How to convey your value to your clients, builders, architects and designers

Jason SayensmartPRENEUR Blog Series

Architects and Designers use documentation to show the client their vision for the project and sets the expectation for the client.  It’s also a key piece of information that aligns all of the trades involved ensuring everyone knows what the expectations are and what the end result should look like.  

Without it, the project will fail.

Most integrators only use documentation for the initial proposal phase and when the project gets engineered.  Plans get marked up for the low voltage design and as-builts are created but all of this is typically used for their internal teams.  Not much of the documentation is shared with the rest of the trades involved in the project.   

But what about using additional documentation to show your client, builder, architect or designer what your process is?  What if they could see what stages you need to be involved in and why?

Showing your value

As integrators, we typically are the last trade brought onto the project and the last trade leaving the project.  The other trades aren’t quite sure where we fit in but assume we are going to “slow the project down”.  They think that all of our gear can be ordered at a moment’s notice and hung on a wall.  They don’t understand the amount of engineering and planning that go into our clients systems.

Workflow documentation will not only help your team internally but it can be used to show your client and everyone involved in the project what stages you fit into and the value you bring.  

This allows you to set proper expectations as far as the build schedule, show where responsibilities are assigned and overall, show how complex the job is.  

Let’s look at how documentation can help align everyone involved in the project and bring value to what the integrators provide.  Because most of the items below are never addressed, they become bottlenecks on the project and ultimately the integrator takes the blame.

Client – Set the right expectations

Do they know when they will be invoiced and what the invoice will be for? 

When do they need to make decisions on selecting equipment, colors and fabrics?

Builder – Show where you fit into their schedule

Educate them on your labor phases and why knowing their schedule is important

Make them aware of special wiring, framing or ventilation that is required and when it  needs to be completed by.

Architect – How can you help them with planning?

Do they know who’s providing the low voltage plan?

What about the lighting control documentation for permitting?

Designer – Get them involved in the selection process

How can they help with selecting colors and fabrics?

How can they help with selecting products?

These are just a few examples but by having visual documentation of your workflow, it gets everyone aligned on the project and creates transparency along with removing the typical bottlenecks that happen on every project.

About the Author

Jason Sayen

Jason Sayen is the Founder of I am Sayen and brings over 25 years to the custom installation channel.  I am Sayen, helps business owners understand their process through workflow documentation which aligns teams and removes bottlenecks.