Why Installation Should Be More Than a Line Item

Often, the focus on a materials movement or storage project is on the cost of materials. Pages are often dedicated to exactly what is being quoted and how the solution presented will work. But...what about installation? Following the lengthy description of the material handling solution often is a project cost summary including total material cost, a summation of the previously detailed pricing, freight cost to jobsite, permitting and engineering, and a single line item for "installation." 

McGee Storage and Handling attempts to separate ourselves from those who feel "installation" is just a line item. Think about your best experiences with anything performed at your business, your home, your neighborhood, or even your favorite restaurant. The person(s) you engage with and how they carry themselves is enormously important: How was their appearance? Would you consider them professionals? Did they respect the workplace? One thing is for certain - if you've had a bad experience, it's easy to point to those people you interacted with during installation that you didn't like! An equally important question is "Do they work safely?" A crew who works with safety in mind is a crew that believes safety is vital to their culture. When a crew arrives, they must first understand the environment they are working in, followed by any potential hazards. This information must be communicated to all, not just the job's foreman. This mentality must start at the top and should be emphasized to all involved parties. 

A common predicament is a crew showing up on a jobsite with no real idea of what they are doing. A common first question to their contact is "OK, what are we doing today?" A proper install starts with a proper work plan. At McGee, our project coordinators work with the salesman ahead of time (and often perform a site visit) to fully understand the goal. A conversation then takes place with the client to be sure everyone is on the same page, then the work and action plan is communicated to the job foreman before stepping on the jobsite. 

It should be noted that even the safety-conscious crew can have an accident. If so, what is the plan of action? First, you need to give attention to those hurt, then be sure to complete proper documentation to avoid the same mistake again. Of equal importance and closely related is insurance. Are the installers properly insured to protect themselves and the work place they are in? McGee invests a great deal of capital to be sure we are properly insured (it is a moral obligation) and we are going to let you know that we are! 

In closing, do not allow "installation" to be a single line item on a quote. There can be greater variation in installation than material when comparing quotes. Ask questions. Ask for references of jobs completed in the last month (anyone can give you references if you leave the time frame open-ended). Be diligent in the one aspect of the job that takes place on your turf and often defines if a project is a success or not. 

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