We often run across organizations that do not have experience in contracting Audio/Visual Integration firms. In reality, it is very much like contracting any service-based business be it an electrician or landscaper. Personal referrals are usually the best way to find any contractor. While checking for normal things such as insurance, BWC status, and any licensing requirements AV firms have a few special considerations:
- What is included in the proposal, is it vague or overly complex? Is it an equipment list with no detail explaining how the system will actually work? A written narrative of system performance helps fill in critical gaps in scope and understanding that a parts list alone can’t provide.
- Documentation – will your AV partner provide you with drawings, IP address lists, or a schedule? All this information is vital to maintain your system over the life of the investment.
- What is their policy on providing software files & programming code? Who retains ownership of it and will be it password protected? Some AV equipment can be set up with passwords to limit the ability of another firm or yourself to ever make changes.
- What warranty is included? Is it important to you to have a one year warranty v. 60-day warranty?
- Don’t ever be afraid to ask to see their workmanship – you will be working with their system for many years and most AV systems are significant investments. The practice of system installation is critical to a successful and reliable system operation.