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3 Good Reasons to Hire an AV Consultant

From system design, installation and support to project management, budgeting and procurement, a technology manager’s to-do list is always growing. Here are three ways an independent AV consultant can help.



1) Keeping Contracts and Costs in Line


Toward the end of the fiscal year and the budgeting period for the next year, technology managers often experience a near constant barrage of quote requests as departments look to shift their remaining funds into small equipment and unload it into AV installs. There are a number of basic ways a consultant can help you as this period approaches.


First, your consultant can help you create a standard “scope of work” (SoW) template that encapsulates the work you need to have quoted, which can be modified for the requirements of a particular room. The majority of the SoW “boilerplate” remains the same from room to room; the only things that change are the equipment list and the specifics of the design. At that point, the SoW becomes a contract document between the company and the AV integrator, so having a consultant write it and the company procurement department approve it is important.


The consultant can also create an opinion of probable cost (OPC), which saves you the time of having to get bids from multiple integrators, doing all that work upfront and frequently wasting everyone’s time as the project never moves forward. Having an OPC from a third party is also helpful due to the fact that it wasn’t created by your internal staff. In some users’ eyes, that carries more weight.


Lastly, a consultant can be a second pair of eyes in reviewing the quotes you’ve received — and will probably catch 99 percent of the potential issues. Many technology managers find there are relatively few others in a company who can be relied upon to go through an AV install quote and actually catch the issues. How many people have the expertise to notice that the quote missed an input card on the matrix switcher or that you’re over your POE budget on the switch?


2) Helping with System Checks and QA


As you commission your systems, hiring a consultant to perform the final checks in the install can help immensely. If you have enough time to plan, you can create a standard system verification checklist with your consultant. A consultant can also assist with quality assurance checks on installations as they occur. 


3) Sharing the Workload


Lastly, on the truly large projects, simply being able to share the workload with a consultant is a great help. Instead of relying on an architect to bring in a consultant that you may have never worked with, you can instead utilize someone who you have a relationship with and you know is on the same page. That person will understand and implement your established standards across every project. Splitting the wall elevation drawings, equipment lists, electrical considerations, project management, system commissioning, etc. can frankly help improve your work life and ensure a successful project.