One of the articles I’m working on for you is when to choose a consultant versus relying on a design/build integrator solely. At first blush, it might seem like a simple choice, but things are never simple. It is a rare project that proceeds without a complication. Sometimes the more people involved means more opportunity for disaster.
But in talking with people in the industry about the subject, one thing I am hearing repeatedly is that, unfortunately or not, the onus is on you to get what you want out of your A/V project. Whether it is a single room or an entire building, you have to decide exactly what you want and make sure you get it.
How best to do that?
First, have a consultant and/or project manager that has a clear understanding of the parameters of the project, right down to the placement of the touchpanels. Document this. Second, check again that this person understands your A/V preferences, again using your documentation. Third, sit down with this person again and reiterate your needs, relying on your documentation.
If I sound repetitive, I am doing so purposely and I’m not looking for the cheap laugh. One meeting at the beginning of the project isn’t going to be enough to protect your investment. Your time will be well used, never fear.
You should also understand that hiring an outside person to do the above for you isn’t wise. Major projects need a champion, yes, and you can’t be everywhere, but micromanagement is wise.
The second thing I’m hearing repeatedly is to “future-proof” your project. You should feel comfortable that what you are building and installing will be relevant for the next three to five years. If your integrator is telling you the equipment you plan on installing will be obsolete in six months, you need to look at your design again with your consultant and/or project manager.
This again falls into the category of getting your A/V consultants and integrators to listen and talking to them multiple times. You should know exactly what you are buying, when you are buying it, why you are buying it and how long it will be good for.