1. Communication is Key
When working on the initial bidding phase of a new SI project it’s important to discuss what you really want to achieve – beyond what’s provided on the written specification. The written specification may not always convey your true vision of how the final product should look or function. It’s much easier to work out specification changes in the beginning than it is to deal with a disappointing end result. Your supplier should be able to suggest new wording for the specification that better describes the system you spoke about.
2. Cheapest Isn’t Necessarily the Easiest
Many customers may be driven by cost and in pursuit of the least expensive solution. Although buying the cheapest components may seem like a good idea up front, it isn’t necessarily the cheapest way out in the long run. An SI has a responsibility to provide a reliable and robust system that will stand the test of time – even in a harsh environment. Instead, try selecting higher quality components that have the lowest costing installation methods. You’ll surely appreciate the installation savings and benefit from the higher quality system.
3. Cramming is for Classwork
Space is always a premium on just about every SI project. Therefore, integrators and customers should try to resist overfilling or cramming cabinets and equipment racks. In the shop, it’s easy to install items while the doors and side panels are off, but in the field access is usually limited – ultimately turning what should have been a simple job into a nightmare. We suggest filling cabinets to about 60 percent capacity and having a field service technician review the proposed designs to identify any troublesome areas.
4. Take a Peek or Two
Many systems integration projects have customers seeing the system for the first time at the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT). This is a huge mistake! Allowing customers to witness the evolution of the project is important. If the integrator installs something that you have an issue with, you want to know about it ASAP. Having open discussions and in-progress reviews can eliminate costly punch list items later. Ask your integrator to host bi-weekly or monthly meetings with open discussions around the equipment. The cost in meetings and travel will be far less than schedule delays caused by rework.
With these tips under your belt, you should be off to a great start with an SI. If you’re ever in need of a new one, don’t hesitate to reach out to Speedcast!