Author Archives: Bryan Little

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Obsolescence and Aging Infrastructure – Call “The Guy! – Quickly!”

As I’m a controls engineer, I have been to a lot of manufacturing facilities for a lot of different companies — food & beverage companies, pharmaceutical firms, mills, and printing plants. Even though these are all different industries, they almost all have one thing in common: some piece of equipment has been there for a long, long time.
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Standards in Use – What Value do they Provide?

What is a “standard”? Well, according to my dictionary, the relevant definition (other than “a personal flag or banner”) is:
 
something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example
 
something set up and established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality
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The Power of Partnership

Partnership not only benefits the customer but also the integrator.  The good news is the benefits for the integrator only feed into the customer’s needs.  Integration’s circle of life!

 

In a successful partnership, the customer gets consistent deliverables and resources along with a depth of knowledge for all their processes, including execution methods.  Did I mention trust and reliability? What’s that in the business world?

 

For the integrator, the promise of more work is an obvious benefit.  But partnerships run deeper than that. While working for Avanceon for eight years now and other integrators previously, I have worked with multiple customers.  The hardest part always seems to be kicking off the project and understanding its scope.  That “feeling you out” stage can be as awkward as a blind date.   With a partnership, you can skip that step.

 

A partnership’s true power is the culture it grows.  That culture is a reward to both partners.  Seeing the same faces on projects, already trusting each other, understanding requirements right away or working more closely together to develop them simply leads to more success on both ends.

 

Also, that strong culture helps to onboard a new engineer, one of the hardest things for any company to do.  This applies to both the customer and the integrator.  There isn’t a better atmosphere you can train someone in than the one your company has an overwhelming depth of knowledge in.  Also the new engineer is part of an already trusted team, which gives him or her confidence.  This leads to more engineers the customer knows and trusts for future projects

 

How else does partnership benefit the customer? Just recently I worked on a large project with a long-time customer whose lead engineer was new to their company and leading projects.  But because of the trust and the depth of knowledge we had regarding the way they execute projects, we basically trained their new lead engineer, simply by working together.  In the end, the project was highly successful.

 

Have you benefitted from a successful customer-integrator relationship?  Post your experiences below!