Audio Video Security Project Pitfalls to Avoid

Doug Fearing Audio, General, Security, Video

How A Plan Will Save You Money

When you’re designing audio, video and security systems for large scale building projects, there are a number of things to consider. The majority of our client partners begin with the end in mind. They come to us with a budget, timeline and good intentions. With that, we all know the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. A plan is a surer path to success. Here are three pitfalls to avoid to help your next project be your best yet.

Pitfall 1: The engineering firm designs without the budget in mind

The original audio, video and security specifications for Hotel X were designed by an independent engineering firm, with a bidding process opened for equipment and installation. Fearing’s first bid on the audio-video portion of the project was $1.6 million, with the security bid at $438,000. Fearing’s was the second lowest bidder, but all were significantly over the developer’s intended budget, so the project was sent back to the engineering firm for a redesign. If Fearing’s had been brought in while the initial design was in the works, there would’ve been no additional strain added to the project budget and timeline. It works best when we’re invited in early on knowing budget constraints. For partners in our preferred vendor program, we will design the system at no cost. Our expertise has saved many customers countless hours and money.

Pitfall 2: Bids for install meet the engineering needs but are way off budget adding months of wasted time to the project

Hotel X’s description called for a new building with restaurants, meeting spaces, a deluxe ballroom, condominiums and hotel rooms. The audio, video and security system design would need to meet the goals for this sophisticated, high-end project. But after a first round of bidding failed, a second round finally reopened more than five months later.

Again the bids exceeded the owner’s budget, though Fearing’s offered the lowest estimates for the audio and video portion of the project, as well as the security. This time our team offered to work with everyone involved to redesign both parts of the project with the goal of keeping it within the owner’s budget, while retaining the primary up-scale features and capabilities expected in a hotel of this type.

Pitfall 3: Engineering firm on project acts as go-between on design, build, and budget

Fearing’s was eventually awarded both the audio and video and also the security portions of the Hotel X’s project. The AV/Security team at Fearing’s worked through nine more revisions with the original engineering firm to ensure the system design would meet the goals and budget. All involved considered the partnership a success. However, consider how utilizing both our design team and build team would’ve eliminated the need for rebidding. The process added to the expense and time delays, though it was completed one year later, and with our final cost at less than a quarter of the original bids.

Integrity either flows through the pipeline or gets stuck along the way. The revisions in estimates and plans in this case were unusual and excessive but worst of all, they were avoidable.

Before beginning the next project, consider inviting us in early. You’ll have the design/build/budget experience you were aiming for from the get go and this will save you time, money and your reputation.