Hiring a control systems integrator is a potentially lengthy process that must be done with the highest level of attention to detail to make sure that your project runs smoothly. Choosing the wrong one can lead to significant challenges such as miscommunication that can delay the completion of your project. You could also be stuck dealing with long-term problems if you hire an incompetent control systems integrator. Whether you are planning to install a SCADA system or need help maintaining the system that is currently in place at your business, you need to ask the tough questions that help you identify the right company to meet your needs.
Have You Completed a Project Like Ours Before?
Integrators handle a variety of different projects within various industries, and the differences between your companies plan and another one can be huge. Ideally, you should hear that the integrator has handled similar projects in the past. Although almost every project requires customization, having experience with a similar one means that the integrator will be better prepared to prevent common issues from occurring. If they answer yes to this question, then ask them to describe a similar project along with its successes and setbacks.
Do You Understand Why We Need the System?
The integrator needs to understand the scope of your operations fully. In many cases, an integrator may install a SCADA system without fully understanding the company’s goals. Are you seeking a system for compliance purposes, or perhaps your business needs one to allow for a faster response to changing circumstances that signify a need for maintenance. Either way, the integrator should have some idea of the reasons behind your plans so that they can develop a project that help you meet those goals and more.
What Is Your Time and Budget Estimate for This Project?
You need to know that the integrator has the ability to keep the project on track. Delays tend to increase the costs of installing or updating a system, and your financial team should also have a firm idea of the costs to expect for the scope of the project. Since time is money, the right integrator should be able to put together a detailed plan that includes target dates for the completion of primary tasks in the process along with an estimate of the budget that should not vary much as the project continues.
Are You Experienced With Our Preferred Software?
A control systems integrator should already come to your company equipped with the knowledge and skills that they need to perform quality services. Waiting for an integrator to learn new software once the project has started bogs down your project and increases the risk for errors. Make sure that the area already experienced with your preferred type of software. Then, give them bonus points if they are comfortable working with multiple types of software because this signifies that they value professional development within their field.
Can You Provide Me With References?
The choices that you make during the hiring process could impact your company for many years. Asking questions to determine whether or not the integrator is capable of maintaining long-term relationships with the businesses that they serve helps you know that they’ll be there whenever you hit a challenge or develop a new need that requires their services. The ideal candidate for your project should have a solid history of developing strong relationships with their clients. Someone who has worked on several projects for a company or maintained a contract for years has likely done so out of being extremely competent.
Bringing anyone new into your company’s operations requires serious consideration. By carefully vetting potential control systems integrators, you can make sure that your business’s SCADA system runs at optimum efficiency while helping your team to meet the expectations that are in place for your industry.