Customization Is the Crux of Building Research Equipment

- Tamra Boucher

It’s no longer a one-size-fits-all world. Brands — from the largest to the smallest — look to capitalize on the desire to portray individuality and uniqueness. Within the research industry, the goal is not individuality and uniqueness per se; but, nonetheless, the industry should not settle for a one-size-fits-all approach.

Researchers and plant breeders work with different crops, in different plot sizes and with different goals. Why should they settle for tools that don’t entirely meet their needs? That’s where customization comes into play, and it is at the center of our business model.

We design, engineer and build equipment from the ground up to do exactly what researchers and breeders need. We talk with customers to understand what they are doing and what they want to accomplish. Then we work together to develop the proper specifications and build machines to those specs. That means the finished product can be a very simple, straightforward machine or something completely tailored.

We recently completed the build of a planter for a customer who needed one planter with the option of having all four rows planting the same, an option for planting two-by-two, and also the option of only planting the two rows paired in the middle.

There’s another customer who wants to have operators on the planter feeding it, or to use pre-filled magazines. It’s one machine. It’s one planter. But it has two completely different styles of functionality.

In each of these examples, flexibility and customization are key. Rather than having multiple pieces of equipment to achieve the customer’s objectives, we were able to deliver one machine, which met the unique needs and challenges faced by these researchers. The efficiencies achieved are exponential.

The ability to customize is important. Capital dollars are few and far between in today’s environment, and everyone is looking to get the most with their limited resources. And just because something is customized, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more expensive.

That might seem counter-intuitive, but our planters are generally priced at a lower point than those stock produced. What one customer is doing and trying to accomplish is very different from another customer. There’s so much variety in research, and our production process takes that into account. There is great peace of mind knowing that you’ve got equipment that is going to help you in your research — not make it more difficult for you to achieve your goals or leave you guessing at the results.