We in the AV industry struggle at times to be given the same level of credibility other professions seem to get by default. The average business person assumes that architects do credible work and they assume their accountant does “standard”, competent accounting just to name two examples. Efforts have been made in recent years to enhance the perception of our industry: Industry Awareness campaigns, strengthened credibility of industry certifications such as the InfoComm CTS program, and others.
Programs exist to recognize firms who train and certify their staff; the InfoComm AVSP being one of those programs. But KNOWING HOW to do good work doesn’t mean that you DO good work, although it is certainly hard to do good work if you have not been trained. Ultimately, how do we convince our clients that we really do good, reliable work? In the clients mind, it comes down to “How long does your firm stand behind your work?” Some firms say 90 days. Many state 1 year. But we all expect the systems we design and integrate to be working fine for 3-5 years, don’t we?
One yardstick everyone is familiar with is warranty periods. The auto industry has been increasing the warranty on their cars in recent years to show the public that they really do build good products, that “Quality is Job One”. We as consumers look at warranties as a measure of quality. A new air conditioner for your house that boasts a Ten Year Warranty must be better than one with a Five Year Warranty. (The author just had a Five Year Warranty unit die after eight years.) We also look askance at consumer grade LCD displays that only have a 90 day warranty when used in commercial installations.
AVC has decided to raise the bar. We now warrant our workmanship for three years. We want our clients to know that we have faith in our work, that they can trust their systems to be reliable pieces of technology, tools they can depend on for their business.
Training, building to industry standards and best practices, more training, certifications and more training result in systems which work on Day 1 and on Day 1000. AVC currently has 72% of our Technical and Sales staff with at least the basic CTS. Out of 25 people, we also have 4 CTS-I and 4 CTS-D and one INCE.
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