How Other Firms Compare | The JSA Approach
There are considerable differences between the way our company works and the way other audiovisual firms work. We often use a restaurant analogy to explain the difference.
If you provide two restaurants with the same set of ingredients and ask for the same dish, you are unlikely to receive two meals of the same quality. Each restaurant has different tools, different levels of training and experience, and different techniques: these variables can lead to contrasting outcomes.
We have seen the sloppy work of our competitors and spoken with customers who have dealt with the aftermath. The systems are not intuitive, they require more support from your technical staff and from the firm that installed them. You may end up with just one or two employees who understand how to operate the system.
We understand when our clients have concerns about up-front costs, but choosing the wrong audiovisual provider can lead to a total cost of ownership that is dramatically higher.
Most firms carry out basic project coordination. This typically includes conducting “hand-off meetings” between sales and technical staff as well as attending required project meetings with clients and other stakeholders.
Many firms, however, take a passive approach to project coordination. Instead of actively tracking milestones, they will wait until you or your contractor calls to tell them that the job site is ready for them to complete their work. This means they must scramble to pull together resources which can lead to construction delays.
Without effective means of storing and sharing communications between the firm’s staff and clients, information like system requirements and special requests can become lost. Often, you must communicate your needs first to sales & design staff and then again to installation & technical staff. Depending on how many different staff are involved in each phase of your project, you may have to re-state your requirements and requests many times throughout the process.
System design for other firms often consists of compiling a list of equipment. Compatibility and connectivity may not be closely examined. Equipment may be selected based on profit margins and may never have been used by the firm before. Many technical considerations are left to be resolved later in the process.
Our competitors often lack the facilities to carry out fabrication in-house. Instead, equipment is drop-shipped to your job site and fabrication takes place there. Since fabrication often requires a clean space, it may not commence until later in your project when you may be trying to make up for time lost by other contractors.
Storing valuable audiovisual equipment on-site can lead to security issues. If storage space is limited, this equipment may need to be moved several times which risks damage and uses labor hours.
Fabrication on site may mean that installers are not fully equipped to complete a project. Improvisation often occurs in this scenario and can lead to errors, project delays and service expense down the road.
Most audiovisual firms do not have full-time control software developers. Instead they rely on third-party contractors who may never step foot on your job site. Control systems often lack significant automation, rather they have a page for each device. To complete a simple task such as viewing a laptop input, several steps must be carried out.
First, you must navigate to the projector page and press on. While the projector warms up, you go to the screen page and press the down button. Once the projector warmed up, you must return to the projector page and press the correct input button. Next, you go to the switcher page, turn it on, and select the proper input and output. Finally, you visit the amplifier page to adjust the volume. In addition to navigating this confusing interface, you may need to manually turn on equipment—often in a particular sequence.
Our systems eliminate these baby steps and we automate every step that is practical. We like for you to be able to push one button and begin your presentation!
Installation typically takes place at the same time as fabrication. Some cabling may have already been pulled in during earlier phases of your building project; however, even this step often takes place later in the process when most trades are mostly or totally finished.
Depending on the construction timeline and the project scope, installation can require multiple trips at different stages of construction. Dust can be an enemy to sensitive electronics and projection equipment, ultimately shortening lifespan. We do our very best to protect your investment by delaying delivery of critical components until your new facility is secure and free from dust.
Quality control may be an afterthought for our competitors. If your system doesn’t work the way you want, they may try to “explain it away” to avoid equipment and configuration changes. When they do fix problems, it may be only after you have agreed to an expensive change order: remember they are selling you the list of equipment you agreed to buy, not a whatever-it-takes solution.
Acoustical engineering may not be included with your system. If it is, you may be paying for costly, third-party consultants. When the firm has in-house acoustical technicians, they frequently do not use high-quality equipment like we use during calibration. Sound levels may be set “by ear,” which can make your system too quiet or too loud for your audience.
Training can also be an afterthought. After a run-through of system functions with your team. It may be up to you to read manufacturer manuals in order to operate your system.
Calling for help can be an ordeal if the audiovisual firm is using different components and configurations in each system they design and if they are not maintaining proper documentation. Regularly, firms only have one or two staff members that understand your system; typically the same staff that installed and configured it in the first place.
If the staff that installed and configured your system are no longer employed by the firm or if they installed your system more than a year or two before, the firm is often unable to support you without an on-site visit. Once they arrive, they will have to spend time studying the system to understand how it works before they can begin diagnosing and repairing problems.
Solutions are often “hacks” that change the way your system operates and make it even more difficult to troubleshoot in the future. Since on-site visits generally cost you more than phone and e-mail support, inefficiency can lead to costly invoices.
Our experience and standardized approach allow us to support systems over many years.