This is the third in our industry focus series in which we will highlight the customer successes in a specific industry or niche manufacturing segment. We’ll focus on the relevant ERP functionality that an industry or market requires and how an ERP solution can address the unique needs of each of those industries. For this edition, we focus on the systems integration or system integrator segment.
Systems Integration companies bring together electrical, mechanical, software applications and control systems into a single solution. They develop products and solutions to automate industry and manufacturing processes. These companies have deep skill sets and domain expertise in engineering, process improvement, Information Technology and manufacturing operations. In terms of type of manufacturing, it’s a bit of a generalization, but these companies are often Assemble to Order. They may have some manufacturing requirements, but they tend to be on the light side as they outsource the manufacturing of these various sub-systems to strategic vendor partners. So what are the core competencies of Systems Integrators and how can ERP solutions designed with their needs in mind benefit these types of businesses?
- Systems Integrators offer engineering services and integration services. Their deep domain expertise in design and development of systems and solutions is their critical value add. Simply, they make ideas work! From a systems perspective, to support their engineering services needs, they require strong, integrated solutions for Bills of Material, Revision and Change Control, Electronic Product Data Management (EPDM), Project Management and Tracking and Cost Estimating.
- Project Management. While projects are certain critical from an engineering and design perspective, Systems Integration companies offer project solutions for the entire lifecycle of a customer relationship. From concept to installation, everything from design, development, implementation, testing and ongoing support, Systems Integrators manage these, often, multi-year projects and from a systems perspective need ERP functions to streamline the entire project management cycle. Estimating, project budgeting, task management, time tracking, performance monitoring, progress payments, revenue recognition and project analytics are but some of the critical ERP needs for Systems Integrators.
- Service, Support and Quality. Finally, the third broad are of core competencies for Systems Integrators is in the area of installation, training, support and quality management. The complex systems that are designed and delivered require the Systems Integrator to be a critical extension of their customer. Especially when it comes to the startup and installation of custom control systems, automated process control and electro-mechanical control systems. These companies have deep industry expertise in the ongoing support and service of their complex, custom systems. Solutions to support the Systems Integrator include Field Configuration Management, Quality Tracking and Analytics, Repair Management, Call Center Support and a robust Knowledge Database of solutions.
- Systems Integration companies, in general, are highly focused on specific segments. Within those specialized segments, these companies are able to offer deep engineering, project management and installation / support services to ensure rapid payback and ROI on the offered systems. ERP solutions provide a critical foundation for these companies to help optimize design, sales, production planning, quality, supply chain and service management operations.
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