Communication Skills: A Critical Factor in Choosing Your System Integrator

The number of systems used to streamline and control manufacturing processes is growing every day. Your business relies on these systems to get your products to consumers – profitably and efficiently.

Effective system integration is key. Your systems -- from Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), which manages a product from concept to production; to Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), which control the production process; to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) – have to work together seamlessly.

Toward that end, the Systems Integrator (SI) you choose is critical. Emerge IT Services has deep and diverse experience in helping manufacturers through technology solutions to reduce costs, gain greater quality control, increase the speed of production and reduce downtime.

And we believe that communication between you and your SI can make or break your system-integration plans.

The Emerge approach to system integration

There are many elements involved in a successful integration project. These are some of the most important:

Detailed Information Gathering and Analysis

An excellent integrator is one who is able to communicate and understand the needs of your business. We extensively analyze the needs of our manufacturing clients’ processes in order to understand current and future goals and ensure the system we design meets them.

Of course, communication is a two-way street. Clients often differ in their ability to state requirements. Some provide comprehensive information while others provide a short description of the objective. We foster an extensive dialogue and review of systems. The SI and the end-user have to partner in creating the ultimate integration design. Our solution architects and engineers ensure the needed requirements are identified and specified.

Technical Planning and Design

Manufacturing IT is complex. A detailed, technical design is made only after a project’s requirements have been fully identified and fine-tuned. Our solution architects and engineers collaborate to develop a detailed, cost-effective solution. 

Note: A well-written specification details what is needed, but in many cases, it might also note what is not needed. Most System Integrators are able to handle multiple clients as their companies maintain adequate staffing levels. But having enough people is not enough.

As a group, these engineers and architects must have machine-vision SI skills in areas that include: software development, IT, mechanical controls, process engineering, motion control, optics, electronics, image processing, documentation, maintenance, project management and problem-solving.

Project Management

Our engineering project managers identify the correct resources for the project and put them in place. The product manager creates a plan that details all technical resources needed, deadlines and checkpoints, and is responsible for meeting them when Emerge manages a clients’ IT services.

Testing and Project Completion

Our solution architect will also create a detailed test plan that will be followed to ensure that all facets of the system are working and meeting project objectives.

Accountability and ongoing support

Systems Integration is a complex business. There are so many components that are linked together. It requires expertise to determine which component is responsible when a problem occurs.

Emerge takes responsibility and will make sure your system is designed as planned and working properly. We also deliver complex projects on-budget and on-time.

The manufacturing industry is facing a technological revolution. To learn more about how we can help, call Emerge at 859-746-1030.