Widgets Magazine

You're In Time Out

One of the great things about working for Innovad is the ability to interact with some pretty talented people in the AV industry. My client base allows me to learn from their experiences and insights. One of these pros is one of the best engineers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He has some great insights and is working on some ground-breaking applications. It is how he handles products and manufacturers that I wanted to write about today.
When his integration firm has had significant issues with a particular product he puts it in “Time Out”. The engineering team, and sales people, will not design or sell a system with your product in the design. This is not to say that it is banned for life. It simply means currently the product is not up to their standards for performance and reliability. Here is how the system works.
Let’s say the product is a switcher made by company “Y”. After a number of installations where the product failed out of the box, or after a short time, calls would be made to company Y’s engineering team. After working through a number of the issues the integration team was having in the field, and following company Y’s instructions on how to fix them, an assessment would be made. This would include how much extra time and effort was put into making this product work versus a comparable product. The integrator may love company Y, their people and most of their products. However, if the assessment comes back that it costs more to integrate their switcher than they are making on the job, the switcher will be put in Time Out. The bottom line is the bottom line in this case.
How does one get out of Time Out? Company Y’s engineering team will work with the integrator’s to figure out what is happening in the field; the issues they are coming up against. This can be anything from bad capacitors to incorrect management of a signal. Once company Y has demonstrated the reliability of the product to the satisfaction of the integration team, then it will come out of Time Out.
This may seem a bit arrogant on the part of the integrator, and some manufacturers will feel this way. However, these are the people who are putting in your products and see it in the real world. They have a responsibility to the client and the owner of the company to make certain the product works, and it is profitable. If it isn’t both, then it doesn’t deserve to be in someone’s design.
One last thing, I am obviously simplifying the process for the purposes of the blog. There would be several conversations between the integrator and manufacturer before Time Out happens. This is not a knee-jerk decision, but one that is made in conjunction with sales, engineering, and management.
The bottom line for manufacturers is, make sure your products work in a majority of situations. If you do get a call, try your best to rectify the situation. If you do get put in Time Out by someone, or several integrators, work with their teams to get out of Time Out.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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