When To Look For A Low Voltage Contractor
There will come a time when most businesses need an expert low voltage network contractor. But how can you find the right one? Because there are so many businesses out there, it can be difficult to determine which ones are most trustworthy and professional. Here's what you need to remember when looking for a low voltage network contractor — and ways to determine whether the contractor is right for your business.
With all types of contracting, communication is key. If your LV contractor isn't communicative during the initial stages of the project, they aren't going to communicate with you later. An LV network isn't always "set and forget." Sometimes it has to be modified or troubleshooting has to occur. Other times it has to be optimized. If you start experiencing issues with your network, you're going to need your LV contractor to come in and test it.
The last thing you want is to have to call someone else; they're going to need to learn your network. Having a singular point of contact for maintenance with your low voltage contractor will make this far easier. You will be able to connect with your low voltage contractors immediately when you're experiencing issues and they will be able to mitigate those issues much faster because they understand the network in-depth.
2. Detailed Quotes
A detailed quote is important when you're looking for low voltage contractors. The quote shouldn't just be a flat rate for setting up your network. The more detailed the quote is, the better it is for comparison. You can take multiple quotes, look at them line by line, and see whether one is appreciably more expensive than the other.
You can also use this for negotiating. Tell a contractor that you have a quote that's for much less and the contractor may be able to explain why the quote is for less. The contractor will also be able to tell you what they can do to cut amounts off the bill. Or maybe they'll be able to explain to you why they're more expensive and why that price increase makes sense for you specifically. Detailed quotes are how you find out what services are actually being provided.
3. Maintenance and Future-Proofing
Installation is only one step. What will the LV contractor provide in terms of maintenance and future-proofing? Will they be able to provide you with additional support moving into the future? It's important to get these things squared away because the cost of maintaining a system is part of its lifetime value.
If you're going to be spending significantly more to maintain the system than it would be to install the system, this is something that you're going to need to weigh when you're making decisions. On the other hand, if a company is able to provide troubleshooting for the system personally moving forward, it will make it easier for you to manage everything.
When you get quotes, you compare on cost. But that doesn't mean that you should go with the cheapest option. The truth is that the cheapest option might be cutting corners or might not provide everything that you need. You want to make sure that there aren't additional expenses you could incur in the future.
Quite frequently, the cheapest option just means that you might need to pay more than you expected to get the services provided by more middle-of-the-road estimates. On the other hand, the most expensive price usually isn't the best option.
When it comes to contracting, often the most expensive prices denote a job that the contractor doesn't want to do. It may mean that they're really too busy to take the job, but will take it for that cost. And because of that, going with the most expensive contractor isn't always the best.
5. Union vs. Non-Union
What's the difference between union vs non-union contracting? It's obvious that unions are better for workers, but are they better for the individuals hiring them? Usually, yes — by far. Working with a union contracting company means that the employees are far more effective and professional. They are compensated fairly for what they do and they're going to be more accessible, communicative, and effective. Unions generally have extensive training and apprenticeships requiring more rigorous practice resulting in well-seasoned technicians.
That doesn't mean that non-union workers are always going to be worse. It just means that union workers are far more likely to have the skills and the experience to provide the best quality of services. And because of that, when looking for an low voltage contractor, it's a good idea to consider union contractors first.
Reviews are at the heart of many businesses. If you see that a company has negative reviews, don't panic; every company has one or two. But if you see that a company has an overwhelming number of negative reviews or that these reviews are all about the same aspect of service, you should be wary. Reviews also often don't matter as much as the corporate response to them. If the company has a professional, polished response to a review, then it's more promising than a company that is rude and belittling to its complaints.
7. Online Presence
An online presence is something that's critical for companies today. In the past, many contractors didn't have a web presence. They operated via word of mouth or more traditional methods. But the industry has changed and today it can be difficult to track whether a company is reputable if it doesn't have a web presence. While there are many trustworthy, older companies that don't have a web presence, there are also a lot of companies that have just emerged and that cannot be trusted.
That's not to say that a company that is completely without a web presence cannot be trusted. But it does mean that you'll need to take further steps to verify that the company is legitimate. Ask the company to refer you to previous customers or their testimonials. Don't take your word for it that they've completed jobs before. Ask for pictures of their cabling and their work. This is the only way you'll be able to trust that the company is professional.
Companies in different industries have differing network needs. While it's not necessary for a low voltage contractor to specialize within the company's industry, it is important for them to be familiar with the company's industry. When talking to LV network contractors, ask them whether they've worked within your industry before and whether they have any particular insights into your company's needs. You can learn a lot about the network contractor by what they tell you about your business and whether they seem to understand your technological requirements.
As there are many LV networks out there, some of them are generalists and others specialize within certain industry sectors. The more a company specializes and works toward understanding its clients, the better its services will be.
Are you ready to find a low voltage contractor? The above steps can help you figure out whether an LV contractor is right for you. Finding a good LV contractor is critical; without a good LV contractor, your organization won't have the network capacity, traffic, connectivity, or reliability that it needs. The better your LV contractor is, the better your productivity and efficiency will be — and the more reliable your maintenance services will become.