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Protect Your AV Investments

That AV equipment you're about to install is valuable. The last thing you want is for it to go unused or simply not fit the project. Take these steps to ensure it's safe and integrated properly.

That AV equipment you're about to install is valuable. The last thing you want is for it to go unused or simply not fit the project. Take these steps to ensure it's safe and integrated properly.

  • GET A WARRANTY FROM YOUR SUPPLIER. When you install products, make sure you have a warranty from your supplier. “If something is wrong with the product you install, they'll look to seek reparation from someone,” say Nick Badgerow, a partner with Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, a law firm with offices in Kansas City, Mo.; Overland Park, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; and St. Louis. “You don't want to be left holding the bag for the product rather than having someone to share the liability.”
  • TAKE MEASURES TO PREVENT VANDALISM. Integrators need to make it clear who will accept their audiovisual equipment on a jobsite and make sure the devices are stored in a secure area before they're installed. “One of the things you have to be concerned with is vandalism,” says Tony Zamarin, vice president of Verrex Corp., an audiovisual, videoconference, and sound systems integrator headquartered in Mountainside, N.J. “A lot of things can happen. Equipment can grow feet and walk away.”
  • SET UP PARTIAL PROGRESS PAYMENTS. Anytime an integrator works on a large project, it's a best practice to get monthly progress payments approved, says Chuck Wilson, executive director of Cedar Rapids, Iowa–based National Systems Contractors Association. By requiring partial payments throughout the course of a job, integrators can protect themselves and their company's assets so they won't be left with equipment and no one to buy it.
  • FOLLOW CODE REQUIREMENTS. In hundreds of cases, integrators wound up losing money on a job because they didn't follow the requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC), Wilson says. For example, according to the latest NEC, systems integrators must remove abandoned cable on renovation projects. If they don't work this cost into the bid, they may end up covering the cost of the cable removal themselves.
  • READ THE SPECS. Brian Huff, CTS-D, a supervisory consultant at Acentech in Philadelphia, says he sounds like a broken record when he advises integrators to carefully read the specs. Otherwise, they may lose money on a project by paying a restocking fee for equipment that doesn't meet specifications.


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