Friday, April 19, 2024
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AV Control Business

On A State of Control 114 Steve Greenblatt and crew looked at the business side of AV control. As AV customers, clients, and in-house integrators, understanding the issues and circumstances that increase the overall cost of a system install. Knowing this will help control costs of your next project.

Listening to AV Control Experts

Rich Fregosa, Marc Lavecchia, and Russ Noble joined Control Concepts’ Steve Greenblatt to discuss how business acumen can benefit programmers as well as the organizations they work for. A key point was that programmers should understand their role in the profitability of projects and companies. By hitting milestones and scopes on time, programmers directly impact integrators’ ability to invoice clients. Programmers who go beyond technical requirements to communicate about business drivers can become more valued team members and future leaders. Customers can add to, and take away from, the profitability of a project.

“One of the habits we had to break them of is doing whatever the customer asked him to do at the end, just to get out of the project,” said Lavecchia. “I just need you to fix this. Can you change that? Can you move this? And that’s when you start impacting that profit. Once you open that door, it’s an overused cliche, but you can’t put that toothpaste back in.”

Process means Business

The group also talked about the importance of process in managing expectations and preventing scope creep, which can hurt profitability. Having programmers actively participate in reviewing project scopes and plans sets clear boundaries around responsibilities.

“If you don’t manage that scope (of work) which is really the clarity of the expectations between your customer and you then scope creep will rip apart your business,” says Russ Noble.

The personal side of programming

When hiring programmers, technical expertise is necessary but attitude and aptitude around business principles can be just as vital. Building a team culture where employees feel invested in the overall vision enables companies to retain talent over the long term. By contrast, treating programmers like interchangeable “cogs” often backfires when economic conditions deteriorate or project deadlines loom.

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Rich Fregosa said “Programmers don’t like being cogs in a machine. Especially in our industry. They like being part of something, being part of a team. And yet, I see it quite often, you know, when I work with integrators or others, people who get into management positions feel that, oh, wow, I can be hands off now, right? I’ll just let them do what they do.”

Take care of AV Control Programmers

Finally, the podcast guests emphasized not burning out programmers for short-term gains. Letting team members disconnect and recharge keeps them engaged at work. By showing programmers their value extends beyond hitting production metrics, leaders can foster loyalty as well as better work-life balance.

“A partnership between a client and integrator or programming firm means that clients’ needs are met and the solutions provider looks good by keeping projects on schedule and within budget without being at the demise of the programmer,” says host Steve Greenblatt of Control Concepts.

Listen to the entire podcast of A State of Control 114 here.

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