In order to make up the margin they gave away to buy your job, Those Who Must will begin looking for ways to get their margins back. There are a number of ways to do this, none of which are to your benefit.
A first step is usually to hit up the manufacturers and subcontractors for a discount on their order just before placing it. Each manufacturer typically has a few shekels to spare, but Those Who Must typically overplay this card, and it doesn’t always work.
Subcontractors are smaller, and are counting on the order, and Those Who Must know this, so they’ll try to squeeze a subcontractor, even for a few hundred dollars. Every coin counts to Those Who Must.
Inevitably, Those Who Must reach the inevitable truth that cutting corners and avoiding best practices ultimately leads to your project not going well. He already put in the minimum number of hours to buy your project. Now he has to pay his field team extra hours to fix your install because staging and testing your system in-house before delivering to your jobsite had to be cut to buy your job.
Nothing eats the margins of Those Who Must like unbudgeted hours in the field.
This is when Those Who Must begin to blame others.
Marc LaVecchia is a co-founder of TechTalkAV. He will be speaking about this and other topics technology managers need to know at the upcoming TechTalkAV event at InfoComm 2015.
They blame the manufacturer for a faulty product. They yell and scream until Those Who Must get the manufacturer to subsidize their field engineering efforts.
They blame their subcontractors, like control programmers, because let’s face it, if the install is no good, the program won’t work, and Those Who Must are always quick to point out that if the control system doesn’t work, it must be the program that is holding everything up.
They blame the network because Those Who Must never had the forethought to either train their team on networking, or hire network people to work with the AV team. And they know you had someone else put in the network, so now you’re too busy trying to get the attention of your network team to remember how Those Who Must bragged about their IT capabilities during the job interview.
Finally, Those Who Must will look for any window they can find to start creating change orders in hopes of making their money back. They’ll explain how ‘this piece of equipment’ has never worked, and they have a different product that is better, but it costs more, but it will get the job done, if only you can free up a few more shekels.
In the end, Those Who Must have you on the ropes. You just want the job done. And so do they. So you compromise your expectations just to get them out the door.
None of this happens when you work with Those Who Can. In fact, Those Who Can saw this coming the minute they heard the amount by which they lost the job.
And for the sake of buying a job they had no business bidding in the first place, Those Who Must have now alienated manufacturers, consultants, subcontractors, the network team and you.
Is it any wonder the AV relationship is dying?
In our next article, we’ll discuss one job my company did with Those Who Can and one job we did with Those Who Must. The differences are stark. But soon, you will be able to see Those Who Must coming from a mile away and avoid them at all costs.