Thursday, 31 October 2013

On the importance of getting advice.

Two  really interesting meetings this week to discuss axle weighbridge installations. And they both starkly illustrated how important it is to get good advice and thoroughly consider what the system needs to do.

Neither of these two clients would have got what they wanted just by Googling axle weighing and then buying the cheapest system they found. Axle weighing is a complex operation and specifying the right system, location, peripherals, method of operation etc are all important for ensuring the system does what you need when installed.

Buying a TV or washing machine on the web is fine and something we've probably all done many times. Just pick the model you want then Google it and see who is selling it cheapest. It doesn't matter where you buy it from because it will always be the same make and model.

But that won't work for a more complex purchase. With a washing machine you don't need to consider whether it'll be used by left or right hand drive vehicles or whether they need to do the washing in the transport office as well as the gatehouse!

It was only after a meeting yesterday with all the people involved in the requirement that we established they needed to weigh in two directions, connect to their computer network, already had a means of identifying vehicles electronically, needed to weigh foreign vehicles and were part way through a major construction project. There was more but just for a start try putting that into a search engine and see if it finds what you want!
Dynamic axle weighbridge
A properly specified dynamic axle weighbridge.

The other client is trying to buy his system 'electronically' and the lack of human involvement is making it a longer and more complicated process than it needs to be.

Frustratingly, the lack of face to face contact might mean they end up with a system that doesn't do as much for them as it could do. Suppliers have in depth knowledge of their products and what they do, customers have in depth knowledge of what they do and what they want and putting two humans with this knowledge together will always end in the best solution.

Again, try bouncing ideas off Google and see where it gets you.

Fortunately after a meeting with the main contractor, who is getting equally frustrated with his client, a specification has been put together which will probably do the job. It's just a shame that the end user could have had some additional benefits from the system by taking part in the discussion.

And by taking half an hour or so, that's all it usually takes, to discuss what you want will save loads more time, effort and money in the long run.

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