Page 12 - Campus Technology, October/November 2018
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received — and will probably catch 99 percent of the poten- tial issues. Many technology managers find there are rela- tively few others on campus who can be relied upon to go through an AV install quote and actually catch the issues. How many people have the expertise to notice that the quote missed an input card on the matrix switcher or that you’re over your POE budget on the switch?
2) Helping with System Checks and QA
For some people on campus, summer is a quiet time. But in AV services, summer means the added workload of installing new tech while the college is still actively filling the dorm rooms and classrooms with students and off-campus groups as alternative sources of revenue. The phone does not stop ringing, and the projects need to be completed. As you commission your systems, hiring a consultant to perform the final checks in the install can help immensely. If you have enough time to plan, you can create a standard system verification checklist with your consultant, and possibly even have a well-trained AV tech student go through the checklist.
A consultant can also assist with quality assurance checks on installations as they occur. Often on campus we have two to three installations occurring at a time — and if you are on the same page with your consultant, he or she can become an extension of your install expectations and enable you to stay on track with multiple large installations at once.
3) Sharing the Workload
Lastly, on the truly large projects, simply being able to share the workload with a consultant is a great help. Instead of relying on an architect to bring in a consultant that you may have never worked with, you can instead utilize someone who you have a relationship with and you know is on the same page. That person will understand and
implement your established standards across every project. Splitting the wall elevation drawings, equipment lists, electrical considerations, project management, system commissioning, etc. can frankly help improve your work life and ensure a successful project.
In order to work with a consultant this way, there are two things that you need to do. The first is to document the work that you are doing, either through some sort of project management/ticketing software or by keeping track of your time manually. When it comes time to make the justification for a consultant, you will need the data to show that the extra help is warranted. The second is to find a consultant nearby who you can establish a relationship with. Ask your fellow tech managers if they have any recommendations, or see if you can work a little closer to the architect’s consul- tant during the next big renovation.
As you are able to integrate a consultant into your work- flow, you will find that you are more easily able to respond to last-minute requests and your installations will go more smoothly. Being able to identify periods of high workload ahead of time and responding accordingly, potentially months before they occur, will be beneficial for you, your end users and the bottom line.
Ryan Engels, CTS-D, CTS-I AV, is the audiovisual services coordinator at Ithaca College.
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | October/November 2018
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