Do you know how much bad AV is really costing you?
Part of my job is providing clients with proposals and financial estimates for a project. After the project is submitted, I am sometimes asked “Why is your price so much higher than XYZ Company?”
At this point, I review the product specifics of our quote and our competitor’s quote with the client. In most cases I discover that we are rarely quoting the same exact products. There are hundreds of brands to choose from when quoting a project. It is important to remember that these products not only vary in cost but also in quality, life-span and integration with other products. In most cases the old adage is true…you get what you pay for.
Why are the two quotes so different?
There are many ways to complete the project, or appear to complete it, since the AV industry doesn’t have a lot of hard rules. Specific projects often involve a lot of trial and error to see what parts and pieces are going to work best. There are many factors going into the cost of a project aside from just the cost of equipment. In order to be provided a turn-key solution for your space, you will also need to consider the costs for a professional to provide installation, creative designs, software programming, commissioning, and training.
Clients naturally think of price as their bottom line, but they need to consider the quality and extent of what services are being provided. Do you really know what you should be getting? What happens if you have to make adjustments to your project? Will the AV company claim that changing orders weren’t included in the cost? AV companies can vary greatly in the services they provide and include in their quotes. It is not uncommon for businesses to go with the lowest quote…only to find that the quality and functionality of the work is not present. This can be an expensive problem because it usually involves hiring a more reputable company to fix the mistakes…often from scratch.
Bad AV work can not only cost your company money, but it can also impact the quality of your own work and job performance.
Picture it! You are hosting an important video conference at your office where you are presenting a new initiative. The day before you did a test run and everything worked as planned! You are feeling confident and prepared for the presentation that could have significant implications for your career. You start your presentation as planned and everything seems to be going well and then it happens…then the screen flickers. The people that have dialed in from across the globe to be a part of this meeting can’t hear you and they are seeing very few of the slides you’re trying to present. Not only are you embarrassed but you are getting angry. Who installed this terrible AV system?
I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research when choosing an AV company. In closing, here is my advice when selecting an AV company:
- Get recommendations from other businesses.
- Once you have a company in mind, take a field trip to see some of the work they have done in similar industries.
- Ask them hard, pointed questions about what is being proposed. Make sure understand exactly what services are included in their quote.
- Determine if the AV solutions discussed be forward-compatible with the growing technology needs of your company.
By doing the right research and having the right conversations you will be able to select a reputable AV company that stands by their work. The cost of a functional and high-quality AV system will ultimately be less than the cost of bad AV work.