacturer to also provide service and support when the need arises. More important still is the speed at which that service is provided, and in what format. The goal is to minimize downtime.
Glide-Line provides the trouble-shooting and support needed, as much as we’re able, if questions arise about our equipment. We want to see you succeed while using our conveyor. We even have a Customer Resource Center online, check it out!
If you found these questions useful, we’ve provided a checklist of 26 of our recommended questions. We think these questions will give you the best answers with which to evaluate a best-fit conveyor manufacturer. In our experience, these are the most frequently-asked questions when evaluating a conveyor manufacturing partner - and additionally, we’ve included the most frequently-missed questions as well.
Following the checklist, we’ve even included a guide with those common questions to help you in your decision-making process as you select a partner. We included answers from Glide-Line for a perspective from an industry expert so you can start the comparison process. Check out this free resource now...