11 Considerations Before Purchasing Material Handling Equipment

When considering the purchase of an automated material handling solution it’s a given that you have to stay within your budget. Whether you are looking at conveyor, sortation, AS/RS, WMS, or a combination of all of the above, there are several factors that need to come into play beyond just who might have the lowest price.

Here are a few to consider:

1. Does the solution match your scope?

2. Did the supplier give you what you asked or, or offer an explanation of why it is different? If what you asked for is not the vendor’s recommended design/solution, it’s important that you receive a quote for the design you requested so you have a base comparison to make against other quotes.

3.  Is the vendor able to meet your delivery time requirements? Is your delivery time reasonable?

4.  If one supplier promises a delivery date that others can’t, why is that?

5.  Is one vendor employing any innovative solutions that we, or the other suppliers did not think of?

If you are still on the fence on if Material Handling Automation is right for your organization, download viastore’s whitepaper ‘Four Reasons why Material Handling Automation is a Good Investment for your operation‘.

If you believe that automation is an ‘all in’ concept that is too expensive, or overkill for your distribution center (DC), you might be missing out on an opportunity for business gain. That’s because there is compelling return on investment (ROI) from automation.


6.  Did you make it clear that you were open to options or innovative thinking when it came to the design of the deliverable?

7.  How confident are you that the supplier will deliver as promised?

8. Is the lowest cost, quickest turnaround and most innovative design really possible?

9. Is the supplier able to perform a full acceptance test?

10.  How accountable will this supplier be on performance?

11.  What type of after installation service and support do they provide?
For more information please contact viastore systems, Inc., a global supplier of automated material handling solutions included automated storage and retrieval systems, conveyor system solutions and warehouse management software.

About John Clark

John is responsible for Marketing and Business Development at the North American headquarters of viastore systems in Grand Rapids, MI.

He has over 20 years of broad hands-on experience in all aspects of marketing and communication, including writing, content marketing, advertising, design, trade show and event planning, public/media relations, website, lead generation and management.

Prior to viastore, he has held marketing management positions at TGW Systems and Dematic, both global material handling automation companies.


  1. Every single one of these questions is important when considering material handling equipment. Especially following up by asking why the answer is what it is. Thanks for the advice.

  2. Finding a solution that matches the scope of your needs is really important when it comes to material handling equipment. I also think that you should look for equipment that will work even if the scope changes. If you choose something with a good design, this shouldn’t be a problem.

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