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Quality, Price, or Service: Which Matters Most for Lean Manufacturing Services?

Most companies try to be everything to everyone— claiming to provide better quality, service, and prices than their competitors. However, after decades in lean manufacturing consulting services, the Geolean team understands the importance of focusing on specific strengths. We’re not just in the business of selling products and equipment; we’re in the business of providing trustworthy customer support. After all, quality machines and cost-effective pricing mean nothing without adequate support. 

We heard a similar sentiment from industry experts at the recent Automate Expo in Chicago. Over the course of a week, members of the Geolean team connected with hundreds of professionals. Those conversations reinforced the principle that continues to lead our business: It always comes back to service. When choosing a lean services vendor or partner, your partner must provide timely, knowledgeable, face-to-face customer support. Let’s dive into some key considerations when you are evaluating a new vendor or partner.

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Lean Services Partner

If you’re looking for lean manufacturing consulting services, it can be difficult to determine which companies provide the best support. Let’s face it: Every company will claim to have great customer support. Let’s walk through how to determine if they actually do.

#1. What Does Support Look Like?

For example, ask whether the company offers local onsite support. Having suppliers and technicians nearby can speed up your service and reduce delays. In turn, your operation can avoid the costly downtime of unexpected training needs, repairs, or questions. Plus, some lean service providers don’t offer any face-to-face support. Look for a provider, such as Geolean, that values the relationship with your company and prioritizes in-person services.

#2. How Much Does Support Cost?

In the end, how much will your company be spending for support after the consultation, installation, or an order? A lean services vendor should be upfront about all of the costs you can expect. In your proposal, they should provide line items such as engineering, testing, and service. Even though it may make the vendor look more expensive, it’s more likely they are being more transparent than competitors about the cost. Choosing a company with a lower quote can leave you with unexpected expenses, and worse, a lack of support that prevents you from realizing the ROI intended for your new system, product, or process.

#3. Are They Subject Matter Experts?

Ask your lean services provider if they specialize in the solutions you need, your industry, or your type of operation. More experience often leads to better outcomes. If they understand your needs, they can more effectively help you analyze the expected costs and the intended benefits of implementing the solution you’re seeking. For example, Geolean specializes in aerospace, appliance, automotive, and other specific industries.

#4. Can They Support Your Company in the Future?

You don’t want to waste time, money, and resources looking for another vendor in the near future. Spend the time upfront to determine whether a vendor has what it takes to support your company’s growth for years to come. Some lean services providers, including Geolean, even offer complimentary services—such as free onsite consultations—that allows the partnership to grow as you evolve. Plus, it takes time for your company to build communication and trust with a vendor. The more you work on projects with one vendor, the more both parties benefit from the partnership.

#5. Can Their Lean Services Incorporate Automation?

Companies that leverage automation in their facilities, such as robots, AGVs, and AMRs, need a lean services provider experienced in that area. Your vendor should be able to create flexible workspaces that incorporate or work around your existing automated solutions. Even if you plan to incorporate automation in the future, you should seek a vendor with flexible solutions that evolve with you and accommodate  the evolution to your future state down the road.

Look Beyond Price When Selecting Lean Manufacturing Consulting Services

Price is always a factor you should consider—but it’s not the only factor. If the company’s customer support doesn’t make your job easier, you’ll eventually find someone else who can. That’s why it’s critical for your company to evaluate whether a proposal includes all of the anticipated support expenses. 

Moreover, quality is paramount in lean manufacturing. Investing in subpar products or equipment can undermine the entire objective of streamlining processes and maximizing efficiency. Inferior tools can result in frequent breakdowns, production delays, and compromised output quality. Choose a lean manufacturing consulting services provider that pairs its exceptional service with first-rate products and equipment.

Looking for Lean Manufacturing Services? Trust Geolean for Expert Support.

Bells and whistles are nice—like design tools, an online marketplace, or premium products. But when it comes down to it, you need a lean manufacturing consulting services provider that offers in-person support from an expert who knows your industry. Get in touch with Geolean to learn how we can provide the trustworthy customer support you need and deserve.