Selecting the right control panel company (for your company) should be based on the problems your company is trying to solve. Once you determine this, call a few companies. Test their knowledge and execution ability. Select the company that offers your company the best balance of Quality, Price and Delivery. Below are some things to think about before you begin your search.
What’s most important to you ?
Are you looking for Highest Quality, Lowest Price, or Fastest Delivery ? Ideally you want all three, but which ones are more important ? You can have any two, the third always suffers. Sometimes what’s important changes, so make sure the company you select can change with you. How would you rank these in order of importance ?
- Highest Quality
- Lowest Cost
- Fastest Delivery
What do you want from a vendor ?
Some people think control panels are commodities, so they look for the low price vendor. Price is always important, but it’s not the only thing to consider. Ideally, you want a vendor that specializes in producing the products you use, and provides the level of service you need. How do you know if a vendor is a good fit for your company ?
- Do their products and services meet or exceed my expectations ?
- Do I like how the company does business ?
- Do I like the person who is my primary interface with the company ?
- How do they perform in a crisis ? If a problem arises, do they get involved and solve the problem quickly, or do they avoid me and hope the problem solves itself before they have to get involved ?
What questions will you ask ?
Ask each company about their history, business focus, service area, and any other questions you can think of. Don’t assume anything. Test their knowledge of your applications and equipment, and see if they provide the level of service you’re looking for. Here are a few potential questions to consider.
- Are you a cULus certified (UL508A) production facility ?
- How fast can you produce a quote ?
- How fast can you produce Submittal Documentation for Review and Approval prior to production ?
- What is your standard delivery time after Submittal Approval ?
- What are your standard shipping terms ?
- Do you ship anywhere in the US or Canada ?
What kind of control panel do you need ?
We specialize in producing Engineered Control Panels for a customer’s specific piece of equipment or application. Our specialty is getting to know our customer’s equipment and business and providing a flexible design. This allows them to offer an array of standard equipment configurations without significantly impacting control panel size, or price, or delivery. The next control panel for the same piece of equipment or application will be similar (Voltage, Horsepower, Option Set, etc.), but most likely not identical.
We produce Commodity Control Panels for a few companies. They have a fixed design for only one application. The next panel will be identical to the last panel. They can be produced in high volumes at an extremely low cost, but their fixed design can’t be changed without significantly impacting price or delivery. Changing anything (no matter how simple) makes it an engineered control panel.