Optimation Blog

What a reader looks for in proposals - feature, function, or benefit?

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jun 7, 2017 6:00:00 AM

 

Early in my career I learned about and then was tasked with writing capital appropriation requisitions and justifications. When dealing with vendors I often encountered specifications, and technical minutia that overwhelmed me with data that provided little helpful and useful information. Reqs and justifications require compelling, substantiated, and specific facts that define a positive business PROPOSITION meeting the criteria as set by company policy—payback period, breakeven, Return on Asset/Equity/Investment, etc. Today, as I read and write more of these, I am still encountering many examples that miss the mark.

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Topics: Purchasing

21st Century Vendor Management in Industrial Automation

Posted by Steve Beyer on May 24, 2017 11:53:41 AM

We are a business that executes hundreds and hundreds of projects every year. These span the spectrum from simple to complex, urgent to critical, and small to large. As a vendor in industrial automation, we participate in these interactions as a supplier to prospective clients wishing to accomplish business goals. There are about as many ways to go about this as there are projects; however, there are certain parameters that yield more likely success more often. Let's look at them.

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Topics: Alliances, Purchasing, Automation, Business

Taking the Pain Away

Posted by Wendy Smith on Oct 31, 2016 4:30:56 PM

“We’ll take away your pain!”

That is one of our favorite tag lines here at Optimation.  We have many customers that come to us with different problems, but the bottom line is they are experiencing “pain” of some type – facility shutdowns, short-staffed internal teams, looming capital improvement budget deadlines, custom testing requirements for safety and quality, and many more. We are here to take away that pain!

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Topics: About Optimation, Resource Planning, Purchasing

Fall Into Year-End Planning

Posted by Wendy Smith on Sep 22, 2016 12:51:51 PM

I guess it is time to say goodbye to summer and welcome in all that comes with autumn! It has been an amazing summer, but now the kids have gone back to school, the morning traffic has returned, it’s getting dark earlier, and it’s getting a little cool for a convertible or rolling all the windows down on the morning commute to work.  All of these things signal the next season, not only in our personal lives, but in our work lives as well.

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Topics: Purchasing, Business

Why You Should Share the Business Case for Your Project

Posted by Pete Sherer on May 17, 2016 3:05:22 PM

In recent past articles, we have enjoyed blogging about some of the aspects of how to successfully undertake and deliver capital projects. We have noted that a sound methodology to accomplish this can be found in a process we dubbed “Phases and Gates,” where the project work that streams from the customer’s initial project request for an installed and commissioned solution is divided up into manageable steps with predetermined decision points.  Our content has talked about the need for Requirements, the benefits of Conceptual Design, and the case for Preliminary Engineering.

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Topics: Purchasing, Business, Project Management

Asking the right questions during the bid process

Posted by Wendy Smith on Apr 11, 2016 2:52:07 PM

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Sometimes it is not what you say, but how you say it.  In the engineering services world, we live by requirements (what you say – or write). Sometimes we create the requirements for or with our clients, and other times we write a proposal in response to the requirements and define a project to meet them.

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Topics: Communication, Purchasing, Project Management

Making Time for A Medical Device Testing System

Posted by Steve Beyer on Feb 17, 2016 10:39:10 AM

Medical Device Testing

Time.

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Topics: Purchasing, Project Management, Test Systems

The Essential First Step to Capital Project Success

Posted by Pete Sherer on Feb 16, 2016 11:11:53 AM

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If your business is growing and thriving, you may be at a point where you are seeking a capital improvement…you may know what you want to accomplish, and what benefits to your business you desire, but you’re not sure how to select the best approach? 

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Topics: Purchasing, Project Management

Providing Engineering Services Remotely

Posted by Wendy Smith on Feb 8, 2016 2:21:02 PM

In my last blog I talked about the Engineering Services Contract.  These are a great way to streamline and expedite the process of requesting and approving engineering service work.  Another way to economically provide engineering services is by performing them remotely. 

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Topics: Purchasing

The Engineering Services Contract - how to partner with your customers

Posted by Wendy Smith on Jan 27, 2016 10:09:47 AM

The procurement processes at many companies can be very complex and time consuming.  It can take longer to get a purchase order than to complete the work on some projects. One solution to this is to set up an engineering services contract, or a blanket contract.

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Topics: Resource Planning, Purchasing

Welcome to the Optimation Blog

Tips, tricks and trends

The goal of this blog is to be helpful to readers by providing useful information about applications in industrial engineering, design and skilled trades, as well as industry knowledge. We're passionate about manufacturing in the United States. We have a little fun with it too.  

 

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