A great control panel builder can help an equipment manufacturer’s entire business process from Product Development through Support. The Top 3 things Equipment Manufacturers say they want us to help them do are
- Increase capability without adding people
- Lower control panel costs
- Eliminate control panel problems.
Deciding which control panel builder to use can be complicated when you’re an equipment manufacturer. Control panels are secondary to your equipment so their priority is naturally lower. Deciding which panel builder to use is often based on three questions with one of three outcomes.
- Build our control panels in our own in-house control panel shop ?
- Use a local panel builder ?
- Analyze our needs and find the right control panel builder for us ?
In the past panel builder choice was limited by geography for practical reasons. The Internet and improved shipping have removed this practical limitation, but most companies prefer using local resources where possible. If you’re still local and wondering if it’s your best choice, take the time to do the analysis.
How do you choose the right control panel builder ? First, take the time to figure out what you want from one. This is often the hardest part. When you figure out what you want, talk with or visit each prospective panel builder and decide which one can best delivery what you want.
1 • Think about your brand model
Equipment manufacturers generally use one of the following brand models based on their equipment and market. What they want from a panel builder depends on their brand model.
A) We provide configurable equipment with a just in time approach to sales, design and production to optimize our flexibility, cost, and delivery. We’re lean and efficient when a panel builder can help our entire business process from Sales through Support.
B) We provide fixed equipment with an inventory approach to sales to optimize our cost and delivery. We’re lean and efficient when a panel builder provides the lowest panel cost into inventory .
2 • Think about your business model
Equipment manufacturers generally provide the following control panel type(s) based on their business model. What they want from a panel builder depends on depends on their model.
A) We provide Engineered Control Panels designed and produced one at a time for specific customer orders. They’re part of our just in time approach to sales, design and production to optimize flexibility, cost, and delivery.
- We offer standard (Voltage, Horsepower, Options, etc.) equipment configurations.
- We allow customers to request non-standard equipment configurations.
- We want a control panel quote when when we quote our equipment.
- We need to submit our control panels when we submit our equipment.
- We want to order our control panels when our customer approves them.
- We need support when control panel problems arise.
B) We provide Pre-Engineered Control Panels designed and produced in high volume for the lowest possible cost. They’re part of our inventory approach to sales to optimize cost and delivery.
- We provide equipment with a fixed design.
- We order / ship control panels into / from inventory.
- We provide limited control panel support.
3 • Verify your control panel builder choice
If you’re reading this page you’re thinking about your current control panel builder or a new one. Prepare a list of questions to test each one. Don’t assume anything. Ask about their history, business focus, etc. Verify they provide what you want. If you sell configurable equipment with engineered control panels add these questions to your list.
- How fast can you produce a Quotation ?
- How fast can you produce Submittal Documentation for customer Review and Approval ?
- Can I place my order after Submittal Approval and Release to Production by my customer ?
- What is your Standard Delivery time after Submittal Approval and Release to Production ?
- What are your Standard Shipping terms and do you Ship Anywhere in the US and Canada ?
- Are you cULus certified (UL508A) for the US and Canada ?