Project requirements vary widely and many require a custom solution to ensure specific electronics work well outdoors.
Most enclosure manufacturers offer a few ‘off the shelf’ products, but electronics are ever-changing and certain instances will require a unique, custom product to be developed.
A sales team is always eager to promise a viable solution, but what happens when the end customer or integrator wants to see the solution before they commit to a purchase? Customers may ask the engineering team to develop conceptual pictures or drawings to review during the sales process.
It is a customary practice for companies to collect a fee in exchange for time and energy devoted to custom engineered projects. The process can be made easier if a budding relationship starts with mutual respect and trust! Usually each party has to demonstrate a commitment by investing some money and time up front. Oftentimes, the enclosure company may ask a customer to pay a fee for the development process and credit that fee back to the project once a purchase order is issued.
As professionals, reputation, skillset, experience, and attention to detail is what brings the parties together on a successful project. Requiring design fees will allow a company to dedicate 100% of an engineer’s energy to the specific needs of the project.
If a competing company is willing to offer custom design work for “free,” know that you will get what you pay for, which is often a sub-par and poorly designed product. This approach will ultimately cost more in the long run, especially if the poorly designed solution will be scrapped and replaced.
In the end, use your judgment. Make the best decision possible based on the specific project. If you have built a relationship from mutual trust and respect, then success will be right around the corner!
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