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Why Invest in a Remote Monitoring System From an OEM


February 18, 2021


Do you have to deploy a new monitoring system and you only got a few short months to do that? Is it a huge project and alarm monitoring isn't your expertise?

You have to start by finding a dependable vendor that can create and customize the components you need. You can't afford to buy thousands of units when you're just getting started. There's also no room in your budget for functionality and features you just don't need. You need to find a vendor that can handle your tight deadlines and get every spec of your system right (on the first time).

RTU manufacturing
Look for an OEM that is capable of manufacturing RTUs and master stations in-house.

As an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), we know that it can be hard for clients when parts of a large project are outside their area of expertise. Network alarm monitoring, a highly-specialized industry, is often an afterthought in complex projects. But, if monitoring is required for your next big project, you've got to make the decision of whether or not you should turn to experts for help. Because chances are, even if you have the resources and knowledge, you probably don't have the time.

Let's take a look at why - most of the times - selecting an OEM vendor is the best case scenario if you are on the path of deploying a remote monitoring system.

How to Choose The Right OEM Vendor

In the specialized field of network alarm monitoring, no ordinary vendor can guarantee you a quality product that will successfully integrate with your own. Even if you find a vendor that can manufacture a product that meets your monitoring needs, it's useless if you can't integrate it.

To find the right manufacturer for the job, make a list of your criteria that a vendor must meet. Your clients may have already laid out basic ground rules for the finished product. The production schedule, product certification, and testing standards are just some of the requirements your clients might already have set for you.

You should expect the same of any outside manufacturer you collaborate with. So, your first step in know what to look for in an OEM company.

  • Experience

    Duration in business is an important indicator of a manufacturer's level of expertise. Look for a vendor that has been in the industry long enough to consider this "familiar territory". It's very risky to have your product rollout to depend be dependent on an upstart.

  • References

    Ask potential bidders for a list of successful OEM products they've completed. This is especially important if you're looking for a manufacturer to create a new custom product designed specifically for your project.

  • Quality Control

    Quality control credentials (or lack of thereof) will make your search for the right vendor a whole lot easier. Keep in mind that your customers may require certain quality audits.

Misconceptions About Customized OEM Products

Customized monitoring devices offer multiple clear benefits over mass-produced alternatives. You get exactly what you need for your project and none of what you don't. Compatibility isn't a problem. Everything simply works.

Unfortunately, these advantages are often met with suspicion. You probably have a healthy dose of skepticism. "Where is the catch?" you must be wondering. Maybe a bad experience with a low-quality vendor has made you doubt the quality of the whole industry.

Considering this, it's no surprise that the following five misconceptions have become quite common.

1. I have to pay huge fees for custom engineering

If you choose the right vendor, you won't pay a cent in non-recurring engineering (NRE) fees for your customized equipment. Usually, as long as you plan to place an order of reasonable size, there will be no added costs to you.

Don't pay for custom engineering. Smart companies don't charge NRE fees because they will have future uses for a new product. Find the right vendor.

2. To get a custom system, I have to lock myself into an enormous purchasing commitment

Again, it all comes down to the vendor your choose.

If you have a competent one, you won't pay for anything you're not completely happy with. So, be sure to get a money-back guarantee. Don't ever commit yourself and your company to a costly mistake.

3. Customized equipment doesn't get thoroughly tested and isn't reliable

If your equipment manufacturer isn't testing all of its equipment in many different ways, then this company is not doing its job.

Be sure that your devices are tested for reliability under a variety of network, power, and temperature conditions. Also, you should be able to receive a sample unit before full delivery. This way, you can use it to test actual functionality under your real-world network conditions.

4. If I have a problem integrating custom equipment, I can't call tech support to get help

The best monitoring vendors know that integration support is just as important as high-quality engineering. Support engineers should be involved in the custom design phase so that they can help you in the future.

Look for a company that has well-trained engineers to answer your important calls, not script-reading interns or - even worse - a voicemail.

5. The turnaround time for custom products is much too long

Don't deny yourself the many benefits of customization just because you think the time frame is too long.

By leveraging the power of vertical integration and modular designs, manufacturers can design, produce, and deliver your custom product in as little as a month. So, find a vertically integrated manufacturer that accelerates the process by controlling every part of it.

