In part one of our Home Automation Bill of Rights, we discussed choosing a remote control to enhance your day to day interaction with your system. Today, we’ll discuss the criteria by which you should choose your integrator, the most important decision you’ll make when deciding to automate your home.
Home Automation Bill of Rights: Choosing and Integrator edition
Companies like Synergy Multimedia are called integrators. We choose the best products for our clients, install them in a professional manner and provide the programming backbone that makes it all work and finally, we support the system after the sale. Here in Atlanta, there are probably 40+ integrators. How do you choose between them? Below, I’ll outline what you deserve in a company you select for your next project:
- Ability. More important than all other criteria, but should never be evaluated in a bubble. The ability of an integrator to deliver a finished, polished and reliable system should be of utmost importance. Sadly, very few are able to do this and even fewer are able to do it on a consistent basis for systems large and small.
- Honesty. A close second to the ability of your integrator is honesty. An honest company will treat you right, recommend products for the right reasons and be more likely to be around in the future.
- Experience. Experience isn’t everything, because a very able company can accomplish great things even on the first try of doing something. However, experience should be icing on the cake. Having a company that is able to deliver a quality system is great but one that proves it can do that over and over again is even better. I wrestle with this one because I started Synergy Multimedia when I was 21 years old and I believe that even in those early years I was better at what I did than the vast majority of established, experienced companies out there. 15 years later, of course I still feel the same way but now I have a lot of evidence to prove my belief.
- Education. Does the principal at the integrator have educational experience to guide sound decision making for your installation and his or her overall business for the long term? Again, this isn’t everything, but shouldn’t an individual who proved their ability to finish something at an educational institution be given the edge in any comparison?
- Time in business. This factor should be looked at only in terms of informing the past and not indicative of predicting the future. What I mean is that there is no guarantee that a company will be around in 10 or 15 years, but if they have made it that long already DOES prove that they are capable of paying bills to their creditors, finishing jobs so they get paid, maintaining relationships with key employees, etc. There’s probably no proof that a company is more likely to remain in business for the next 2 years if it has already been in business 2 years, but if a business has been a going concern for 15 years, it probably DOES make it more likely to be in business for the next 2 years.
- Referrals. This is the single best way of proving all of the above criteria. If a company is able to complete a job and is honest in how it does business, there will be positive referrals from at least 10 former clients on systems sized similarly to yours.