A few years ago I was helping a university as they sorted through their options in a $12M media facility. As their consultant, I had worked with them and their architect for several months, helped write their RFP, and now we were reviewing the final three Vendors. The client asked for my opinion. When I gave them my thoughts, they were not based on capability, but on culture.
Here’s the truth – almost every AV Vendor can plan and build an AV system that works and meets whatever specs you throw at them. But if you want the process to be a positive one, and you want the right kind of support after the system is finished, you need to be aware of the vendor’s culture. Here are some questions you may want to ask…
You want to know how their change order process works, and at what level it kicks in. Some vendors build a little wiggle room so every little hiccup does not spawn a changeorder, with its increase in price, and its delays.
Ask them how their people are trained. InfoComm has several levels of acredidation, and each one translates into a percentage of technicians formally trained. The higher the level (Diamond is the highest) the larger percentage of technicians that been through the certification process. A high level of certification means the vendor consistently invests in quality people to work on your system.
Talk to them about their design philosophy, and make sure you have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in the design and build process.
Have a clear understanding of how much of your project is being “farmed out” to freelancers. Some vendors work primarily with their own people on […]