Digital Signage Expo (DSE) PRO AV COUNCIL asked their members: How do integrators pick the right vendors for DOOH networks? This is how Mike White, Solutionz Inc. Senior Solutions Specialist, answered.
Originally published on March 16, 2020 at Digital Signage Connection.
Any project or opportunity is only as good as its weakest link. For DOOH networks, or any integrator project for that matter, your choice of vendors is critical to the success of the project. Here are the main criteria that I have used for 30+ years as an integrator:
- Quality – Ensuring the customer’s outcomes must always be put ahead of all other vendor selection criteria. The project must deliver quality products and quality service. Notice I did not say you must deliver the cheapest solution. As an integrator, we must always put the long-term value proposition first. Quality is at the top of the list for providing value. When evaluating hardware and software vendors, look closely at their commitment to long-term quality and performance. When considering sub-contractors for the installation work, it is your reputation on the line with your client, so check references to make sure they will represent your integration company well.
- People Still Buy from People – In this world of electronic communication, it is still imperative that an integrator establish good working relationships with people at those vendors. To serve your clients when something goes wrong (and something always goes wrong), you will need to be able to pick up the phone and talk to a person that recognizes your name and will respond in a timely manner. This takes active work on the part of both integrator and vendor to establish a business relationship that delivers for the customer.
- Is the Vendor a Friend or Foe? – How do the vendors you are considering go to market? Will they sell direct to clients like yours and become your competition if the opportunity is large enough? I do not condemn the vendors that go direct to end users, I just will not work with people who do. There are plenty of vendor choices, so find vendors who consider you a team member and not just a point of introduction.
- Financial Stability – Regretfully, even in a great economy, vendors come and go. For the welfare of your customer and your company, you must make sure the vendors you choose will be there for you and your customer next month and next year. As a veteran of this industry, I know there are no guarantees, but I encourage you to do your homework and get references so you are not unpleasantly surprised in the midst of a project.
Choosing the right vendors is paramount to serving your customer. Life is short and the integrator does not need to make his or her life harder by adding stress. Reflect on the four key elements of choosing the right vendor and avoid unnecessary problems.