Heartland AV employs a dynamic team of individuals who have many years of experience designing complex audio, video, and lighting systems. We work hard to ensure that each system we design is exactly what the customer needs while being fully supportable and within budget. Our team has experience supporting AV in many applications, but the heart of our services is in commercial AV. While we do sell one-off solutions from time to time, we focus on integrated AV systems. The products we sell are typically part of an integrated solution.
While we are not architects by definition, we do see ourselves playing a similar role. For this reason, we mostly follow the typical AIA construction process. For a glimpse inside the process from start to finish, let’s walk through a project.
Phase 1: Programming
The first phase of any integrated AV system implementation is the programming phase. At Heartland AV, this typically includes an on-site visit with stakeholders to gather critical information and do a needs assessment. Below are some of the questions we ask our customers.
- What is not working well with your current system?
- What is working well with your current system?
- What features must a successful product have?
- What features would be nice to have but are not required?
- When must the project be completed?
- What is your budget?
After gathering this information, our staff will document the current system and space to provide a custom solution to fit the environment.
Phase 1 is offered free of charge unless substantial travel is required.
Phase 2: Schematic Design
After compiling and reviewing the feedback and data from the programming phase, we will put together an initial scope-of-work document with a budgetary estimate. For most projects, we will provide proposals for additional upgrades and value engineering for the customer’s consideration. The draft will allow the customer to ensure that we are sharing the right vision and that the project will be on a budget. It is important to us to ensure that our customers will not be surprised at any point in the process. For this reason, we will spend as much time as necessary to make sure that the scope-of-work documents encapsulate everything that the customer expects.
At this point in the process, specific product brands and models are typically not discussed.
Once the customer is satisfied with the scope of work, a decision on how to proceed is made. Heartland AV can be engaged by the customer in multiple ways.
Design-Build: In a design-build model, we are engaged to not only design but also install the project. The design-build model allows the customer to receive a cost-effective product by allowing Heartland AV’s designers to consolidate design and install resources. This is done by decreasing the overhead compared to having multiple providers working in and understanding the same space. Typically, we operate in the design-build model.
Design–commission: Heartland AV will provide a complete design and complete specifications for the project, but the customer will typically contract installation to a third party. In this model, Heartland AV’s staff will visit the site after the third-party contractor has completed their work to ensure the project was done correctly. This model is the most common among customers who want the peace of mind of knowing that the project has been seen by multiple sets of eyes, or where travel for Heartland AV installers is costly.
After a model is selected, Heartland AV staff will create a detailed block diagram and specifications for the project. These documents will outline the gear, how it will be installed, and how it will be connected. The customer is always given an opportunity to review and approve these documents before any work or product procurement begins.
Phase 4: Project Administration and Installation
After the scope of work and designs have been approved by the customer, Heartland AV staff order and receive all the individual components. While this is being handled, we will provide the customer with an initial timeline. Many complex projects will include a pre-construction meeting where the Heartland AV install team will meet with the on-site staff to discuss the specifics of the installation and go over the timeline. After all product lead times have been verified, Heartland AV staff will confirm the installation dates with the customer and ensure everything is prepared for the install team’s arrival.
Our install team knows that your business and image are important. For this reason, we do our best to keep a clean worksite and to avoid interrupting the day-to-day operations. Our staff knows that you have a lot invested in the business, and we will ensure that the install is safe and professional for years to come.
Phase 5: Project Closing
Once the installation phase is complete, our staff will ensure that you will have the tools and knowledge necessary to operate the system. Every customer is different, but this typically includes:
- Full functionality test: Heartland AV designers walk through the functions of each component with the customer to verify and demonstrate its operation.
- Hands-on training: Heartland AV installers typically spend one to two hours with the key operators of the AV system to provide in-depth training and answer any questions.
- On-site support for the first-time operation: The first time the system is used, a Heartland AV technician can be on-site to support the system and make adjustments as needed.
- Project documentation package: All component manuals and user guides will be nicely preserved for future documentation. Upon request, Heartland AV designers will provide an as-built drawing set to the customer.
Most of all, it is important to us to ensure that the customer receives the solution they want and that everyone is satisfied. If our staff makes even the smallest mistake, we want the opportunity to make it right.
The team at Heartland AV stands behind each and every install we provide well past the day we complete the installation. For some customers, we provide the peace of mind of a preventative service call where a service technician comes on-site to properly clean all the system components. This ensures that components do not overheat and that all components are maintained for years to come. For all our customers, we provide 24x7x365 phone support and consultation. We may not answer on the first ring, but someone is always on call to talk through any issues.