ADDRESS GROWING TECH NEEDS
RETAILERS ARE EMBRACING HIGH-TECH, and that trend is affecting project installation. The vast majority (90%)
of A.R.E.-member installation companies are installing more technology into
stores today than they did a few years ago.
In fact, at least one company, DAVACO,
established an entire division dedicated
to digital services.
The trend necessitates a shift in the SKILL
LEVEL of installation teams, A.R.E. members
agree. Project managers and field personnel
need proper training, and member firms are
working to ensure that their personnel are
prepared. “If you are not adapting to the
change, you will be falling behind,” quips
Steve Shepherd of McIntyre Group, Norwalk,
Installers are turning to mobile and online
venues as well as manual development to train
employees. “We post instructions and installation videos so our field techs can log on,
read instructions or watch training videos, and
then take a test to get approved for the upcoming installation,” explains Rich Moorehead
of Dallas-based Technical Transportation.
For store associates, training should include
a manual for all technological elements as
well as live telephone support, notes Mike
Haddon of American Installation Companies,
COMMUNICATION is crucial to the success of technological installations, members
agree. Players from IT to electricians must all
be on the same page. Other factors include:
SECURITY Hardware security must be
maintained on-site during the installation,
Haddon points out.
EQUIPMENT SELECTION Some retailers
are investing in consumer-grade hardware. In
a commercial setting, the run time on the battery can be more than the hardware can sustain, said Carm McCormick of Canada’s Best,
Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada.
SITE LIMITATIONS Power and data
sources must be surveyed since most stores
were not built with technology in mind, he
adds. Agreed Margie Gomez of Installation
and Service Technologies, “The original build
did not always take into account future scal-ability in regards to the installation of conduit,
access panels, support structures, and network infrastructure.” A pre-installation site
survey gives the team a chance to plan resolutions for any issues, she adds.