The Choice

What Are Some Considerations You Have When Deciding Among Automation Suppliers?

Joe FeeleyBy Joe Feeley, Editor in Chief

We make choices. It's an important part of what we do.

We can research a decision for a long time, literally for years and years. We can conduct careful, time-consuming comparisons that might include performance, reliability and even projected costs to maintain.

We can put off some choices for a while, but eventually the overwhelming necessity of making a decision becomes inevitable. We have to choose.

Don't worry so much about the downside if there's plenty of money behind the partnership.

In this case, that choice is really big news. Some would call it startling or unexpected, and it is, to many, unexplainable.

"Yeah," you say, "I understand. It's about these 2009 Readers' Choice Awards."

No, not at all. I guess you haven't heard. It's all over the news. It's about Archie. He chose Veronica, not Betty, to be his wife.

I know. You're stunned.

Earlier this month, in the 600th issue of Archie Comics, which a little background research tells me started out as Pep Comics in 1941, Archie Andrews threw over the dependable, reliable, down-to-earth Betty Cooper and proposed to the more-dazzling, financially loaded but perhaps more-volatile Veronica Lodge.

Experts who monitor these events say they never saw it coming. The parents of all involved were said to be in seclusion. Jughead was unavailable for comment.

Was this another case of choosing Angelina over Jennifer, Dijon over Yellow? Wasn't Betty the "nice girl"? Wasn't Veronica the demanding, less substantial, teen temptress?

A case of simple economics? After all, Betty doesn't have money. Veronica is filthy rich. So maybe, the answer is not to worry so much about the downsides if there's plenty of money behind the partnership.

Or maybe it just was time to move away from the dependable and the predictable and try out a riskier, but more-exciting alternative.

Yes, you're right. This is just my way of wondering out loud whether the Archie analogy has something in common with some of the considerations you have when deciding among automation suppliers?

You probably have a dependable automation supplier or distributor that you can rely on to deliver expected results. What if it's a bit limited, however, in its financial ability to move forward with new technology in ways that might be necessary for the continued health of your business?

At the same time, you listen to an aggressive, seemingly deep-pocketed new suitor that offers tempting technology toys the likes of which you've not seen and which might set you apart from the competition.

So, I know it's not as simplistic as that, but did you ever have to make a Betty or Veronica automation choice?