The ability to share detailed information about products or concepts is important. This information does not simply mean talking about the unique selling points of the product, it is explaining the ways in which the product can address issues can directly impact the customer. A white paper is a great tool to convey concepts that are important to understanding the solutions offered.
There are times when expressing a concept is just as important as highlighting a product or solution. Ensuring that the proper concepts, vocabulary, and information is known by all parties involved is the first step toward understanding. This step then leads to having thoughtful and productive discussions. While this might seem basic to some, it is often overlooked. Having a working knowledge of the concepts is vital to understanding. With open digital signal processing platforms explaining concepts and capabilities becomes more important. It can be overwhelming to start with a blank design when trying to develop a solution.
This definition process includes defining the building blocks of a solution. Simply saying place in an automixer and then adding ambient noise compensation to its output conveys the idea succinctly to people familiar with the product. Using that same term with someone who does not understand what those two processing concepts are simply results in more confusion and frustration. Stating the concepts in a way that people understand them helps alleviate fear. Omitting features that are not needed for the specific use case being discussed reduces confusion and the chances of someone being overwhelmed.
Whitepapers expand on the idea by providing the information and background needed to understand pertinent concepts. These papers build on basic knowledge to facilitate the understanding of more complex ideas. Writing these papers can seem daunting, but Advisist has years of experience writing them for both marketing purposes as well as general education. Papers can either be attributed to one of the Advisist team members or ghost written for a company, never to be spoken of again.
Given the changes in the world, staffing has become a challenge. Often there is too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. Advisist is ready to lend a hand when needed; whether for two hours or two months. We can serve as a short-term labor enhancement, allowing you to accomplish more in less time.
We are here for you when there is too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. Advisist can serve as a short-term labor enhancement, allowing you to accomplish more in less time without the process of hiring new people for a brief time.
There are often instances where deadlines are looming, and more people are needed to get a task done. These occasions could be caused by the illness of a team member, a change in design, or any number of unforeseen circumstances. A solution to this challenge is the use of staff extension or staff augmentation. Hiring Advisist as a temporary addition to your staff provides the ability to achieve your goals as well as contain operating costs. Your company does not need to go through the time-consuming hiring process or the accounting task of tracking costs of individual independent contractors. Advisist works under your company’s direction, and within your standards and practices by providing our labor and knowledge.
Audio, Video, and Control systems are not completely independent, they need to interact with many things. No only do these systems need to work with the major systems in the building, such as telephone, building management, and Internet. The systems must interact and work within the facility itself. The impacts to the building can range from the basic of needing an outlet put in for a video display to needing additional footings to hold the weight of a large video wall.
The Advisist team offers review services to not only check the common items of AV systems but can expand into the Architectural and Engineering Program. Their experience with bringing concepts to life provides an invaluable level of reference when examining the facility, the needs of the AV System, and how the two interact. The evaluations are not simply will this device fit here, there are the other items to be considered such as how much cooling is needed or the amount of power required.
Creating content for the Pro A/V industry goes well beyond writing advertorials. The Advisist Group offers various writing services and has years of experience writing multiple pieces in multiple styles. The team has written press releases, thought or opinion articles, analysis pieces, white papers, product reviews, application notes, operations manuals, news content and much more. These services are detailed under their own website pages.
We can tailor content towards any persona, vertical, or category of readers. It’s always a best practice to have another set of eyes review operations procedures being prepared for an end user to find items that the original writers may have assumed or overlooked in the process. Having both technical and editorial writers in the group provides a unique perspective when reviewing and writing the content. It can be evaluated for the audience, checked for accuracy and for style by our experts.
We understand that content also needs to be visual as well sometimes, and our team can produce content for multiple formats with the same information for consistency. This type of content can be powerful and can illustrate concepts without many words which can be confusing. Creating a video version that shows the process can often aid in the process. The content professionals at Advisist understands content parameters and can assure that your messaging is clear and concise. Below are some examples of content pieces we’ve written.
Making sure a project meets or exceeds the scope of work and performance specifications is a critical point in a project. Acceptance testing provides an empirical verification that a system is performing properly, typically it also includes the testing of communication and interaction with other systems. It is an important benchmark for all parties collaborating on the project including the integrator, consultants, end-user and occasionally manufacturers.
The process of an acceptance test applies to many project stages. The testing can be done as part of the fabrication stage to verify proper performance and functionality before the project is delivered to the site. Verifying that the products are connected, and function properly goes beyond just turning on a signal and seeing if it is output by the amplifier. The process needs to verify that the configuration of the system is as expected. If there is a paging portion of the system, the ability for the page to be properly routed and made is important. Checking that digital signal processing outputs are routed to the correct amplifier channels is important to prevent damaging loudspeakers. Doing this testing before the system equipment arrives on the job site often saves both cost and time.
When there are defined performance requirements such as achieving a specific sound pressure level or frequency range at a listener’s position, verification requires proper tools, instrumentation, and processes. Verification goes beyond just audio performance, it includes such things as verifying video output color, brightness, and cabling performance. The performance specifications may also contain specifications about how the system should interact and react with various controllers. These interactions can range from playing prerecorded messages to being properly synchronized with the video content in the space.
Acceptance testing also includes things beyond performance and operation, acceptance testing also needs to include functional and fabrication acceptance. This type of testing is different than performance verification. It typically happens at the end of fabrication or installation. We have found through our experience, that waiting until these milestones occur can be risky. If the same mistake has been made multiple times in a large system, it takes much longer to fix than a small mistake being made once in an evaluation system. This process often includes things like stress testing, and confirmation that the system is built and installed correctly, as well as verification that the control interfaces are functioning properly. It also includes physical items, such as are cables labeled properly, is the equipment installed correctly, and is the documentation correct.
