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Better Together: Collaborative Spec Development

No one knows your business and your process better than you. Period. Even when consulting with a professional engineer to help augment your material handling strategy, they aren’t going to know exactly what you need without investigating the application and listening to you about the hurdles you’re facing. In order to ensure that you’re getting the best transport solution for your investment, the spec development process needs to be a collaborative one.

Collaborative Spec Development Starts with You

At the start of the engineering process, neither party has sufficient knowledge on their own to produce an adequate solution. The customer understands the functional needs of their transport problem, while an engineer is tasked with developing a conceptual design that meets those requirements plus specifications that translate concept into reality. The combination of customer expertise in their application and engineering expertise in equipment solutions consistently results in equipment that helps customers attain their business goals.

At Electro Kinetic Technologies, collaborative spec development is Step 1 of our custom engineering process. Our engineers are trained to listen to the customer perspective first before establishing the basis for a custom cart or tugger design. Asking questions, explaining options, and suggesting different possible approaches results in a positive, useful discussion. This provides the information and details needed to clearly define the problem. From there, our team puts together a draft specification that lays out the problem defined both in general terms and in detailed parameters that will be required for design. A typical collaborative spec process may take one or two iterations beyond the initial draft to finalize before our team can move on to the next step in the engineering process.

Let Ergonomic Transport Engineers Fill In the Gaps

For very complex transport challenges, sometimes greater steps beyond a simple conversation or email exchange is necessary. The engineers at Electro Kinetic Technologies will occasionally offer to conduct a walk-through of the facility in order to see for themselves what potential concerns and contours the project might have. At times, an engineer may be able to identify solutions to efficiency or safety issues you may not have been aware of, and that additional overview of the workspace should provide them better context for the initial spec development.

Most importantly, at the end of the collaborative spec process each party should have gained something. The engineer should now have a much better understanding of the application, with the customer garnering an understanding of motorized cart design, and the benefits of each modification made to address particular requirements of their unique application. This mutually educational process results in the best cart design for the overall context, and the ability for the customer to make a knowledgeable purchase. There’s no reason to be left feeling in the dark as you compare proposed solutions. Working out a specification with EKT’s engineer gives you a strong basis for evaluating alternatives and making a good custom equipment choice.

Our collaborative spec development sets the groundwork for the rest of Electro Kinetic Technologies’ seven-step custom engineering process, in order to ensure that the final result is exactly what our customers need. If you’re interested in consulting with one of our engineers, or scheduling a walk-through, visit our Ask an Engineer or Contact pages. We look forward to learning more about you and your transport needs.

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