Whether an organization needs to upgrade or the A/V specialist wants to bring in that new fancy system, convincing the executives the purchase is necessary is a tricky business. The A/V department will have to show them the purchases will be worth the money, will benefit the organization in a myriad of ways and that it will lead to future gains.
To start, seeing things from their perspective is important. Building on top of that, the A/V specialist now has to put his skills and expertise to work in order to determine how the quality of experience for the organization can be improved with automated systems.
The A/V specialist has to be able to relate to the CIO (for example) and the issues that come with that position. Once an A/V specialist sees the big picture, he can use a more holistic approach to an installation — one that addresses the organization as a whole as opposed to an isolated segment. “When pursuing a CIO to get on board with a control and automation system, the A/V specialist needs to understand the hard costs, soft costs and life cycle costs associated with integrative building design,” says Doug Hall, senior product manager at AMX.
While control and automation systems are becoming more and more commonplace, some building owners may be harder to convince than others. “The key elements when approaching a new potential client for a control and automation system are: commitment, legitimacy and marketability,” says Hall at AMX. “Building owners have to be committed to providing this higher level of building automation and integration. If they don’t see a need for it, it’s hard to convince them.”
Introducing the concept of lower operational costs is a great start to the persuasion process. A primary reason for a control and automation system is to reduce operational costs by shutting off equipment not in use and maximizing energy efficiency. Extending the useful life of devices will contribute to the whole building’s value. “The key area where a company can really save money is