6 Things To Look For When Hiring An Audio Video Specialist
When you need help designing and implementing an important audio visual project, you want to work with folks who are great at what they do. So how will you know if you’re hiring an accomplished audio video specialist? More importantly, what problems might crop up if you choose poorly?
For one thing, having the right certification is a must. According to some states, certification means holding Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) licensing—including the CTS-D and CTS-I variations—from the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association. A specialist also could hold a manufacturer certification, such as training from Yamaha’s Pro Audio Training series. Some companies have staff specialists who’ve completed a certificate program or even a bachelor’s degree focused on AV knowledge and skills. Still other companies, like Aspen Custom Electronics, have been in business for more than a decade and know the field inside and out.
But there’s more to A/V excellence than certifications. First, determine the qualifications required for your needs, and only entertain companies that meet or exceed them. Beyond that, what can you look for in an AV specialist? Based on our experience, finding a partner who has the six things listed below will ensure you get high-quality work—and a great customer experience to boot.
6 Qualities Of A Great Audio Video Specialist
1. Their track record is applicable to your industry.
Has this company worked on projects similar to yours before? If so, that’s a sign they probably know how to construct, build, and troubleshoot a project of the same size and scope.
If you need extra reassurance, ask for references from these previous projects. If they’re unwilling or unable to produce a list, that may be a red flag.
2. They handle change orders with flexibility and integrity.
Depending on the AV specialist you choose, implementing changes to your project can result in either a small recalculation or a waking nightmare. Some less reputable companies may purposely quote you a low price for labor, knowing they can charge you 3-4X that when they implement inevitable changes to the work order. This can be financially devastating.
On the other hand, a reputable company will be forthright about how they approach change orders. If there isn’t specific language in their terms and conditions, ask them about it. Have a conversation about their labor pricing, their estimated hourly rate, and what you’ll cover should the original project plan need any adjustments.
Tip: During change orders, make sure your specialist is charging you the fair price for changed parts. Some companies will charge you special restocking fees without yet ordering the part, but a reputable company will order first, ensure receipt, and then send you the bill for the fair retail price of the item.
3. They back up their work with a good labor warranty.
Ensure your specialist covers their work with an appropriate labor warranty—an official agreement, usually expounded upon at contract signing, that guarantees you will receive a certain standard of work (or even repairs after installation). This is evidence of a specialist with attention to detail and pride in their work. Ask the following:
Do you have a labor warranty?
What areas of work does it cover?
How long is the warranty good for?
How do I make a claim under the warranty should I run into a problem?
4. They train their people, and keep their skills up-to-date.
The best audio video specialists will continually future-proof their skills, learning new brands, equipment types, and installation techniques. Ask about their training programs, and whether they maintain manufacturer training.
5. They carry ironclad insurance that includes workers’ compensation and property damage.
Unfortunately, many AV companies don’t carry enough—or any—workers’ compensation insurance. Your AV specialist must have appropriate insurance to cover any mishaps that might occur on your property, ensuring that you don’t pay for worker injuries or property damage. Always ask for proof of insurance and make sure the coverage is an amount you’re comfortable with.
6. They’re established and financially healthy.
Lastly, look for signs of the financial health of any AV company. You want an audio video specialist with enough assets to bankroll your project up-front, purchase great brands, and troubleshoot anything while paying their people well. These are signs of a specialist that can handle a large AV project to your satisfaction.
Bring Your Vision to Life With The Best In AV
It’s important to secure the work of someone you trust—someone who will take your investment and create a top-of-the-line system free of bugs and issues. At Aspen, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best AV services possible.
We make it a policy to handle change orders with honesty, offer a generous labor warranty, and carry extensive insurance on our employees and our work. In addition, we ensure our specialists remain up to date on training so they understand all the latest technology.
We pride ourselves not only on doing quality work, but also on creating strong relationships with our customers. Our unique, collaborative approach leads to outstanding audio visual solutions that routinely surpass clients’ goals. Check out some of our projects here; or, feel free to ask us for a list of references anytime. We’d love to talk with you about what you’re trying to achieve and how we can help.