Genesis HTA installation partners often get asked to take over projects. Projects with systems that are unfinished, are not performing or simply need service.
Often these projects turn into a painful, endless and financially draining experience. This often can be avoided by taking the next 7 non-negotiable points into account.
- Ask the client exactly why they want you to take over.
Have an interview with the client to understand what is going wrong and their view on why. Treat this interview as if you were selling a whole new system. You want to hear it from them and see what you have to offer as a company that is better. The clients grievances can range from financials, over to functionality or general lack of service. Find out how the client looks at the problem so you can manage expectations.
- Inform the customer programming and configuration of the whole system needs to be redone. Always.
Never ever ever work on top of existing programming. This also then means you always have to charge for this service. The customer chose the previous company and should accept this is a sunk cost.
- Collect all engineering information early on.
Product list, schematics, programming code,… It will give you a scope of who far you will need to go in point 4 and 5.
- A full survey of the wiring.
Full cable diagram and testing needs to be produced.
- A full survey of all products used and connected.
Check in with suppliers if any doubt. Especially for older products (2+ years).
- Adjust commercial terms to a service-only contract. It should include what you will deliver and how you get paid.
You are not making any (or very limited) margin on products. So every element needs to be prepaid prior to performing the service. A 10% commissioning fee can be left for customer sign off.
Note: make sure you personally deliver the project to the customer. Take what you learned in point 1 into account.
- Do not go beyond point 2 before you get a signed contract and payment…Point 1 and 2 are your shit-job filter.
Note: Consider the option to simply call the previous company and ask for their experience and possibly information they want to share on the project. It may be they have left the market space, are not interested, are over their head.. and help you out. Simple phone call will tell you more. (Don’t do this over email though).