Installation Pitfalls: Great Account? Prepare for the Worst!

May 15, 2018

Congratulations! You have landed a huge micro market account. Now comes the shocking details of what is going to be required to complete the installation.

  • Can you imagine these requirements?
  • Installation must be on a Saturday morning.
  • Installation can take no longer than four hours.
  • All installers must undergo background checks and safety training.
  • The equipment (10 – 20 coolers and racks) must be hand carted about ½ mile to the location.
  • All non-management labor must be union.
  • The existing micro market must remain open throughout the installation.
  • Sixteen employees are required to complete the job.

This really happened at a recent location. Fixturelite, a leading supplier of micro market retail displays, seating and design features, was there to support their client with an eight-person team.

“It was certainly the most challenging installation we have ever been involved with,” said Troy Geis, Fixturelite CEO. “There were plenty of lessons learned that apply to every installation.”

Geis is a firm believer of preparing for installation challenges and offers the following advice:

  1. You cannot do enough planning for an installation.
  2. Interview the location contact and get a clear understanding of their expectations pertaining to the installation.
  3. E-mail all parties involved giving a comprehensive summary of your installation plan, your understanding of the client’s expectations and any concerns that you have, such as time limitations.
  4. Do not overlook rules pertaining to floor surfaces, freight elevator access, loading dock access and height limitations.
  5. Have a contingency plan. If we can’t finish today, then what?
  6. Make absolutely sure that your client has authority over what happens in their building. Management companies – often the real authority in the building – can come out of nowhere to ruin your best plans. If there is a management company – talk to them.

“Sometimes you must accommodate the client’s installation requirements, without waiver,” said Geis. “In those cases, preparation and realistic allocation of resources are critical.”

Is it worth jumping through those type of hoops for a fussy client?

“For an account that generates high six figures or even seven figures in sales – you bet it is,” Geis said. “That is why Fixturelite is ready to support our clients on challenging, high volume installations.”