The resulting report, “Material Handling System Choices: Priorities, Approaches and Selection Processes of Decision-Makers”, was released in June.
It shares insights into the processes used by managers at warehouses and distribution centers (DCs) as they as they seek out the equipment and services that will help them met their operational goals.
The 306 survey respondents work in manufacturing, wholesale and retail, warehousing and distribution services, with consulting services, or third-party solutions providers.
Their job functions included executive management (18%), operations (16%), engineering (22%), warehouse management (10%), purchasing (9%), plant management (7%), and sales (13%).
The companies represented by survey participants have an average of 518 employees, with a median of 402 workers.
Annual corporate revenues ranged from under $50 million (42%) to $50 – $500 million (26%) to $500 million or more (32%).
Among the list of questions, the respondents were asked to assign a ranking of “extremely/very important,” “important/somewhat important,” or “not important” to 17 different attributes describing material handling systems providers and their solutions.
Of those, seven were deemed the most important by at least 80% of the participants:
- Deliver within budget (88% extremely/very important; 11% important/somewhat important)
- Deliver on schedule (85% extremely/very important; 13% important/somewhat important)
- After installation support (83% extremely/very important; 14% important/somewhat important)
- Design/concepting expertise (80% extremely/very important; 18% important/somewhat important)
- Engineering expertise (80% extremely/very important; 19% important/somewhat important)
- Interface/integration issues (hardware and software) (80% extremely/very important; 18% important/somewhat important)
- Software functionality (80% extremely/very important; 18% important/somewhat important)
Characteristics Considered Important When Evaluating Material Handling System & Providers for Possible Purchase (complete list)
Delivering systems on budget and on time, after-sales support, design and engineering expertise, software functionality, and systems and software integration are most important when evaluating material handling providers and their solutions.
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