Frequently Asked Questions
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How do I select the "right" equipment supplier?
Answer: The "Right Equipment Supplier" has a lot to do with
how equipment is being purchased, who will be doing the
implementation, and what the system requirements are. The
greatest challenge is to select the "technology partner"
that fits your needs. This has to do with your own company’s
level of integration capability.
Software / Hardware Solution
If your company is going to be buying a software/hardware
solution, it is important that the system provider has
experience with the bar code related equipment that you will
be using. Some suppliers have selected one equipment set
while others provide the bar code and/or radio frequency
data communications hardware provided by a variety of
suppliers. It is most important that the software
capabilities meet your system requirements and then that the
bar code related hardware provides the human interface to
Other companies may be buying integration services and will
not be making modifications to the software. In this
situation, it is extremely important that the supplier is
familiar with the host system and the methods of interacting
to it as well as having a functional understanding of the
bar code reading and related equipment. Here again, some
integrators have experience with a variety of bar code
equipment suppliers while others have selected just one.
Finally, some companies will take care of their own
integration and will be looking purely at the bar code
related equipment as an item to be integrated into their
system. In these situations, it is extremely important that
the bar code provider, either a value-added reseller,
distributor, or the manufacturer, has the support and
capabilities to meet the requirements of your company’s
A good place to start on the supplier analysis is to contact
the bar code equipment manufacturers who appear to have the
type of equipment necessary for the system. If your company
is going to be purchasing a software solution, your staff
should request information about solution providers.
Next, it is important to identify and contact other users of
the equipment or service provider. The questions to be asked
of the user company will be based on the nature of the
installation. Companies who are installing the equipment
themselves should talk to others who did the same thing.
They will want to know what level of support is available.
Those purchasing integration services, as well as equipment,
will want to know how the integrator performed in the
delivery of the system and support during installation. If
an entire system is being purchased, then the company will
want to know the provider’s system design capabilities as
well as integration, installation, and training. Attached
are worksheets that may be helpful in analyzing your
equipment and system supplier. It is suggested that anyone
purchasing this type of equipment or services start off by
having a clearly written statement of their own system
concept and goals. This is referred to as a System
Description and an outline of the items that should be
covered is also included.