1. Get the ground rules straight with the customer.
A. Is there a budget approved? If so how much? A budget quote is a lot different than a final proposal.
B. What is the time frame for the job?
C. Who is going to install the job and make it operational?
D. How is the customer going to make a decision and who is involved?
After all, if a clients wants a free proposal they need to be available to answer these questions. If there is no budget or thought put into the job, is it really even a job? If many of these questions have been answered than you’re ready for the the next step.
2. Collect data and listen to the customer.
A. Box or product size and weight.
B. Conditions of operation.
C. Through Put – Speed of conveyor, belt speed things of that nature.
3. Now the most important part, the sequence of operations. When you mention this, most customers, engineers or operations people have no idea what you are talking about. What exactly is a sequence of operations? In simplest terms it means the following:
A. What is the client currently doing? This tells you where they are at.
B. What do they hope to achieve? Through Put, Pick Accuracy, etc. Before entering into a contract to design and build a conveyor system, the future sequence of operations should be written out and signed by the customer. At that point you now have an agreement of what is supposed to be accomplished.
4. Who is to take responsibility for overall systems integration? In other words, who is going to pull all the players together (the client, architect, engineers, contractor, consultant, software people and the conveyor vendor)?
Once this is done you now can start to determine what conveyor works best for each portion of the system. Remember each conveyor system is unique even if it’s the same client in a different location.
If you need a conveyor system designed or set up contact Material Flow at 1-800-338-1382.