Read This Before You Hire an AV Company
Hiring an AV company is a big investment. Ideally, you’re seeking a long-term partnership with a company who will support you through upgrades, expansions, and routine maintenance.
The initial installation should be customized and thoughtfully designed. It should be completed on-time and on-budget. Here are a few things that can go wrong, and some questions you can ask to make sure your AV company doesn’t cause the same kinds of problems for you.
Having to wait months before a project even gets started.
Some AV companies just don’t have enough technicians, programs, and project managers to get projects underway in a timely fashion.
Ask any AV company you’re considering about their team. How large is it? How many projects are they typically assigned? How soon will they get to your project? How soon will they finish it?
Projects that suffer when project managers get overwhelmed.
Some companies outsource work to project managers who are juggling dozens of commitments. Few consultants can afford to turn down much work, so they end up overwhelmed and behind schedule.
Look for a company with local project managers, someone who will be on the entire affair from start to finish. Ask how the project manager will be keeping you in the loop. Will you get progress reports? How will your project manager ensure the project happens on-time and on-budget?
The AV company relies on staffing agencies or sub-contractors.
Smaller, less-established companies tend to rely either on sub-contractors or temporary workers. Many of these workers don’t possess the skills to get the job done right. There’s very little accountability. Sometimes, equipment gets installed incorrectly, or even damaged.
Ask if your prospective company handles everything in-house. Ask how these employees are trained. And ask what kind of quality control standards they’re held to. All of this will make a big difference in how smoothly your system ends up running.
The AV company lacks a dedicated programmer.
Programmers deserve special attention, as your company’s needs can’t really get met without them. You want to work with a company that keeps multiple manufacturer-trained programmers on staff. Otherwise, you’ll wait for days for the programmer to have time to come up and see to your company’s needs.
Sometimes companies who offer in-house programmers are even able to offer services at more competitive rates, as freelance programmers have to charge more to meet taxes and other obligations.
Few companies have time to handle mishaps in their AV set-ups. And most business owners don’t have time to wait more than 24 hours for a technician to roll out to see about an equipment malfunction. You want someone who will get the job done right and who will stand by their work for years to come.
Don’t settle for a company which won’t take care of you. Contact a reputable company who will be there for you and your business. You’ll be glad you went in with a complete awareness of all the pitfalls you might face.