Being good at designing elegant solutions is just one aspect of being a real AV professional. You also need to coordinate and carry off the installation with minimal setbacks or failure. With that in mind, here are some best practices that will ensure your next AV installation goes smoothly and creates a satisfied customer.
- Conduct a thorough site survey—Start with a detailed site survey to understand the solution environment, available resources and potential trouble areas. All too often, site surveys are skipped or shortcuts are taken, resulting in delays or problems. Another common mistake is not having the skill sets available to conduct site surveys. For example, it’s ideal to have someone with an architecture and construction background to determine if a wall supports something as heavy as a video wall array or an electrician to ensure a customer has the necessary power to run the proposed solution.
- Bring the right equipment—Smaller solution providers doing big projects for the first time often fail to account for logistic challenges. While a ladder might have been sufficient to install a simple single display, a scissor lift might be necessary for bigger jobs.
- Have the necessary permits—Check with local authorities to see if your project, especially if there’s new construction involved, requires any special permits before getting underway.
- Get the right people involved—Large commercial customers will most likely require the involvement of many different parties, and they aren’t always the project decision makers. For example, one recent project involving an airport’s video wall was delayed by someone with the transportation authority who wanted verification that the bolts holding the video wall would suffice.
- Understand the role of unions—Certain cities require, or strongly encourage, the inclusion of union labor. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that because you’re from outside the area that you don’t have to use union labor. While union labor might cost more, you can build the additional expense into your proposal.
- Have a staging area—With small projects, you might be able to send the hardware to the customer site and set everything up there. However, larger commercial installs require a dedicated staging area where you can unbox everything, test and configure before the actual installation at the customer site.
- Conduct a post-installation review—Once the installation is complete, it’s critical that you take the time to ensure everything was completed to spec and that the customer is satisfied. Bring in all the stakeholders one last time to walk through and sign off on the project.
Following through on these best practices will be instrumental to your long-term success. Additionally, consider tapping into the expertise and capabilities of Ingram Micro. Contact Tom Jones to learn more about how your next project—big or small—can go off without a hitch.