The decision to outsource AV support to a managed services company often comes from a desire to focus on your core strengths while decreasing cost. But when companies only focus on savings from the dollars directly invested in audiovisual support, they miss an opportunity to save more than pennies on the dollar. Outsourcing AV support drives opportunities for savings from increased employee efficiency.
Using AV support to proactively train and lead your employees delivers less downtime as employees start and use the technology. Executed holistically, in addition to the time savings AV managed services has the potential to drive further efficiency through:
- Higher utilization of collaboration spaces
- Increased employee engagement
- Lower employee turnover due to increased satisfaction
The incremental savings allow for a significantly greater return on investment for the companies that view managed services with broader expectations.
To take this conversation beyond savings on the cost of the contract, companies should expect the partners they choose to have a vision and a process to generate savings well beyond any quote. The approach to driving savings through hiring a managed service firm drives increased uptime, technology adoption, and utilization.
From the search to the negotiation, there are five questions you should ask when searching for a managed services provider.
Why should I hire you vs. handle this in-house?
While the easy answer is “to save you money and enable you to focus on your core business competency,” this is only the beginning of what we do at Mechdyne. In addition to these very real reasons to outsource support, you should also expect to gain access to a significant knowledge base. Your partners should provide you with trained and competent individuals in both the AV industry as well as the defined workflows of your company. You should also expect to learn how they will share their knowledge through training, reporting on industry trends, and identifying ongoing needs for your AV infrastructure. By taking this approach, support for your audiovisual systems will be handled by people with the specialized skills and knowledge to lead end users more efficiently and effectively.
How do you define success?
Any provider that has a pre-determined definition of success should send a warning signal. You should expect a willing partner who works with you to understand your workflows, current pain points, and unmet needs to build a dashboard of metrics that will demonstrate improvement in utilization, uptime, and response times. At Mechdyne, we take this a step further and include measurement of end-user satisfaction using Net Promoter surveys.
A key differentiator for how we define success is technology adoption. Unless we are connecting with your employees and creating an environment where the audiovisual technology is not only functioning but embraced, we are not fulfilling driving the maximum savings for your organization. Increasing productivity through well-trained and comfortable employees has the potential to substantially increase the value of your investment in managed service for your AV infrastructure. Without it, companies leave significant savings on the table.
Can you provide examples of how working with you will integrate with our existing IT and facilities teams?
It would be simple to assume that a managed service company exists in a vacuum. Understanding how a company will approach integrating and working with the other functions in your organization will provide you with an understanding of how collaborative you can expect them to be. At Mechdyne, we have built and adapted solutions to ensure that we work closely with the teams necessary to assure maximum value for your organization. This ranges from adapting ticket systems to accommodating existing workflows, as well as finding ways to leverage the expertise available to your organization to bring about the fastest and most complete resolutions possible.
Can you provide examples of reports and dashboard solutions you’ve developed for your existing clients?
This is another question that seems to be fairly straightforward on the surface. Any provider you are evaluating should be able to quickly provide you with samples that have masked the client data. The challenge is to ascertain how relevant the data is to that client’s goals. Not only do we have this information to share, but you will also see measurements that vary from client to client based on their unique goals and needs. While they have a similar approach and look, they reflect the goals and workflows of each client individually.
How will you demonstrate the value you have provided to the organization?
While this has been touched on above, this is perhaps the most important question to ask. This is where you can separate the low-cost providers from the highest value providers. It is not enough in today’s economy to simply save a few pennies per dollar in cost when outsourcing your AV support. What you should look for is a multi-dimensional evaluation of how the provider will positively impact your bottom line. This impact should include:
- Lower cost to provide the support
- Provision of quality support
- Commitment to delivering on key metrics
- Greater efficiency for your organization
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Increased efficiency
- Higher employee retention
Understanding the answers to these five questions will provide you with a much clearer list of options for delivering value to your organization. A managed service provider’s ability to answer these questions will reduce the uncertainty in your decision to outsource and whom to do it with. Learn more about Mechdyne’s managed services for IT and Audiovisual.