If you have been in and around the integration business long enough, you have probably felt the pains and stains of busy periods only to be met on the other end by extreme lulls.
This ebb and flow of doing business isn’t only tough on the finances, but it is also tough on resources.
Finding, hiring and training talented technical staff is hard work, and once you find people that really know how to get the job done, the last thing in the world you want to do is have to let them leave among a period of soft business. However, the bottom line is the bottom line and regardless of talent sometimes it is hard to keep even the best employees around if the work doesn’t justify it.
Whether this situation is familiar to your business or not, truth is that the integration business is tough and sometimes to handle the volatile demand you need to find ways to add and subtract resources quickly. Faster than you can hire, even if you wanted to, which is a great reason to look at outsourcing labor. And with more and more outsourcing options available, it is important that integrators consider more than just “Getting stuff done” and that they think about the integrity of their brand.
How Good Is Your Sub Contractor?
When the fire is burning and projects are meeting deadlines, it isn’t all that uncommon to throw the forces at it.
Kind of a joke in the industry is “Just send more installers.” Even if the project is down to its last rack and it needs to be done today, why not send 4 installers to work in that one rack, it will go faster, right?
Hopefully that is more rhetoric than reality, but the question does remain, whom are you really sending out to do your projects? Furthermore, are they going to do a good job of representing your brand?
In some cases integration companies hire subcontractors site unseen to go to a remote job site, or they pull labor from a company merely based on the companies credentials with little track record. Even if the laborers are great at what they do, how are they going to be in terms of interacting with the end customer on site? Even in new construction or in projects where there is little interaction do you really know who the subs may have to speak to?
I can’t tell you how many times we have had to engage with end clients on behalf of our customers. This is why we train, educate and do our best to understand projects before going on site, because we want to represent the integrators interests and leave a positive mark on the end customer whenever possible.
Going National and Beyond
As our customers and clients spread out around the country there has been more of a need than ever before for local integrators to source the support of contract labor to do work in other regions.
Sometimes we find true sub labor companies, other times we buy access to labor from other integrators. With little time or money to vet these subs, is it a good idea to entrust our brand to them?
When it comes to system integration, It is so important to make sure to think about more than just getting the project done. While the pace of this industry can force some companies to have to act fast, the cost of your brand integrity may be greater than any small delay. From technical qualification to on-site customer management, subcontracted labor needs to be a reflection of your company brand, which is so much more than just making sure to have a body onsite.
At Herman-IS we work closely with our integration partners to provide design, programming and integration services that allow our partners to be more flexible and profitable while keeping their customers satisfied.