Advisist provides a fresh set of eyes as an independent party for these types of services. For the integrator it allows a third party to review the system before the client does, providing time to make any necessary adjustments. For the end user it allows for someone with more experience in the AV field to impartially evaluate the system. For manufacturers, it allows for a party to verify that the equipment is being used properly as well as properly integrated into the system.
It is one thing to say “if you build it, they will come,” and it’s another to know if it will function correctly once built. You start with a clean sheet of paper and an open mind to all the possibilities. With conceptual designs it’s not about mapping out how a project is going to get accomplished, but rather if it can be accomplished. It is not important to define the technology at the start of a project. Defining the goal of the project is important in the conceptual design process. This process includes defining what the guests or end users will experience, and then defining the story. After that, we can begin thinking of the technology that can support the projects objectives.
During the conceptual designing phase, not every item will be defined, it is the intent to outline the approach, tools, and methods that would allow the project to achieve its objectives. For instance, while looking at concepts, it is not important to know if a video server is from Brand A or Brand B; it is important to know that the video server can perform then needed tasks to meet the objectives.
Advisist can help determine if a concept is valid, and that the equipment specified can function as needed to support the systems objectives.
Reviewing projects is more than checking drawings or doing a cost evaluation. There are a great number of additional things to consider.
- Will all of the items fit in the space allotted?
- Will there be sufficient access to service the equipment?
- Is the building’s systems able to support the system as designed?
- Does the documentation meet the scope of work?
Advisist can conduct a peer review of designs to assess your work before being submitted to spot small problems before they become bigger issues. For end users and technical managers, it allows some one else to be the “bad guy” while reviewing drawings and submittals. For other parties it allows for putting your best foot forward. This type of peer review can alleviate some of the political challenges projects sometimes face. Often reviews help improve performance and verify that standards have been met, and that the quality of work is aligned with the client’s expectations. Think of it as having the project work graded before submitting it to the “teacher” so that one has the chance to correct errors. Peer reviews can be used for design submittals, fabrication, installation, and for commissioning anything that a neutral set of eyes should be looking over.
The Advisist team has helped many companies over the years hone their skills with respect to following different standards and practices to meet the client’s needs. Ultimately the same approach is taken for each design review. By asking the following, questions with a fresh perspective Advisist can conduct a thorough to mitigate project challenges:
- What is the expectation?
- Is there a checklist for guidance?
- Are there any standards to be enforced?
Budgets are quite often a limiting constraint for a project. This constraint can start during the “Blue Sky” or “Green Field” design phases. Being able to properly estimate and budget the project largely impacts its success. Some of the challenges come from not understanding what technology already exists that can be leveraged versus developing new solutions at a higher cost. Quite often the costs of audio, video, and control systems are improperly calculated during estimating for a large construction project. Many professional estimating companies do not have the proper tools to estimate what it actually costs to install an AV system. For many special venues these estimates often overlook the cost of creating content for the project. this situation results in either an over inflated price, or an unrealistic low price. Budget reviews are important for all project partners.
Providing realistic budgetary numbers throughout all phases of the project helps project partners stay on target to achieve goals. Budgetary goals vary for each project, client, and business plan. For some projects the key metric of success is the capital expenditure (Capex), for others it is meeting the future Operating Expenses (Opex). A key item to monitor is the budget allocation, or what costs are carried by which project partners. For instance, the cost of conduit and wire could be carried by the general contractor, the electrical contractor, the low voltage contractor, the structured cable contractor, or the integration firm. Each of these approaches has different cost impacts and project impacts. The key item though is to verify that the cost is not being captured multiple times resulting in an inflated cost. Let the professionals at Advisist conduct budgetary reviews to define and understand all of the budgetary requirements and impacts.
A challenge many manufacturers or distributors face is telling customers about their products beyond the specification or cut sheet. One-way manufacturers can tackle this problem is with a compelling advertorial written for industry publications or catalogs. One often gains more product understanding from an advertorial as it provides elements far beyond spec or cut sheet descriptions.
As products come to market with unique sales propositions (USPs), tailoring the message of the USP can become quite a challenge. It’s often not black and white to customers as to the solutions the product or service provides. An advertorial offers a lengthier message and positioning statement to highlight these solutions, takes a deeper look into a products characteristics, and offers a deeper knowledge.
Advisist is skilled at outlining a system or customer challenge and how specific hardware or software products from a manufacturer can solve the problem. We outline use cases and applications where products excel, making the customer’s life easier.
The goal of the advertoial needs to be defined upfront in order to outline the targeted audience reaction. The goal could be a call to action asking a potential customer to provide contact information to download additional information, submit a contact request form, or put them in touch with a dealer in their area. Whatever the goal, Advisist can create an advertorial that helps convert leads, build brand awareness, and promote products for your company. The examples below show advertorials written when Bradford, our founder, was working for Harman Professional.
Note: Bradford was employed by a company with strict non-disclosure rules from March 2018 through November 2020. He reduced his writing for that period of time at their request.
The AV Industry is a melding of art, science, and business. It is not always obvious how these elements work together. There is an industry saying, “if you have a discussion with three technical people, you will end up with five answers or opinions.” Some of these opinions are based on experience, some are personal feelings, and some are just instinct. In creating commentary Advisist can distill these complex ideas down to manageable thoughts. The creation of a coherent comparison of contrasting ideas is an effective way to provide insight.
Commentaries are often pieces written to allow the reader to form their own opinions. These documents can also be crafted to express the preferred opinion or the writer’s opinion as well. The process is not just sitting down and having a stream of thought, the Advisist team works together to provide a compelling story while also crafting a reasonable conclusion or opinion. Below are some examples of commentaries written by Bradford Benn for AVNation. Contact us if you’d like to create content for you.