Pre-Integrated, Standards- Based Solutions Reduce Risk While Providing Plug and Play
Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? When shopping for solutions to implement a digital workflow made up of individual components, buyers can choose a pre-integrated solution where all the pieces are made to work together or they can choose to create their own integrated solution.
Pre-Integrated Solution Advantages
The lure of a pre-integrated solution is that all components are known to work well together as they have been developed, implemented, and tested together as a solution. This reduces the risk of hidden costs emerging during implementation. Pre-integrated solutions also accelerate time to value. Perhaps the biggest advantage is solution level training and support. Never underestimate the value of having one point of support for an entire solution.
Trades-offs of Pre-Integrated
Pre-integrated solutions do come with a price. Those who purchase a pre-integrated solution become heavily dependent on the supplier. The solution becomes an all or nothing proposition, making it impossible to mix and match best of breed components from other suppliers. Buyers are locked into getting all components of the solution from a single vendor. These pre-integrated solutions have few, if any, alternatives for service and limited options to take advantage of newer, better components as they become available in the market or to take advantage of assets they already have.
Best of Breed Advantages
Those who have some knowledge and desire to have the best printer, scanner, CAD/CAM software, and training and support, may find that they are forced to purchase from a host of suppliers to build the solution of their dreams. Let’s face it: the likelihood that one supplier is the market leader in all component categories is extremely low.
Specialization allows companies to drill down and become the best in class for their individual niche. Why not simply buy the best in class product for each component of the desired solution? Seems logical, right?
Trades-offs of Best of Breed
Perhaps the biggest cost of the best of breed approach is that the buyer has given themselves the responsibility of being their own systems integrator, often without even realizing it.
Understand that you will be spending time making sure that all components can communicate while developing a workflow that gets you from scan to modify then print. You should also be ready to do root cause analysis when you run into issues so that you can figure out which supplier’s product failed and have the proof to convince that supplier that it was their component causing the solution failure while they long to blame it on some other supplier within the solution.
Best of Both Worlds
It is possible to have your cake and eat it too. This can be accomplished through pre-integrated, standards-based solutions. It’s the standards-based aspect that provides the benefits of pre-integrated with best of breed for components and vendor flexibility.
In the context of solutions for digitally designing then automatically fabricating check sockets, this means scanners that export scan files in industry-standard formats such as .OBJ and/or .STL. CAD/CAM software that input and save files in those same industry-standard formats. 3D printers used to automatically fabricate check sockets should also use industry-standard instruction sets known as G-codes.
Selecting a pre-integrated, standards-based approach positions your practice for success while providing solution component and vendor flexibility, now and into the future.