Lots of vendors will tell you their material handling equipment is ready to "plug and play." But the reality is, there will still be a need for systems integrators for a long time to come. When you go to buy a printer or a camera these days, you don't have to worry about getting it to work with your PC. You can plug it into your computer and—bingo!— it's ready to go. Unfortunately, the ease of integration that we've come to expect with our consumer electronics doesn't translate into the material handling world. Although a lot of vendors market their equipment as ready to "plug and play," DC managers can't assume that the new devices they're installing will automatically be able to "talk" to other components of their material handling systems. Most of the time, DCs find they have to bring in a systems integrator, a specialist that creates interfaces between electronic devices so that they can communicate with each other. Although industry experts say it's much easier to connect material handling equipment to computer systems today than it was 10 years ago, right now, plug and play is still more an ideal than a reality. Click here to read the full article in DC Velocity magazine.
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