What Color is Your Solution?

by Visitor Siggy62 on ‎06-14-2010 12:44 PM

Lou Signorelli of Caterpillar

It's amazing the number of times we encounter the terms "solutions" and "systems". And what do people mean when they talk about "integrated systems"? The whole thing has me very confused. When I was in school, my math teacher only asked us for the solution to the problem. She never asked us to provide an integrated solution.

I searched Google today looking for some help and this is what I got:

Systems: 654,000,000 results
Solutions: 420,000,000 results
Integrated Systems: 34,400,000 results
Integrated Solutions: 12,200,000 results

What does this tell us about these terms? What is the relationship of a system to a solution? And if I integrate them, what does that do for me?

When I talk about "systems" I mean a collection of products and services that would be used in conjunction with diesel and gas gensets. A system may include a combination of paralleling switchgear, ATS, and UPS. That said – an integrated system would be a technical or physical integration of two or more of those product elements.

So, what do I mean when I talk about "solutions"? Simply put, a solution is whatever solves my customer's problem(s). To some, a solution could be a genset that starts and goes on-line to support a critical load in 10 seconds. For others it could be the construction of a complete power plant. The ‘solution is in the eye of the beholder' (customer).

This is how I think about systems, solutions, and integration – what do these terms mean to you?

Comments
by Visitor KENatCPRNC
on ‎06-16-2010 07:04 PM

Hey Lou - was that you on the last series of the bachelor?

 

On systems, the term integrated system to me is redundant. By definition from Mr Webster; i.e.: "A system is a group of interacting or interdependant devices... serving a common purpose." So that would certainly imply that the devices are naturally integrated by simply being part of the "system" already.  A "solution" is (again per Mr Webster) an answer to a problem. " Integrated solution" does not make sense since that would mean that the solution is blended or combined into itself!  So let's agree to just simply say the terms  "solution" and "system" without the "integrated" part! OK?

Ken

by New member BethSMiller
on ‎06-23-2010 01:21 PM

Lou: As a business marketing communicator I love your post!  It is often hard to keep ourselves from resorting to these tired adjectives and descriptors.  There was a great movie in the 80's, with Dudley Moore and Darryl Hannah called Crazy People. Moore was a Madison Ave ad exec who wound up in an institution. He began leading a merry band of looney inmates as his creative team, selling Volvos because they're "but good." I'd love to see our advertising and marketing programs adopt such honesty. Describe our products and services for what they are.  I'm the Communication Gardener and I help businesses and plant grow.

by
on ‎10-15-2010 06:01 PM

Fun point.  I'd say this, many folks claim to have an "integrated solution" or "integrated system".  While gramatically they are redundant, in the real world there's a mean game being played between customers and suppliers.  Thousands of suppliers claim to offer an integrated solution, as noted by Lou, right?  The problem is they may sell all those components, they may form a system, but do they form an integrated system?  Do they actually work?  Not necessarily.  And who's responsible if it doesn't?  An integrated system means not only engineering all the parts to work together, but having complete SYSTEM application data, wiring diagrams, drawings, and product support.  Not to mentioned a qualified professional LOCAL provider to work with the folks on the ground who have to install and wire it.

 

This may seem like semantics, but we see this all the time.  Someone buys a cheap "complete integrated solution" which never works because nobody knows how to make it work.  What they get is subpar product, insufficient installation data, no drawings, and no support.  I can't tell you the number of systems I've seen where the customer was sold a bill of goods and ended up with some cobbled-together mess which they ended up paying a third party additional money to make it function somewhat like it was supposed to.  We live in a world of professional purchasers making engineering decisions.  Purchasers have their place, but facility owners/operators need to become more involved in engineering decisions or get someone involved they can trust so a purchaser has the tools he needs to properly assess proposals.  The joy of a few pennies saved up front is often forever overshadowed by the dollars spent to make some goofy setup work and then keep it working for what should be its useful life. 

 

A good qualified and reputable supplier, with help from their manufacturer, provides a complete integrated solution.  It's drawn, tested, and then started up to make sure it works and the customer has a system which does everything he wanted and needed with full accountability - no compromises, excuses, or hidden costs.

by advertising agency jakarta
on ‎01-14-2016 12:30 AM

Someone buys a cheap "complete integrated solution" which never works because nobody knows how to make it work.  What they get is subpar product, insufficient installation data, no drawings, and no support.  I can't tell you the number of systems I've seen where the customer was sold a bill of goods and ended up with some cobbled-together mess which they ended up paying a third party additional money to make it function somewhat like it was supposed to.  We live in a world of professional purchasers making engineering decisions.  Purchasers have their place, but facility owners/operators need to become more involved in engineering decisions or get someone involved they can trust so a purchaser has the tools he needs to properly assess proposals. 

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