The Quality Control Process and How It Impacts AV Installations
Demand for residential and commercial systems, continuous technological advancements to AV equipment and accessories, and the integration of more features into projects is making installations more diverse. A more complicated installation also means there is more room for error or product failures.
Proper quality control by manufacturers gives installers the confidence that products are ready to be integrated into a system, and eliminates a bad batch from making its way into homes, theaters, security systems, conference spaces, etc. It can be critical for dealers both in ensuring successful installations and reducing service calls, all the way to supporting client relationships. Installers should purchase products from manufacturers that put their product through thorough quality control procedures; for example, where every single product is put through testing, rather than just batch testing a small sample from a production run to approve them for shipping.
When there’s a larger variety of device types and brands being connected into one system, a single device failure can become more problematic. A projector could be misconstrued as a failing device if one of its cables is faulty. The troubleshooting required by the installer to determine that it’s the cable and not a projector component can be time consuming, and frustrating for the client. Quality testing is valuable to dealers for weeding out potential for product problems to help cut down service calls and on-site troubleshooting. When all products in an installation have been pre-tested and ensured to work properly together, there is a lesser chance that product will fail after the installation due to faulty parts, and for fewer issues altogether.
Quality control can contribute to a higher rate of first-installation successful projects. When installations are successful, integrators succeed. Products that are working right from the start are in favor for a dealer’s reputation and a stronger trust from the client, where not having to call their dealer back makes a great experience for them. This can even lead to a higher rating on platforms like Angie’s List and Houzz and, potentially, to new business.
To ensure its effectiveness, quality control product procedures should be exhaustive to eliminate all possible avenues for failure including hardware, software, and compatibility. Manufacturers should consider what installers are using with their own products in residential and commercial installations, and test them together to ensure compatibility. At Vanco International, all of our active HDMI products are tested twice — at the factory and at Vanco headquarters — to minimize issues in the field. Many of our products undergo additional testing for compatibility with products from Vanco’s partner brands including JVC, Yamaha, TrendNet, Luxul, and Vivotek, to give integrators the confidence that our products will work seamlessly together.
Any product that is distributed after testing must pass with a zero percent failure rate on all Vanco’s tests. Reasons for test value can help manufacturers improve as well; the Vanco quality control team tracks failure rates of its product, and the data is shared immediately with the factory and product development team to help reduce the failure rate of future products. In addition to the testing process, our technical support team brings distributors and dealers expertise and product knowledge, which is expanded through this testing process. By working with dealers and installers in the field and through the quality control process, they develop a better understanding of products and reasons for failure, which can be useful to both our internal product development and quality control teams, and to dealers and integrators when troubleshooting.
As dealers take on more product categories, everything on their equipment list must be reliable, compatible, and ready for installation. Seeking vendor partners and distributors who provide rigorous quality control testing can help dealers to reduce troubleshooting and truck rolls, as well as help them grow in the long-run through a reputation of high-quality installations with fewer failures.