System Buyers Rank Top 7 Most Important Characteristics of Material Handling Solution Providers (Infographic)

In the spring, viastore systems partnered with Modern Materials Handling to conduct a survey investigating how organizations evaluate and select material handling system providers and their solutions. The resulting report, “Material Handling System Choices: Priorities, Approaches and Selection Processes of Decision-Makers”, was released in June. It shares insights into the processes used by managers at warehouses and distribution centers (DCs) as they as they seek out the equipment and services that will help them met their operational goals.

The 306 survey respondents work in manufacturing, wholesale and retail, warehousing and distribution services, with consulting services, or third-party solutions providers. Their job functions included executive management (18%), operations (16%), engineering (22%), warehouse management (10%), purchasing (9%), plant management (7%), and sales (13%).

The companies represented by survey participants have an average of 518 employees, with a median of 402 workers. Annual corporate revenues ranged from under $50 million (42%) to $50 – $500 million (26%) to $500 million or more (32%).

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Among the list of questions, the respondents were asked to assign a ranking of “extremely/very important,” “important/somewhat important,” or “not important” to 17 different attributes describing material handling systems providers and their solutions. Of those, seven were deemed the most important by at least 80% of the participants:

  • Deliver within budget (88% extremely/very important; 11% important/somewhat important)
  • Deliver on schedule (85% extremely/very important; 13% important/somewhat important)
  • After installation support (83% extremely/very important; 14% important/somewhat important)
  • Design/concepting expertise (80% extremely/very important; 18% important/somewhat important)
  • Engineering expertise (80% extremely/very important; 19% important/somewhat important)
  • Interface/integration issues (hardware and software) (80% extremely/very important; 18% important/somewhat important)
  • Software functionality (80% extremely/very important; 18% important/somewhat important)

The remaining 10 characteristics rated by fewer than 80% of respondents as being extremely/very important included:

  • Price
  • Integration experience
  • Systems training
  • Software flexibility and intelligence
  • Installation time
  • Total contract management
  • Total project management services
  • Ability of supplier to manufacture product
  • Industry thought leadership
  • Prior experience with your company


The full breakout of responses can be found on page 7 of the report, in the table “Issues considered important when evaluating material handling providers.”

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.

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