Another dilemma that integrators face is keeping cost files up to date — a fundamental step in keeping the process of quoting and processing orders efficient. Incorrect costs can cause a domino effect of delays or, worse still, losing a project. Correct cost files are a staple in the integrator’s day-to-day, but they’re often overlooked. Perhaps an employee is juggling multiple responsibilities, and they’re unable to prioritize updating costs when received. Here’s an example: A purchaser sends off a purchase order and receives updated costs. They update the cost for that specific order, but they don’t input the new cost into the system, which delays future orders.

“Current costs are a key component in delivering excellent service, [getting] timely responses, making customers happy, and winning new business,” Aviv says. Cost updates need to be a top priority. One solution is for the integrator to create relationships with vendors. “Have a go-to representative who can provide cost files as they change,” she advises. Alternatively, Aviv adds, consider sourcing a third party who acts as an extension to your company to bridge the gap.

Taking Advantage of Rebate Programs

The last issue that often hurts integrators is not taking advantage of vendors’ annual rebate programs. No one wants to leave money on the table; thus, integrators must ask vendors the right questions about the benefits of partnering with them. A specialized team should know all the rebates that vendors offer across the board, keep vendor information up to date, track the numbers and assist the company in pivoting — when possible — to stay on target and meet the vendor’s rebate criteria.

“Like all industries, the AV industry presents its share of obstacles,” Aviv observes. “But, by implementing processes that allow the integrator to be proactive rather than reactive, these obstacles become manageable.” She concludes, “The result is positive returns.”