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5 Factors to Consider when Choosing a Manufacturing Software Partner

Bill Bither
June 16, 2016

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Data-driven decisions are no longer just a trend: everyone’s looking for the best way to not just collect their data, but analyze, visualize, and inform their solutions with it. With the rise of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things, your choices for partnering with manufacturing software companies to better serve your clients are growing more extensive. Here are a few questions to keep in mind as you consider partnering as a value-added reseller of manufacturing software:

1.) Does it solve the problem your clients need help with?

 

Dealing with Big Data can be overwhelming, but data isn’t a blunt instrument: it can be as specific and filtered as needed to get the information necessary to be able to make better, faster, more informed decisions. When looking at software-as-a-service, it’s important to not only make sure that a product has all the aspects and features your clients need, but that it isn’t clogged down with a lot of features they’ll never need or ask after.

Define the questions your clients need answered, and see if the tool gives you the information you need, without burying it under data you don’t.

 

2.) Do they understand your business?

 

You probably wouldn’t ask a doctor if they could fix your car, right? When striking up a partnership, look for someone who already knows the ins and outs of your industry, who understands the problems you face, and who sees opportunities to improve not just your customers’ pain points, but yours as well.

 

3.) Will your clients find it intuitive and easy to use? 

 

Software should make your client relationships easier, not harder. For a long time, analytics software lagged behind on the usability, but it’s starting to catch up as manufacturers recognize the importance of an intuitive product that is easy to train staff on, implement, and use. Faster, smoother implementation means less backlogged work, but it also means less time for training and troubleshooting.

 

4.) What differentiates them from the competition?

 

Here’s where you might get into the nitty gritty of the product itself: the features it boasts, the visualizations it offers, if it’s cloud-based or on-premise, what additional hardware is needed, and what machines the software is already compatible with.

Aside from product details, you may find that “the human element” is what makes a company unique: they may be easy to work with, or have stellar references from trusted sources, or maybe you just feel like they get you. Whatever the reason, look for the partner that brings a little something extra to the table.

 

5.) How can they support you and your customers with overall strategy?

 

The fact is, software is a tool like any other. The thing that will really make a manufacturing software company shine will be their ability to wield that tool to improve overall strategy… both for you – their strategic partner – and for the customers who view you as a trusted resource and strategic partner. Look for forward-thinkers and thought leaders, already thinking ahead of the game to what you’ll need next, anticipating trends and capitalizing on them.

 


In the coming years manufacturers will rush to embrace Big Data and Industry 4.0 technologies. You can make sure you remain their trusted resource whenever they need to add new IOT technology to their factory floor by exploring a partnership with MachineMetrics.

 

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