Electrical Control panel builders can help an equipment manufacturer’s entire business from Product Development through Support. Many equipment manufacturers prefer to use outside control panel builders to
- Increase capability without adding people
- Reduce cost
- Eliminate problems
The problem is choosing control panel builders can be complicated for an equipment manufacturer because control panels are secondary to their equipment. They have three basic options.
- Build them internally.
- Use local control panel builders.
- Find and use the right control panel builder.
How to choose the right one
At one time choice of control panel builders was limited by geography for practical reasons. The Internet and improved shipping have removed this limitation, but many manufacturers still use local panel builders. If you’re using local control panel builders and wondering if it’s your best option, do some homework.
Figure out what you want from a control panel builder before you start shopping for a new one. This is often the most difficult part because it takes time and effort to get it right. When you figure out what you want, talk with or visit prospective control panel builders and decide which one can best delivery what you want.
1 • Consider your brand
Equipment manufacturers generally have a flexible or a fixed brand. What they want from control panel builders depends on their brand.
FLEXIBLE BRAND – Our brand is high quality and flexible at a good price. We provide equipment with a just in time approach to optimize flexibility. We want a control panel builder that can help our business.
FIXED BRAND – Our brand is fast delivery with acceptable quality at a low price. We provide fixed equipment with an inventory approach to optimize delivery. We want electrical control panel builders that can provide the lowest panel cost into inventory.
2 • Consider your business model
Equipment manufacturers generally have a flexible or a fixed business model. What they want from control panel builders depends on their business model.
FLEXIBLE BUSINESS MODEL – Our business model is providing high quality equipment that can be configured to meet specified requirements. We use a just in time approach to sales, design and production to optimize flexibility, cost, and delivery. We want an electrical control panel builder that can support our business model.
- We offer standard (Voltage, Horsepower, Options, etc.) equipment configurations.
- Customers can request non-standard equipment configurations.
- Before we quote our equipment we like to get a hard panel quote.
- When we submit our equipment for approval we include a panel submittal.
- We like to order panels when our customer has approved our panel submittal.
- We need support when panel questions or problems arise.
FIXED BUSINESS MODEL – Our business model is providing equipment fast with acceptable quality at a low price. We use an inventory approach to sales to optimize cost and delivery. We want electrical control panel builders that can support our business model.
- We offer equipment with a fixed design.
- Control panels are ordered into and shipped from inventory.
- We provide limited panel support.
3 • Verify your choice
Before you choose your new panel builder verify they provide what you want. Don’t assume anything. Prepare a list of questions. When practical go see their facility and meet their people. Get them to show you their process. Ask about their history, business focus, etc. When you have a flexible business model these questions should be on 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 ?