SMART Board Install: You Get What You Pay For
Post in News by John Mulvaney on 6th June 2018
In the course of outfitting schools with the latest education technology, we sometimes encounter customers who don’t understand the value of our SMART Board install services. In the K12 technology industry, Teq is what’s known as a value-added reseller (VAR), meaning we work with manufacturers to add value to their product in the form of professional services. For SMART Boards, one of those value-adds is the ability to complete SMART Board installs efficiently, with a high degree of competency. With this value, comes some additional cost.
And this is where the title of this article comes into play. There is a benefit to paying a little more to receive real value, and cutting costs and, in the process, cutting corners. Here are some images from an installation that was obviously hastily “completed” by one of our competitors. This customer got what they paid for.
This install team did not anchor the interactive display (not a SMART Board) into the wall properly. The install team missed any wall studs and screwed the mounting hardware directly into the drywall. It looks like once they couldn’t find a stud, they put in as many drywall anchors as possible. You would think that when installing 100 pounds of interactive display on a wall in a school, that safety is your top priority. You would think that, right?
That lower price has to come from somewhere. In this case it came from a low-cost (read under-qualified) install team. Here’s a picture of the Newline interactive display on the floor in front the wall.
I guess the good news is that it still works. With the savings from the initial purchase, they can reinstall the panel.
What you get when paying for a SMART Board install
Teq installs thousands of SMART Boards every year, and we’ve been doing this for over ten years. You learn a lot in that time. Every SMART Board install is site surveyed in advance to review the location of the SMART Board in the classroom, install height, location of power, wall structure, hazards (like asbestos), and any other requirements — not just customer requirements — but anything that has to do with the safety of teachers, student, and our own install crew.
Our installers are empowered to stop an install if they think it cannot be completed safely. They will physically attempt to pull a SMART Board off the wall to ensure that it is secure. They’ve encountered every possible wall structure. They know when to proceed with an installation directly on a wall versus an install that requires a rail system to distribute the weight of the SMART Board between the wall and the floor.
Working in schools is not something we take lightly. We never subcontract a SMART Board install. Every installer is a full-time, badged, background-checked, fingerprinted, drug-tested, SMART-certified Teq employee. And we can provide a certified payroll to meet prevailing-wage requirements.
It’s tough to look beyond instructional features. Overlook the install and service component of your project, and you are leaving a lot to chance. When shopping for the next generation of interactive display, are you asking questions like,”Who will be doing the install?” What are their qualifications? How many installs have they completed? Do they have references?
Push your vendors for the best service possible, and make sure they stand behind their work.