Do you regularly or have you ever spent countless hours creating full or project documentation/ engineering drawings to help you win a project proposal (without an upfront design fee)? Can we agree that this is a very expensive ‘proposal’ package for you to create? How many times have you been burned after this degree of work has been completed prior to receiving a contract or design fee?
- “I thought it was a sure thing”
- “He told me he wasn’t getting bids from anyone else”
- “Got low-balled by a trunk slammer stopping by the job site”
We recommend using a sample documentation package in order to sell your capabilities to your clients rather than creating project specific documentation to go along with their proposal. This sample package gives you an opportunity to describe the various engineering steps your company takes when contracted for a project to ensure its success. At minimum, your sample documentation package should include the following:
- Cover Page with all your contact information and logo
- Symbol Legend
- Pre-wire Pull documentation
- Floorplan device layouts
- Equipment Rack Elevations
- Point-to-Point Schematics
- Sample of a detailed proposal specification (without any pricing)
You can include many other types of documentation and/or information to help qualify your company, but make sure you’re ready to deliver when you sell the job!
If you’re looking to spice up the proposal package a bit, try creating some simple ‘proposal specific documentation’ rather than comprehensive, project specific engineering. A couple types we’ve created for our integrator clients include:
- Pictorial Line Diagrams showing simple signal flow of a system using product images – this can help someone visualize their systems but doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time (you should be able to create re-usable templates as well)
- Floorplan Concept: Take a floorplan and place small images or icons on it to demonstrate where various systems could go – use this as a tool to walk the client through their options and help them visualize owning the system.
Ultimately, you should be striving to use your sample documentation to help you secure a design fee in order to properly design a system to meet your customer’s budget by demonstrating your capabilities and showing the prospect what they can expect to receive in return for their design investment. I understand that not everyone is ready to collect design fees; using a sample documentation package can at least help you to move in the right direction!
By Ryan Brown
About Media Environment Design (MED)
Media Environment Design, Inc. (MED), founded in 1999 and based in San Diego, CA, provides a wide range of services to dealers in the systems integration industry. Founded by industry veteran Sam Cavitt, MED has provided design and engineering services to integrators worldwide. As the founding certified partner and D-Tools consultant, MED has trained and implemented over six hundred integration companies on D-Tools software. This experience provides MED with a diverse insight into the integration business process. Our services are designed to help integrators elevate their businesses and to help them become more efficient, effective and profitable. It is our mission to make your business better. For more information, contact MED at (760) 434-9040, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit MED online at www.medesign.tv