On this week’s episode of AVWeek, we covered a white paper by our friends at Commercial Integrator entitled “Opportunities, Challenges of Third-Party Labor“. It was an interesting exchange between our guests. All of them making valid points. However, Paul Konikowski was most impassioned about the prospect of not getting what you paid for. In other words, pitching the third-party company using one super-star programmer then having another do the actual work.
Before going any further, I wanted to reveal any biases I may have. The company I work for, Innovad, is a design/consulting firm as well as an independent programming house. We are both Crestron and AMX certified programmers. So, I have a bit of an opinion on this.
As much as I understand some of Paul’s frustration with situations that have happened, I would suggest that this is not how most contractors work. We third-party programmers, consultants, labor, all depend on referrals and repeat business. I may not perform to my full capacity, or outright not do a good job, on you once. You will not give me the chance to do it again, most likely. This is what keeps most companies honest and hard working. The idea that you are only good as your work. And your work speaks volumes.
To Paul’s point about selling the job with one phenomenal programmer and having another do their work, that is a red herring in my opinion. Unless you are offering up this code for some sort of award, it matters little how it looks or functions in the back end. What matters is whether or not it functions as the scope of work describes. The scope, or other documentation, is how all of us get along. Without it, we are all assuming one thing or another. This documentation keeps everyone honest. It keeps the end user from inducing scope creep (usually), it keeps the integrator or architect from adding more responsibility to the programmer, and it prevents the programmer from putting in change orders for work that should have been completed as part of the original scope.
My bottom line on this subject is there a number of great companies offering services to firms large and small. You may be a small integrator only selling a million or so a year. You don’t have the need to hire a full-time programmer. You may also be a 100 million dollar a year firm that needs help when your peaks spike a bit more than usual. Regardless of where you lie, most of you at some time need to increase your bandwidth without bringing on new full-time employees. That’s where Control Concepts, BMA Software Solutions, Innovad, United Visual Labor, and others come into play. They offer you services you don’t have, or can’t afford on an ongoing basis currently. We help you get your job done.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.