Terry Friesen Industrial Sales Manager 
, Meridian Manufacturing

A lot of different factors are taken into consideration when it comes to selecting a storage, conveying and handling equipment solutions provider, not the least of which is product quality. It’s often touted as the No. 1 consideration when shopping around.

Quality is important, of course, but something that comes before product quality and includes the expertise and knowledge possessed by the people behind those products and services — a strong commercial team.

There are a few key things to look for in a provider’s commercial team.

Expertise — Expertise is about more than just having experience; it’s about having the real-world knowledge behind you to know you’re offering the right solutions through storage, conveying and handling equipment. Not only should the team have seen many successes, but a natural part of having expertise means they’ve seen what goes wrong when things aren’t done the right way, so they can prevent problems before they even happen.

Resources — One major advantage a good commercial team should have is possession of enough resources in-house to provide great service. Can the commercial team deliver a complete package, or do they have to go and purchase certain pieces of equipment from one provider and other equipment somewhere else?

Teamwork — This means the commercial team should be able to work well together to provide the solutions needed. It should be easy for them to pull all the pieces of a project together. All members of the team should be specialists — they should know, for example, what the best cone degree is, the best opening size, type of gauge needed, whatever is needed to make a product flow. Some products, like distiller’s grain, are hard to handle, store and keep moving, while other products can fluidize causing flooding your conveyors. Handling seed/grain properly it is not something you want to learn through trial and error so you want to trust the experts.

All these factors come together to provide a truly great experience for the customer. A good team can advise you not only on what you need now, but what you might need coming down the road.

For example, more and more counties and cities require stamped engineered drawings. A strong commercial team should have engineering staff that will review the product and make sure it passes all codes and zoning where it’s being shipped to, and make sure it functions properly when it gets there.