How can I get a data cabling survey done now that there is a lockdown?
What are the options for a data cabling survey at present? With the new guidelines on social distancing and the message to stay at home, structured cabling surveys are becoming increasingly difficult or not possible to carry out in person.
However this time shall pass and those projects that need to be completed will still need to be undertaken. A delay in survey will lead to lag in quotation, approval and the project being mobilised and undertaken.
The aim now is to reduce that time lag by still carrying out the earlier part of the process using innovative techniques and systems to complete these surveys and quotations allowing clients to put these budgets into their cash flow so when social distancing is reduced these works can happen immediately.
How can surveys be completed without coming to my place of business?
The majority of surveys can still be undertaken “off site” and the more information that can be collated during this process the more accurate the quotation will be for the needs of the client.
The majority of the information doesn’t change whether it’s a meeting on site or an off-site discussion. The numbers of cables required, the number of users moving into a building, the requirement of the data cabling (Cat5e, Cat6 etc), the timescales to complete these works.
Also the construction of the space can easily be communicated which with the knowledge of the project management team accurate quotations can be built. For example, does the space have a false ceiling, a false floor, is there dado trunking around the walls of the offices, how long and wide is the space and where is the data cabinet in relation to those requirements?
Drawings allow the process to be even more accurate and will show our quotation team a visual of the space to gauge distances, routes and requirements.
The final element which then allows a 99% accurate quotation is the provision of photos and videos. With the information above and photos or videos of the proposed requirements our team is confident that the quotation provided offsite will be as accurate as an on site survey.
If someone is still based at their offices or place of business a simple walkthrough the building with Facetime, Zoom or Whatsapp will allow our team to provide the quotations you need.
What kind of data cabling survey and quotations can be undertaken off site?
The majority of aspects of a data cabling survey can be quoted accurately off site. These are especially suited to the following due to the similar nature of the spaces:
- Data Cabinet tidy ups and re-patching
- Audio Visual Installations and Video Conferencing
- New office space where estimates are required (moving to new offices)
- Data Centres
What project surveys and quotations are not suitable be undertaken off site?
The following projects usually involve some deeper understanding of the requirements and survey of the spaces and even though these projects are not best suited to off-site surveys than can still be quoted with a quotation range as a budget which can then be confirmed with an on-site meeting once the opportunity arises.
- Listed building and building with restricted data cabling routes / drilling
Due to the complicated routes and limitations on what can be changed, drilled and have containment fixed, an on-site survey is usually best for these buildings.
- Residential Homes
Homes by their nature have no obvious routes for data cabling so seeing the building internally from the start to end point is important. These projects are best suited to an on-site presence.
- External data cabling and fibre optic links between buildings.
Using technology such as Google earth can assist in providing quotations for these works but in a population dense area such as London the routes externally between buildings or spaces sometimes follow many changes of direction and elevation which cannot be seen or understood off site.
The advantages of Projects during social distancing
With the ability to still provide quotations during the social distancing stage we can then follow through with structured cabling installations during the shutdown of many offices, schools and places of business.
The advantages are that the work can be completed win a much safer way as the premises are empty, the works can be completed in regular hours rather than incurring an out of hours installation cost and in some cases the works can be completed quicker and more economical as the absence of employees in the space allow the works to be completed faster.
Accuracy and Guarantee
The more information that is able to be communicated the more accurate the quotation can be for the client. However in 20 years of pricing so many different projects we know from experience that over 95% of projects we have quoted in the past from off-site information have resulted in no changes to the price, once an onsite meeting has followed to firm up requirements, and of the 5% that have had the change the price hasn’t deviated by more than 10%, once further information was known.
Therefore, during these challenging times if we provide an off-site data cabling quotation for you based on the information received during a conference call and with the required supporting information we will honour that set price if the on-site follow up doesn’t change the pricing by more than 10%. In essence it allows the cost to increase by 10% and we will still complete the works at the originally supplied quotation
For those quotations that can’t be accurately quoted a range of budget pricing can be supplied and firmed up on site once the situation allows to still enable the clients to budget in their cash flow.
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