4 Key Advantages to the AV Design-Build Approach

November 25, 2019

Conversations around Design Builds and Design Bids have been top of mind in the video conferencing buyers market. IVCi has experience with and actively supports, both methodologies. For this article, we’re focusing on the advantages of the Design-Build approach to give you some insight on whether or not these advantages will benefit you.

When working within the design-build realm and the design-bid realms, we have seen success with both approaches. But a successful outcome largely depends on if the customer’s specific needs were properly matched up with the correct approach for their goals.  As with any comparable project, there are advantages to one or the other that you’ll need to consider when deciding what works best for you.

Let’s Start with What the Two Most Common Approaches Look Like:

  • Design-Build: This option involves you going directly to an experienced AV integrator who will handle the entire process from concepting the design to supporting it after it is installed.
  • Design-Bid: This option involves an AV consultant who will concept a design, send out a Request for Proposal to qualified installers, and help you choose which installer is right for the project.

The Four Key Advantages to the Design-Build Approach

1. Expert Experience with the Certification to Prove it

The design-build method is heavily reliant on experts to execute the project properly from beginning to end. Conducting a thorough assessment of your current AV environment is essential in building out an infrastructure that works for your needs and integrators hold real-world expertise in the field.  In addition to the assessment, integrators work with their own team and general contractors throughout the entire process, ensuring all aspects are carefully implemented and aligned with the original design. Integrators also employ AV artists who have an unrivaled breath of proven experience in the industry, holding a CTS-D (Certified Technology Specialist-Design) Certification to prove it.

2. Single Point of Contact

Based on the project and personal preference, there is a portion of the market who prefers a single point of contact as it streamlines the communications. Both integrators and designers bring value to the table, but they occasionally differ on what the solutions should be to various issues within the project that need to be solved. One example of this could be a situation in which a consultant may have suggested a specific solution he/she is looking to utilize in the design, but an integrator who is versed in physically implementing the design across varying infrastructures will be able to identify if the equipment connection will support the design as intended; on occasion, those solutions differ from one another. Considering this, you’ll need to know exactly who to approach if something does not go as planned or the system isn’t functioning as promised. The Design-Build process lowers the amount of parties involved, sometimes making the process and communication more effective.

3. Time is Money, and Saving Both is Ideal

The design-build approach has proven to be very efficient if saving time and money is your goal. When an integrator is involved with your needs from the beginning, the workflow of the project is enhanced through set expectations and budgets up front, minimizing the potential for any delays or revisions of the design when the process has already begun. However, it’s important to note that the design-bid approach allows you to leverage more industry experts in developing drawings, workflows and other necessary aspects of the project. But as with most things, this added value will be reflected in the pricing models that support the project.  In a Design-Build project, you can typically shorten the process because the same hand that creates the specifications and drawings is the same hand that works to implement the project directly, often reflecting a more cost-effective option.

4. Ongoing Support, Long After the Install.

When working with a design-build integrator, the job doesn’t end when the installation is done. For example, IVCi offers 24/7 service and support to help you address the occasional equipment failure and make necessary software updates. We also offer the ability to report on adoption and usage analytics, so you can make sure you’re getting the best out of your newly installed AV equipment and make better business decisions in the future.

Which Approach is Right For You?

In general, both the Design-Build and Design-Bid approaches are valuable and have proven success rates, but again, it all depends on your specific needs, long term goals, and budget. If you’re curious to know which approach will work best for the AV technology goals you’re trying to achieve, contact us and we’ll do a thorough assessment of your current AV infrastructure and help you decide what the next best step is.

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