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Rating systems integrators (sidebar)

Obstacles to integration

Respondents were asked to identify obstacles to successful line integration, which are ranked in the chart below. A few respondents added obstacles not listed in the question.

For example, an engineer for an international pharmaceutical maker in the Northeast had this to say. “The production perception is that integration creates more problems than it solves.” A production manager for another maker of pharmaceuticals said he sees FDA validation as an obstacle to successful integration.

Unrealistic timelines was cited by an engineer for a major national cosmetics maker. That was virtually the same comment made by a packaging executive for a maker of hardware products. “Justifying the payback of capital investment” was an obstacle for an engineer with a Midwestern industrial products maker.

Many, however, saw management’s lack of commitment as the fundamental obstacle. One engineer, one with a Southeastern maker of industrial supplies, said the main obstacle was “understanding of project complexity by


“Old farts who don’t understand integration,” grumbled an engineer with a mid-sized medical products maker. The same sentiment was put a bit more decorously by a packaging buyer for a mid-sized distributor in the Southeast: “Overall lack of commitment to packaging line integration. Too many in management don’t see the need.”

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