Imagine you are about to invest $1 million in a dream technology project. Would you second guess your choice for a solution provider if you knew their final target price was really $1.1 million? How about $1.2 million – would that make you re-evaluate your decision? A $200,000 swing resulting from a change order halfway through your project happens far too often.
Costly changes made during a project’s integration are rarely a surprise to the solution provider, even if they are a surprise to you. These change orders are not the cost of doing business. They are the result of specific upselling strategies, careless upfront planning, and inability to create a solution that meets the customer’s expectations and user profile.
Many AV business blogs advise integrators to use change orders as a way to improve margins, incorporate changing technology, and make up for planning mistakes. Not surprisingly, change order strategies are the foundation of many AV integrator business models and significantly contribute to their bottom line. In some cases, sales and project managers are incentivized to upsell after contracts have been signed as a way of improving profit margin. These excessive change orders – to the magnitude of 10, 20, or even 50 percent – are unacceptable. It’s time for AV/IT customers to question and challenge this standard change order practice.
Seeking Continuous Improvements vs. Incentivizing Mistakes
We work relentlessly to understand our customers’ user profile and technology needs. We do not rely on change orders to improve profit margin or correct mistakes. We average 0.67 change orders per project, amounting to less than a 1 percent increase in customer cost. When a change order occurs, Mechdyne does not incentivize. We improve. We look back through process and documentation, and investigate the source of the deviation.
Our successful track record is not by chance. We follow a meticulous planning process, and perform thorough upfront needs analysis. Mechdyne’s core strength comes from our project teams, which include some of the industry’s most knowledgeable engineers and designers. Our reputable teams ensure Mechdyne customers experience very little, if any, additional costs beyond the agreed upon signed contract.
Taking Control of the Bottom Line
We believe that our customers should not expect, nor accept, change orders due to poor planning and communication. Don’t get caught in the change order trap. Research the solution provider you are partnering with and understand their change order policies and history. Don’t let your dream project become a nightmare.