Evaluating the Trust Factor in Paperless Manufacturing

Position your project for success by using these criteria for evaluating trust in your manufacturing software supplier.

By Lisa Kessler, Customer Relations with CIMx Software

When evaluating an MES, cut through the clutter and focus on criteria that benefit the long-term viability of the system. Illustration by www.colourbox.com

When evaluating an MES, cut through the clutter and focus on criteria that benefit the long-term viability of the system. Illustration by http://www.colourbox.com

When analyzing a potential MES or paperless manufacturing system, or the software company offering the system, many start by looking at price or functionality. These are important factors, but recently we’ve suggested trust may be even more important in determining project success.

This sparked some conversation. Some agreed, while others thought we were crazy. Many pointed out that trust is hard to measure, and that presents a problem. When evaluating the success of a software system, we consider ROI, study shop floor analytics and review data, and yet for choosing a system we are suggesting you “go with your gut.” It just doesn’t make sense.

Trust is vital. An MES is a major purchase, and the best suppliers should build a partnership focused on increased production with their customers. Once a system is implemented, you are entrusting your shop floor productivity to the software. You better have trust… but, how do you measure trust? What do you use to evaluate the level of trust you have with a supplier? Trust should be a factor in evaluating a potential supplier, and you need more than a gut check when selecting manufacturing software.

Aside from that deep down gut feeling, there are several things to look for when picking a supplier to solve your manufacturing problems.  Here are some of what you should expect from a trustworthy software supplier:

  • They Are Reliable

Consistency is important, and you need to know you can count on the software and the supplier.  After all, if you are implementing a system that will virtually run your entire shop floor, knowing it will work and support is available in a time of need is critical.

  • They Are Transparent

Make sure your supplier isn’t just telling you what you want to hear, have them show you.  Some suppliers will sell you on a “demo” system, not the actual product. Have them show you  your work plans in the software. Get references from other customers and ask the hard questions.

  • They Are Clear Communicators

Be sure you are getting clear and concise answers to your questions, you shouldn’t have to solve riddles.   If a supplier is dancing around a certain issue, or isn’t willing to tell you no or give you a difficult answer, you may be setting yourself up for problems in the future.

  • They Do What They Say They Will

There is no such thing as “perfect” software, and any supplier selling you perfection is really promising to build you a very expensive custom system.  You can’t improve production on promises. You need a supplier willing to give you a clear plan of action with a measurable goal, and not more promises.

  • They Speak Respectfully of Competition

When working with a supplier, the goal should be what is best for you and your business, and not just the sale. Speaking disrespectfully about other suppliers or software systems is a sign you may be working with a company more interested in getting your money and not about building a productive relationship for both businesses.


While all of the above are important, you should also just feel comfortable with the supplier you choose.  Your intuition is an excellent tool for selecting the “right” supplier.  If you can say “This feels right, nothing feels forced or pushy, and I feel comfortable,” then chances are you’re picking the right supplier for your business.

At CIMx we pride ourselves on building relationships built on trust with all our customers.  Delivering a product we know customers can rely on, and offering them the support them they need when they need it is our goal.  Our business model isn’t built on making a sale and disappearing – we want to build a long-term, mutually productive relationship with our customers.  That starts by delivering what we promised and taking the time to support users as they learn the system.

When we say we will increase your production times and profits, decrease your shop floor errors, implement quickly, and support you with a dedicated engineer, we mean that.  Want to know more about how paperless manufacturing might benefit your shop floor and working with a trusted supplier? Give us a call and let us see what we can do for you.

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