ISC Industry Group releases Fall 2010 Quarterly Report

"The Road to System Integration" report asserts that every step in an integrated system project is an integrated system of its own, and major roadblocks can occur if the elements are out of sync.

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The Integrated Systems and Controls (ISC) Industry Group of Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) has released its Fall 2010 Quarterly Report titled The Road to System Integration. The report asserts that every step in an integrated system project is an integrated system of its own and if the elements are thrown out of sync, it can cause major roadblocks.

The report offers advice to guide users through each step of a system integration project from planning, contracting, installing, startup and achieving ROI. Planning can be the longest, most important, phase of a systems integration project. Mistakes caught at this stage are less expensive to correct than if they are allowed to go unnoticed until closer to project completion.

Good communication between a company’s internal team members and all system vendors is essential throughout every step in the process. The report cites the case of a commercial printer that converted its processes from manual to completely automated in one project. This company’s team of manufacturing specialists, engineers and internal experts took 18 months to review future business needs—before even calling in system vendors. Their goal was to develop an integrated material handling system that would meet its needs well into the future.

When the company was ready to select and contract with system vendors, a part-time approach to project management was not an option. “Even on a day-to-day basis, the company’s managers were still very involved in the project after vendors were selected,” says Daifuku America’s Shana Relle, vice chair of the Integrated Systems & Controls (ISC) Industry Group of Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA). “But maintaining good communication among all vendors was deemed so important that this company set up a website so all the vendors could communicate with each other and check on project status at every stage.”

View the complete report — The Road to System Integration.


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