SMC's sales and marketing director James McKew discusses how to avoid locking yourself into old technology when specifying on a project.
There is something to be said about sticking with what you know, but choosing 'the familiar approach' can lock you into innovation constraints which could compromise your global competitiveness and cost you money.
Technology is developing at such an alarming rate that it's near-impossible for OEMs and end users to keep up with new developments.
More and more, they have to rely on competent and well-trained technical sales staff from their component suppliers to provide them with insight and advice on the best products to choose.
SMC is seeing an increase in the amount of hands-on involvement from its sales engineers when it comes to assisting customers.
One of the unique selling propositions of SMC is its ability to do rapid R&D while delivering low cost for customers requiring anything out of the norm.
These products then go on to become standard products with a part number, which are available to other customers too.
I have invested heavily in ensuring sales engineers are technically up to the task of helping customers make good choices when it comes to product selection.
An increasing number of customers are receiving technically accurate and best-practice SMC product selections by allowing the sales engineers to guide them through our electronic as well as traditional product selection tools.
The good old days?
In the old days, and unfortunately still to a large extent, many customers stick with what they know.
They lock themselves into specifying certain companies for the supply of their mechanical, electric and pneumatic components, and by doing so they actually rob themselves of the opportunity to be globally competitive.
The best product for the application should be selected and unfortunately by specifying only one supplier, customers are limiting their options.
Many OEMs are competing on an international level, and therefore their machines need to consider innovation, cost-effectiveness, long-term energy saving and maintenance reliability.
While Australia and New Zealand have always managed to deliver great quality and flexible options, we are competing against machine builders who have the best and latest technology on their doorstep and they need to ensure that their machinery stays ahead in terms of innovation.
SMC offers customers a wide range of Japanese quality products, at low cost, with rapid delivery.
Our sales engineers have been trained to assist customers with technical advice and product selection to ensure our customers stay competitive and ahead of the pack.
It’s critical our end-user customers demand that OEMs offer the best components, and to do this your specifications really must have SMC called out on the mechanical and electro-mechanical side of the document.
James McKew is the sales and marketing director at SMC Australia-New Zealand, a specialist in pneumatic technology and automation control.