It’s complicated. Low-voltage cabling (also called structured wiring) controls the telephone, WI-FI, HD video and audio, computer network, fire, security, customer interface, and more — with new systems added every day. In some cases, the cabling infrastructure will have to be configured to accommodate varying capacities across multiple facilities in multiple states.
Those bundles of wires and conduits running behind walls, over ceilings, and into the server room keep your business running. So when it comes to the low-voltage cabling installation that determines the security, reliability, and speed of your operations, don’t cut corners.
“The most expensive cable that can be installed is the one that did not get installed in the first place.” - CEDIA
Ask these questions when choosing your low-voltage cable installer to make sure your system runs properly, efficiently and with minimum downtime.
1. “Are you listening to me?”
Your cabling installation company should gather as much information about your company as possible, asking questions about your company’s operations, locations, growth plans, and service needs. Make sure they understand your business and the scope of the project, and have the resources needed to complete the project. Agree upon a plan with a well-defined scope, budget, and timeframe.
2. “What have you done for other companies?”
Ask for references. A reputable low-voltage cabling installer should readily supply the names of their clients and brief case studies. Look for companies with needs similar to yours and follow up with those references to find out the level of satisfaction both at the time of the installation and in follow-up service.
3. “Are your installers well-trained?”
Low-voltage cabling installation is so much more than “running wire.” It is IT knowledge, business sense, a constant effort to keep abreast of cabling and equipment changes, AND a deep, professional understanding of the cabling your company needs for secure communication and data transmittal and storage. The industry and its equipment rapidly evolve.
“Improperly installed cabling can cripple network performance, create maintenance headaches, and lead to hidden costs.” - Tech Republic
An expert cabling installer should be able to handle telephone and ethernet wiring inside your buildings; conduit and fiber optic cabling as extended DMARC and MDF to IDF infrastructure; and all the structured cabling to and from the racks as well as on the racks in the server room.
They should be qualified to handle:
- Office network cabling
- Computer network cabling
- VoIP cabling
- Business ethernet cabling
- Cat5e cabling/wiring
- Cat6 cabling/wiring
- Voice and data cabling/ wiring
- Abandoned cable removal (clean up)
- IDF clean up
- MDF clean up
- Lan cabling | wiring
- Office building wiring
- Telephone room cabling/wiring
When your operations cover multiple locations, a cabling installer who knows installation codes in the local areas is more than just a good idea — it is a must.
4. “What service can I expect after the installation is complete?”
Make sure your low-voltage cabling installers offer on-site support whenever and wherever you need it. After the initial installation, if relocation, repairs, upgrades and/or hardware changes are needed, working with that same cabling installer can make a stressful situation much easier and faster because of their inside knowledge of your system.
Satisfaction in the operation of your equipment and system AFTER the installation is vital. Ask your installer if the company stands behind their work after the cabling is installed.
5. “Who will be my contact?”
Because low-voltage cabling is such a vital part of the overall effectiveness of your data transmission – and your business, consider an expert project manager to help you define your needs and the scope of your project, create a project plan, serve multiple locations, budget, deploy resources, and provide status reports to ensure your project is completed to your satisfaction and within the service-level agreements defined in your contract.
6. “What about my future needs?”
The global structured cabling market is projected to reach a size of $17,181.2 million by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 10% from 2016 to 2022. “The pervasiveness of ecommerce, large warehouses and logistics, hypermarkets, and other optical communications products can trigger the growth of the structured cabling market by 2022.” - Market Research Future
Change comes fast. Your low-voltage cabling system should be expandable — but not installed with unneeded parts and services. Make sure installers use standardized parts that are readily available and ask how your installation can adapt in the future as your needs change.
With so much at stake in the security and operation of your networks, trust your low-voltage cabling to experts! See how BLM Technologies can use its FlexForce capabilities to keep your network running smoothly from start to finish.