Friday, August 10, 2012

No substitute for experience

We are often asked: "What sets you apart from your competition?". We usually answer with the well rehearsed answer: "We provide exemplary service and exceptional attention to detail." While we mean every word, it always feels a bit pat and somewhat hyperbolic.

Or is it?

Yesterday, we received a frantic phone call from a contract services provider that was servicing one of their national contracts - a large retail chain, in malls across the country. The guy who called me was in Florida and had never set foot on the job site. He hires freelancers and small local companies to fulfill his workload. He never sees the work "his" people perform.

He was calling us because the site his installers had just completed was not functioning at all and could we rush out there and save his bacon. The store has a grand opening coming up this weekend and didn't want to be embarrassed. 

The system consists of 4 commercial grade monitors butted together in a long digital sign in the window of this store It had been dark since the installation was "completed" a week ago(!).

We agreed and hit the road. It was a 2 hour drive to get there. After about 5 minutes of acquainting ourselves with the system, we were able to change the input on the monitors and set up the signage tiling so that one image would be stretched out over the 4 monitors.

This is not rocket science folks. It was clear to me that the "installers" didn't even turn the system on before leaving or they would have seen that the system wasn't set up correctly.

While on site, we also removed the packing tape from the sides of the monitors and tied up the power cables. We contacted the main office in the mid-west to verify that the system was functioning to their satisfaction and we made a few more tweaks to the settings until they were satisfied.

Then we turned our attention to another monitor in the store that had also been dark since it was installed. I'm embarrassed to report that the monitor was installed cock-eyed. Upon further inspection, also not centered and the mounting plates were not fastened tightly to the back of the monitor.

We fixed that too.

None of these items took a long time to complete, so I often wonder why installers frequently leave before their work is completed? Seems pretty basic to us. We told our contact in Florida that if one of our field techs turned out work like this, they would receive one reprimand and then be asked to leave if it happened again.

So, hyperbole in the end? We don't think so. 

Hire locally and hire carefully.

Norseman Audio Video Systems 

-Gundy out

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