What to Consider When Choosing a Material Handling Equipment Supplier

Choosing a quality material handling expert (MHE) supplier to work with can be daunting, and what’s in their product catalog is just one of many factors you need to consider. But how do you decide whether they’re the right choice for you and your company? 

This blog will discuss what to consider when choosing an MHE supplier, from assessing your needs to the added value they can bring to your operation.


Know What You Need

Sometimes it’s the obvious solutions that get overlooked. When looking for an MHE supplier, you should first know what you need. Consider the following:

  • Are you transporting a solid, gas, or liquid?
  • What is the material's size, shape, weight, and dimensions to be transported?
  • Are you transporting sensitive, toxic, or corrosive materials?
  • Is your material fragile and requires special handling?

The answers to these questions will affect the type of equipment you’re looking for. In many cases, this will help to narrow down the possible list of MHEs. For example, if you transfer food items, you know they are perishable and environment-sensitive — hygienic stainless steel suppliers would be an excellent place to start your search.




Check Their Reputation

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent place to search for information regarding a company's reputation in Canada, the US, and Mexico. It contains a database of over two million businesses, and if the company you’re thinking of doing business with has been around for any length of time, chances are they’re in it.

Other ways that you can check up on a company's reputation are through Google reviews and company review sites like Glassdoor or Indeed. This will let you see how they treat their employees, giving you insight into how they run their business and how they may treat you as a potential customer.


Check How Long They’ve Been In Business

Speaking of the length of time, the longer a company has been in business is also a good indicator of how reliable, professional, and trustworthy they are. The company's age should be easy to find on their website, usually on the About Us page, along with their mission statement and contact information.

Companies that have been around for years are more likely to have ironed out the kinks in their processes and systems and have knowledgeable staff who can answer tough questions and return calls promptly when issues arise. They should also have enough clout with their manufacturers to get quality products at reduced prices (something newer suppliers may struggle with).


Review Their Catalog

Once you’ve found a company with a good reputation that’s been around for a while, you want to ensure they have the quality products you need. 

Some companies specialize in conveyors but do not provide containers. They may be able to offer cranes and hoists but not deal with industrial robotics. You’ll want an MHE supplier that can match your needs. If you can’t find a supplier that sells everything under one roof, you will have to rely on multiple suppliers. 

By examining a supplier’s catalogs, you can determine which supplier you can depend upon for which equipment and make an informed decision.


Look for a Value-Added Partner

Beyond looking for a supplier with the MHE you’re looking for, you’ll want to compare different companies and see what added value each one can bring. 

For example, while many companies are willing to sell you elbows for your pneumatic conveying system, their relationship with you — beyond a return policy or limited warranty — begins and ends with the sale. However, a company like Progressive Products, Inc., offers additional services such as custom fabrication, painting, and machine services to ensure you get exactly what you need. 

Free consultations with experts in the field is a value-added service that ensures you’ll have a reliable partner to help you through any tough situations or questions. That peace of mind is worth far more than saving a few dollars on a part.


The MHE market is highly competitive, and it’s important to be well-informed about the products you purchase from your supplier. There are many things to consider when deciding on a supplier, such as their experience and specialization. The services they offer and whether they have value-added services (such as installation or financing) are also vital.

Here at Progressive Products, we never sell you anything you don’t need. If you require parts for your pneumatic conveying system, we would love to put our 35 years of experience to work for you. Contact us today and let us help you find the perfect solution.

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