The Increasing Importance of Requirements for Industrial Equipment Companies

A happy customer is a loyal customer

We always say that “customer is king” and with the current economic crisis, this statement has never been so true.
In highly competitive markets like the Industrial Equipment industry, in which customers do not renew their material every week, it becomes critical to gain and maintain customer loyalty to create a long term relationship.

Will a product that is deemed “good” for one customer be good for all of them?
Of course not – and this is where requirements come into play. Each customer is different, depending on the market they serve,, the country they come from, the strategy they follow.

Your role as a machine provider is to be able to satisfy all of them by identifying all of their requirements, but not only

In a perfect world, we would serve our customers in a way that their every wish would become reality. But business is business and at the end of the day, we all have requirements and standards we must meet.

You may have a design to service approach that will not enable you to sell the low cost machine your customer is asking for ; and you may not have the manufacturing capabilities to produce a specific part required by a customer.

On both sides, there are a lot of requirements. The key is to be strategic and find the best compromise that will work for both parties. If you are unable to deliver a specific part, perhaps one of your suppliers can make it for you, thus helping you stay aligned with your manufacturing cost requirement. Perhaps you can convince your customer, who is looking for inexpensive equipment that, machines designed for service will last longer, resulting in long-term cost savings.

When you think the hardest part of the job is done, it is only beginning!

Identifying requirements and making strategic choices to take all of them into account is a milestone, but you then need to make sure each requirement will actually been tracked to prevent risks of failure and “redo’s”. Companies who effectively manage requirements identification and traceability perform better because they are able to save time and money during the conception and manufacturing phase. This helps to ensure customer loyalty and satisfied customers become the best ambassadors for new customers.

If you’re curious to know more about Product architecture and how to track requirements, watch our on demand webinar in partnership with Machine Design .

Diana Martins is an “industry” gal, dedicated to all things concerning the Industrial Equipment industry. One might say she has an industrial appetite for Spanish cuisine, one of her favorite hang outs, when not providing insights and commentary or online responding to her Linked in or Twitter accounts.