TD: What things would you do differently?
Fagerholm: I would have brought in an internal project manager at the beginning of the project. Often we get bogged down with day to day activities and can easily lose sight of the overall scope of a large project — not to mention keeping all vendors and internal resources on the right track. Bringing in an outside project manager to ensure we stayed on course was instrumental in the success of this project. I am convinced that without this one simple piece we would have run over budget and the final product would have been under-delivered.
TD: Were there any unexpected expenses associated with the project?
Fagerholm: We had an idea that some of our cabling was not installed correctly through the first contractor and would need to be replaced. We did not expect to see the extent of how spotty the cabling work turned out to be with our original install. Fortunately our vendor performing this install was willing to suck up some of the cost in terms of man-power hours for this unforeseen twist the project took. We still had to come to terms with the fact that we needed to now include the expense of a lot more physical cables being replaced for this project.
TD: Greatest piece of take-away advice you can offer to a counterpart looking to embark on a similar project?
Fagerholm: Make certain to go with a vendor that can run with you. For us we tend to move in the direction of modifications to fit our specific needs as opposed to working with “out of the box” solutions. For us we knew we needed a vendor that was flexible and not only had the knowhow but also the tenacity to journey down that road with us.
TD: Was any part of the project outsourced? If so, to whom and why?
Fagerholm: Two key components were outsourced.
Project Management: We quickly understood one of our weaknesses and decided to utilize a corporate resource to leverage better results for the project overall. This came in the form of a fantastic project manager at the home office who ensured everyone stayed on task and that the project was results oriented.
Installers: AVI-SPL was utilized for the actual install of the new AV system. Although we met with several vendors we understood that AVI-SPL was the right vendor for our project and also could be leveraged for potential future projects. The install team was absolutely fantastic and were able to understand our exact needs and deliver great results.
More of the Interview with Fagerholm: Explaining A/V and IT Convergence