Why Your Automation Partner Should Have a Broad Industry Portfolio

An automation company with a diverse portfolio of industry experience offers customers breadth, depth, and perspective.

Any manufacturer looking for an automation partner hopes to find one with expertise in their industry. The wealth of background knowledge that comes from working within an industry, from common engineering challenges to regulatory standards, makes it easier for businesses to achieve a close partnership. Industry experience also means a more streamlined development process, as the automation partner will already have worked out tools and processes necessary to accomplish many of the tasks you are likely to need.


But although you may want an automation partner with background in your industry, you don’t want that to be their only area of expertise. An automation business with only one or two industries under their belt will have blind spots. Their pool of engineers will not be as robust, and they may be less diverse as a business as they will rely heavily on a more uniform client list.


Instead, by choosing a partner with a diverse client base, you benefit from a broader pool of knowledge and a business more able to weather shifting economic situations with ease. Here are four reasons a broad industry portfolio is a good thing to look for in your automation partner.


1. Cross-industry experience for industry-crossing businesses.

Many of us are used to thinking of industries as discrete silos, with little overlap from one industry to the next. In reality, industries are growing increasingly blended. With the emergence of smart devices, almost every home appliance is now a WIFI-enabled piece of technology. Electric vehicles are merging the automotive and energy industries together in the search for more efficient batteries. And vertical farms are blending agriculture and manufacturing—two industries that have traditionally been polar opposites.


This means that automation providers must also have cross-industry experience if they are to deliver the best services to their customers. A specialization in one industry can’t compensate for a lack of experience in another.


2. Engineering team with diverse areas of expertise.

Expertise in a specific field is valuable, but after a certain point, the gains to be made from specializing in one field are marginal compared to the knowledge to be gained from a new specialty. To put it very simply, this is the difference between an automation team composed of ten engineers with expertise in one subject, and an automation team with ten engineers who have expertise in ten subjects.


As your business grows and develops in new directions, you don’t want to find yourself limited by the expertise of your automation partner. It’s better, to begin with, a partner who can meet your needs for the long haul than to find yourself needing to find a new automation company a few years down the line.


3. Stable workflows with fewer seasonal crunch times.

Now let’s look at a more practical reason diversity is important: seasonality within industries. Some industries operate on a predictable schedule, with some months being reliably busier than others. If you were working with an automation team that specialized in just one industry, then it would mean your busy season would always be their busy season as well. Their capacity would be filling upright when you needed them most, and they would not be easily able to scale their workforce because finding themselves with too many people during the slow season.


On the other hand, a business that worked with a range of industries would be more likely to have a more level workflow. Their agriculture client who needed them during the spring and summer would slow down just as their consumer goods manufacturer grew busy in the fall. This balance would mean they could keep a workforce on staff who would be able to serve each client without becoming overstretched.


4. Diversity is stability.

Finally, we’d like to return to one of our company’s core mottos: Diversity is stability. For us, maintaining a diverse client portfolio is essential for the health of our business. Economic upheavals happen all the time, and when they do, we need to be able to reassure our customers that our business will still be around through it all.


Choosing an automation partner is an important business decision with broader economic implications. If you choose a company that is overly dependent on your industry, then if other aspects of your industry start to weaken, your automation partner may also end up in trouble. And if they go under, it could leave you without an automation solutions provider at a time when your industry is already experiencing challenges.


By contrast, an automation provider working with a range of industries won’t be overly threatened by struggles in one sector. In fact, even when the economy as a whole is struggling, they will be able to face the challenge with more resiliency, because it is very rare for all industries to be struggling at the same time.


With twelve industries of expertise, Eagle is fully equipped to meet your business’s automation needs.

Niche experience is important. But an automation partner who has worked closely across industries is one who will have developed niche expertise in each of those industries, while also being able to tap into the broad range of knowledge shared by an engineering team with diverse skill sets.


At Eagle, our experience spans twelve industries. We’ve developed solutions for the Aerospace industry, where precision is of utmost importance, and the margin for error is razor-thin. We’ve also engineered automation for consumer goods, where product quality is a driving force in daily lives. And we’ve helped indoor farmers at the forefront of an agricultural revolution, where modern robots are learning to tend organic crops.


No matter how novel your product or exacting your design requirements, we have solutions that can rise to the challenge. Contact us to learn more.


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Eagle Technologies, headquarters in Bridgman, MI

Eagle builds the machines that automate manufacturing. From high-tech robotics to advanced product testing capabilities, Eagle offers end-to-end manufacturing solutions for every industry.

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