How To Achieve Quality in Audiovisual Technology
For students the nightmare is showing up on the day of a test and realizing you’re late and forgot to prepare. Or standing up to give a presentation and realizing you have no clothes on. For the AV integrator and IT professional the project nightmare is getting to site and two other trades occupy the space and the hardware has not been delivered. Or delays in commissioning the system have delayed end-user training. (And maybe you forgot your clothes, too.) AV technology is advancing at a rapid pace, but product knowledge and quality management training and certifications for individuals and companies has not always kept pace.
But does attention to quality and certification really matter? In a word: yes. A poor quality AV installation or integration can cost you 20 percent of the original purchase price, compared with additional costs of only 2.5 percent of the total purchase price for monitoring of good quality AV systems. Put another way, estimates of money lost to rework, lost time and repairs of poorly integrated AV systems is more than $15 billion a year worldwide. There’s another nightmare for you, with or without clothes. Luckily, whether you are a third-party installer and integrator, or an in-house IT professional managing AV or collaboration technology integration products, there is a training and certification program that will ensure the kind of high quality AV system that saves money, improves technology performance and helps you sleep a little better at night.
WHAT IS AV9000?
The Association for Quality in Audio Video Technology (AQAV) has taken the quality management challenge and developed an industry standard for AV quality management, called AV9000. AV9000 compliance and certification show prospective customers that your organization is committed to consistency and quality in internal processes company-wide, not just on an ad hoc or individual basis. Audiovisual technologies are complex and often interdependent and individual technical skills are simply not enough to guarantee quality across an entire system. Quality—in other words conforming with customer requirements—requires cooperation and coordination across teams, and quality management principles embedded in those internal processes helps every team member track compliance and quickly and effectively address defects. Sounds pretty good, right? But how do you become AV9000 compliant? Keep reading to find out.
BECOMING AV9000 COMPLIANT
The AV9000 standard is built on general concepts and principles of quality management, with an added AV twist. Making your company AV9000 compliant is the first step to showing your customers and clients that you are applying quality management processes to all your AV projects—something that is increasingly a requirement of AV technology buyers. Becoming AV9000 compliant can also serve as a stepping-stone to AV9000 certification further down the line. The specific metrics applied for AV9000 compliance are: Staging, Commissioning, and System Acceptance. Companies with an AV9000 Compliance certificate can market themselves to current and prospective customers as a provider that manages quality following the highest level of monitoring and measuring. Requirements for AV9000 compliance include: The compliance certificate lasts for one year, during which companies can work towards full certification if they so choose. Compliant companies agree to continue applying the Staging and Commissioning Checklists, as well as gathering customer acknowledgements of completed systems during the duration of the compliance period.
WHY AV9000 COMPLIANCE MATTERS
Sounds pretty straightforward, right? So can something so simple really make a big impact on your organization? One that is worth the investment in developing and implementing a quality management system and then having it certified to boot? Before you answer, raise your (virtual) hand if you’ve ever encountered any of the following problems:
- Project delays
- AV system defects that go unnoticed until it’s too late
- Lack of follow-up from AV installers or IT pros
- Poor response time
- System downtime for repairs
- Hidden costs for unforeseen or replacement items
If you have experienced even one of those issues, whether you are using a third-party AV integrator and installer or you have in-house staff to perform those functions, the investment of time and money in an AV9000 compliance is worth it. In addition to the financial benefits of attracting and retaining more business, compliance will also help you: design and install systems that are complete, high performing and ready to use; reduced costs associated with production, installation, trouble shooting and repairs; and continuous improvement.
According to Forbes Magazine, retraining and up training will be key trends in the 2018 workplace. Quality management will help your AV and IT staff stay relevant and ahead of the learning curve. As customer demands change, companies have to adjust their corporate models and increase the relevancy of the skills they bring to the table. As an exclusive AQAV training partner, Level 3 provides consultation and training to prepare companies, educational institutions and other organizations to earn their AV9000 compliance and certification. If you are a media manager, IT director, technology manager or if you otherwise manage enterprise-level AV and IT in your organization, learn more about our training opportunities or reach out to us! We look forward to working with you!