Key Benefits of a Custom OEM Solution

If a new alarm network monitoring system is your next big project, then you've probably may have already looked around for a product that can handle everything you need in a single unit.

Chances are, you've found some equipment that does way more than you need and goes way beyond your budget. You've probably also seen products that won't meet all your requirements, that are underpowered or maybe underfeatured. What is worse is that you might find something close that what you need, only to find that it falls short of what you really need.

Keep in mind that you're making a big investment and that you should never involve settling for what you can find off-the-shelf. You don't have to deal with an inflexible monitoring system that wasn't designed with your specific scenario in mind.

Here are the key benefits of a custom solution for your OEM project:

1. Customization offers the exact functionality you need

As an OEM, there are many things for you to consider when beginning a new project. Evolving technology, demands for new equipment functions, new standards put in place, and more. Adapting to the ever-changing market is much easier with a custom solution. A custom design offers the exact functionality you're looking for, even if it can't be found in an existing product. Sometimes this is as simple as changing the color or private-labeling the product.

2. Don't pay for unwanted product features

You've got a fixed budget for this new project, and there's no room to pay for unnecessary features. And if no existing products fit all your specs, you could end up buying several pieces of equipment to make up for it. Not only does this drive up the cost, but is makes integration a headache.

3. Discover new product benefits you never dreamed of

When you decide to take the custom design route, you probably expect the engineers to "take your order" and deliver the product features you've asked for. What you don't expect is for the engineers assigned to your project to uncover even more benefits from your design that you hadn't thought of. During the consultation phase, you may discover even more ways your new product can benefit your customers. The engineers working on your project should help you squeeze every ounce of muscle from your design to maximize your investment.

The Vertical Integration Advantage

At a time when most vendors are outsourcing their manufacturing operations, look for a vendor that builds its products in-house in its own production facilities. This strategy of concentrating control of manufacturing within the company is an essential part of client-first service philosophy - and it's proven to be a key component to effectively serve OEM clients.

Outsourced manufacturing is cheap for the vendor, but it's a punishment on the client. With outsourcing, shipment times stretch out as the primary manufacturer waits on his suppliers and their "higher priority customers". There's simply not enough scheduling flexibility with outsourcing. Plus, the quality of the components and overall product quality are entirely in the hands of the subsidiary manufacturers.

When a manufacturer controls every phase of the manufacturing process, production bottlenecks and quality problems are mitigated at the source.

Look for a company that has the entire production process driven by its engineering department. The final product design files should be sent directly to the production machines, greatly reducing the potential for manufacturing errors. Things like cutting layouts, bend profiles, part placement details, and even silkscreen stencils should be sent directly to the machines that need them. This heightens efficiency and brings direct benefits to the client - fast shipping times and guaranteed quality to accelerate your time-to-market.

OEM companies simply can't create efficient monitoring devices for the clients without producing its products in-house. Sending manufacturing overseas allows companies to produce thousands of units for the lowest possible price, but it doesn't support a high-mix product line.

Manufacturing overseas reduces flexibility, slows turnaround times, and isn't suited to rapid prototyping. It greatly reduces the consistency of source parts, and the feedback loop between engineering, manufacturing, and client breaks down.

In a nutshell, vertical integration makes special OEM services possible.

Invest in The Perfect-Fit Solution

Do you require special design modifications? If so, you need to make sure your OEM vendor can do the manufacturing themselves.

When you make business with an OEM, you need to see the roadmap of how your list of specs will ultimately transform into the tangible, perfect-fit product you need for your project. Your roadmap should be summarized as the control of every part of the operations to create a perfect-fit solution. From sales to engineering to tech support, your OEM vendor needs to support you and create exactly what you need, when you need it.

As an OEM, it's usual that some clients have an interface and design requirements that are unique to them, so we know that we can only meet those requirements hands-on - every single of our products are built and tested on the premises.

Vertical integration at DPS gives you two key benefits. First, building the first article and running the first production cycle happens very quickly. Second, the production runs are on the same equipment and held to the same standards as the engineering runs.

We have been providing reliable, field-proven alarm monitoring for more than 30 years. In most cases, an off-the-shelf device might quickly meet your project needs. But if not (and if the perfect-fit device doesn't exist yet), our engineers will develop a custom solution designed around your needs.

Give us a call and let's get started with your remote monitoring project.