Questions to Ask Your Manufacturing Technology Provider

Keeping your business moving forward without the right tools is next to impossible, and the same is true for your network infrastructure. Are you investing in the right solutions?

Finding a new IT services partner for your business can be particularly stressful for manufacturers, simply because so much of your company’s success rides on having secure and consistent operations and fast communications. You can’t slow down and take your business offline if you have a problem — you’re forced to make changes while you’re still moving full speed ahead! That can be a lot for any potential partner to process, so it’s vital that you find an organization that is able to keep pace with your company. Here are 4 key questions you should ask potential IT services providers to determine if you’ve got the right fit.

1. What’s Your Security Strategy for Manufacturers?

If your potential IT services provider gives you a standard answer that could apply to any type of business, you might want to keep looking! Manufacturing companies have specific requirements in terms of cybersecurity, and your IT support partner should be helping lead that conversation with you — not waiting for you to ask questions. From mapping the integration landscape to auditing your IoT devices, manufacturers must be able to maintain a secure network infrastructure. With cybersecurity losses in the manufacturing sector topping $3 billion over the past few years, this is becoming an important topic for companies.

2. What’s Your SLA and Do You Provide 24/7/365 Support?

Each minute of IT downtime can cost companies tens of thousands of dollars, making it crucial that you are able to get answers to your technology questions regardless of the time of day (or night!). If your prospective IT services provider is unable to guarantee fast access to qualified help desk personnel through their service level agreement (SLA), that might be a warning sign that IT downtime may be in your future.

3. Are Your Technicians Certified in My Software and Hardware Platforms?

While certification doesn’t always mean you are getting the most qualified technicians, it can be a key indicator that your potential partner is willing to invest in ongoing education. The IT landscape changes extremely quickly, and knowing that your IT services staff is dedicated to continued education means you’re getting up-to-date research and best-practices applied for your business.

4. Can You Manage My Telecommunications and Technology Infrastructure?

It’s increasingly important to have the same Houston IT services company managing your telecommunications and technology infrastructure, simply because the two are so tightly intertwined. VoIP phones utilize secure networks for communications, while WiFi networks help support IoT devices and video conferencing. Having a single point of contact for all of these systems can reduce the internal administration time required to service these critical business systems.

When you need top-notch manufacturing IT support services in the Houston area, contact the professionals at SMB Integrations today at 832-617-0033 or via email to Our friendly team of knowledgeable professionals will help ensure that you have the tools and resources that you need to be successful now and in the future. We have been helping Houston area manufacturing companies create a sustainable infrastructure for many years, and we are obsessive about creating the best possible environment for your business to thrive.