Your conveyor system is one of the most important elements of your operation so it’s critical that you work with a partner that understands just that. The simple truth is that you need a supplier that understands your operation, needs and knows conveyor systems like the back of their hand so that you don’t have to.Here’s a quick checklist when selecting a conveyor system provider:
- Do they provide surveys and inspections of your location? You want someone that knows conveyor systems. Period. You want to know that you’re using the best product available, that you’re only experiencing the number of change-outs necessary and that you’re reducing your total cost of ownership and that you have more uptime than downtime.
- Do they have service crews and downtime support? You need a supplier that can be there when you need them. Whether it’s for installation, troubleshooting or preventative maintenance services having access to specialists, especially during an emergency is key.
- Do they have an in-depth knowledge of everything that’s available? Some suppliers only know heavyweight belt that’s used in heavy traditional industry. Some only know lightweight belting products that are used in industries like Food and Beverage and Agriculture. Your supplier should be well-versed in both. Why? Because product innovation only comes from knowing trends, understanding what’s available and knowing the right solution to apply to each individual circumstance. A supplier should also be very familiar with every component and accessory used in all different types of systems. From pulleys and idlers to chute liners and safety cages – your supplier should evaluate everything and do what it takes to keep you running straight.
- Are they experienced with servicing customers like me? Does this supplier have experience servicing your industry or even your competitors? Are they aware of common issues that I might face on a regular basis? Do they understand my needs both individually and as a whole? If they are not taking the time to learn by conducting an in-depth evaluation then you might need to shop around.
- Will they prove the value that they’re providing? Your supplier should always be thinking of ways to help you which ultimately will save you money. Did they install a product substitution that resulted in less change-outs than before? Are they providing innovative solutions that’s reducing or avoiding downtime? Are they helping me reduce the labor needed? Are they available around-the-clock whenever I need them? If you’re questioning any of these responses there are conveyor belt suppliers out there that will partner with you 365 days a year 7 days a week to ensure the smoothest operation possible. But of course the question is always, what have you done for me lately? Having a supplier that keeps documentation of what they do for you is helpful, especially when you can show a cost savings as a result of the partnership.
- Do they provide on-site training? You may need to understand the product and their applications so that you can handle emergencies if they arise. Sure, it’s always nice to have someone to call and rely on in the case of an emergency but wouldn’t it be great if you could be the hero of the day? Some suppliers will train your entire staff on various topics from safety to troubleshooting problems. In-person training that meets your needs is also a token of a solid supplier.
In summary, everyone is different and has unique needs and you want a conveyor belt supplier that understands what yours are, and that can be there immediately to help you when you’re in a bind. Besides, the work that you do is too important not to reduce your downtime as much as possible.