As a truly independent consultancy, the primary focus is how users interact with and use a system. Only then can technologies can be explored. Technology should never steer the requirements of the client.
With the convergence of AV and IT technologies, engaging with a consultancy that understands these two areas is vital. Harkwood Services builds on over 30 years of experience in IT/AV and building converged solutions before they became available.
Harkwood Services specialises in new build and refurbishment projects, where consultancy services should be on board as early as possible. Modern solutions are constantly evolving and technically complex, often requiring integration with other building services. Designing an AV or IT solution for a project is more cost-effective than treating these as post-completion works. Early engagement ensures design changes do not alter the original clients’ requirements.
Maintaining a focus on the aesthetics of a space is also essential to consider when deploying AV technology. Good coordination with architects and build teams is also crucial to ensuring the result technically and visually meets the requirements of any given project.
As the complexity of systems increases, so does the procurement of these solutions. Tenders and responses can be complex, requiring in-depth understanding to ensure the selected supplier represents the best value. A tender that appears to be very competitive may well not meet the original clients’ intentions, regardless of what the salesperson says.
Many AV system integrators refer approaches for consultancy to independent consultants, especially if they intend to bid for the project. Doing so ensures a level playing field during any tender process and that the client’s needs are always first and foremost in the system specification.
Key areas of expertise are within the following areas
- Audio Visual System and IT Integration, specifically within new build and refurbishment projects
- Understanding and documenting the user requirement
- Creation of Performance Specifications
- Reviews of existing or proposed AV and IT systems
- Tender documentation and assistance with tendering processes
- Monitoring implementations to ensure design & specification compliance
- Network troubleshooting to resolve issues such as poor performance
How independent is independent?
Simply put, the following are the main points.
- We do not accept nor solicit referral fees or commissions from AV equipment manufacturers, System integrators, or well anyone.
- We treat all potential suppliers equally, and no one is excluded as a potential bidder on a project. A supplier who may have performed poorly on a previous project is not discriminated against. Companies learn and change.
- We have no links such as Directors of or are subcontracted to any AV manufacturer, system integrator, or sub-contract installer.
- Various AV-related companies and manufacturers have contracted us for specific work packages, such as low-level technical support, diagnostics, fault-finding, or arbitrating between another consultancy/installer and a client to resolve issues. This will be flagged to you for transparency if you need it.
- When assessing tender responses, there are no strings attached. However, if a potential supplier approaches us with an offer, this will be politely refused and reported to the client.
- We manufacture and sell some AV equipment, details of which are published here. We do not specify our own products in any tender specifications. Nor do we require any potential supplier to purchase or use our products.
- We are technology agnostic. Your requirements determine the technology for a project.
Unfortunately, not all independent consultancies are the same.