Consult Smart. Build Smart. (5 Reasons to Add a Specialized Consultant to the Team)

We’ve all had that client.

 

The one who has pages of dreams and requests but doesn’t really understand what it takes to make them happen. To bring them to life. They want a building that’s smart, that’s collaborative and tech-savvy, yet don’t believe they need to invest in the expertise and behind-the-scenes work to ensure it happens. And happens properly.

 

Without direction from a technical expert, this client and the project team may suffer through months of headaches and construction disagreements; costly change orders, and maybe even the lack of realized potential. It’s frustrating for everyone involved, and as the Prime Consultant, you’re left holding the bag of the client’s unhappiness.

 

Bringing in a technical expert like Attain who intimately knows the tech and industry can ensure not only the client realizes their dreams, but that it’s done in the most cost-effective way possible while maintaining your design intent. There are no competing visions – only synergy with yours to create the best space possible for the users. A technical expert also provides you, as the Prime Consultant, with another fully integrated professional to stand alongside you in helping guide the client to success.

 

Having worked for over a decade as an Interior Designer before switching to technical consultancy, I know firsthand how important engaging trusted industry experts like Attain, is in helping to bring a client’s dreams to reality. By not creating in a silo, buildings and projects become more cost-efficient, intelligent, and cohesive in their systems integration. Client’s needs are more fully realized, and in turn, they’re more likely to retain that team for future projects and builds. Having an expert on your team versed in the various building systems and the ever-changing landscape of technology allows you to focus and deliver on what you do best without having to wear multiple hats and be spread thin. The benefit of the specialist’s objectivity and ability to bridge knowledge gaps while ensuring costs are at the forefront helps further promote success from the point of engagement onward. Not just in construction, but for the future maintenance of the building.

 

At Attain, our number one goal is to ensure the success of the overall team. We work to achieve the client’s optimal user experience and vision by providing you with our technical support and thought leadership from the beginning. We help reduce or even avoid pain points such as change orders and value engineering by our diligence in ensuring the project is scoped properly, with tech intersecting the design and construction from the beginning to ensure it’s built properly.

 

Five ways we can make your projects — and your client’s lives — more successful are through cost awareness and impact, timing, customization, objectivity, and thought leadership.

 

 

1. COST AWARENESS AND IMPACT

 

The first thing that springs to mind whenever anyone talks shop is price.

 

  • How much does something cost?
  • Will I see a return on investment?
  • How do I explain adding another line item to the client?

 

These thoughts are great jumping-off points when discussing bringing on additional brainpower to a project, but don’t fully encompass the whole picture. Clients are hesitant to spend money, especially when it’s something they may not consider a vital part of the end user. Who cares how the cable is run or what type it is, as long as the TV works!

 

‘Out of sight, out of mind’ concepts like how the AV, Telecom, or Security systems will work are typically left to the end of a project to work through logistics. They’re an afterthought if they are considered at all. Yet it’s those items — the behind-the-scenes components — that will make or break a successful user outcome. They also end up adding money to the overall budget. This is especially true if these systems were not properly designed or fully anticipated in the planning stages.

 

Technology is an ever-changing landscape. Even the most tech-savvy clients will struggle to understand the complexities and nuances of how to properly incorporate these systems into their build without sacrificing design or breaking their bank account. The framework hidden behind your beautiful walls, ceilings, and floors can make or break a good design and carefully balanced budget if it’s not planned for in advance.

 

This is why engaging a technical expert like Attain is key to achieving a happy client and ensuring your design vision is brought to life in full. We work as partners with you to ensure a cost-effective, sophisticated, and fully integrated build that doesn’t challenge your creative vision but ensures it works to its fullest potential.

 

 

2. TIMING

 

The best time to bring in a technical expert is at the beginning of the project. Doing so then allows us to help your client to not only understand the potential widespread cost and design implications the different building systems and technologies carry (especially when looking at creating a smart building design), but also allows for seamless integration into your designs, schedules, and budgets.

 

Integrating Attain into the project team at the beginning allows us to ask the questions needed to ensure nothing is left off the table or unexplored until the end when the client suddenly realizes they want it. It’s never fun having to go back to the drawing board and change a design to accommodate last-minute additions from the client because of technology that wasn’t properly understood or explored in full. Little changes can have major impacts, and we do everything we can to work toward a fluid and streamlined project experience. Engagement from the beginning allows for that to happen.

 

Attain’swisdom and expertise will ensure your clients spend money smartly while continuing to save them money in the short run, the long run, and in the future through an intelligent and thorough design. We know the industry, we know the tech, and we work diligently to ensure each building is designed with the client’s best interest at the forefront.

 

 

3. CUSTOMIZATION

 

Every building and space is as unique as the client who requested it, the Architect or Interior Designer who envisioned and designed it, and the users who occupy it. Behind the tangible, behind the polished walls and tile floors, the technology capabilities and integrations are similarly unique. Unless the design calls for showcasing this, however, these systems are kept hidden from the end user’s eyes. Out of sight, out of mind, that’s the beauty and curse of technology. Their success, and the success of the building, is in how seamlessly integrated and streamlined they are while supporting the functions of the entire user base.

 

Users only take notice if there’s a problem, such as if the Wi-Fi goes down, the elevator card readers don’t work, or there’s a poor connection in a zoom meeting. They notice when the technology they rely upon fails to deliver. The connectivity of the AV system, the protection coverage of the Security system, or the hub capabilities of the IT backbone aren’t appreciated until the end-user is inconvenienced. If a technology system was designed based on previous experience or ‘similar client, similar build’ without taking into consideration that space’s unique needs or conditions, the ‘simple’ technology integration can become a complex problem.

 

 

4. OBJECTIVITY

 

With Attain, each client, building and space, is analyzed and designed for their own needs and conditions. We ensure risk management is undertaken and that any potential issues are flagged from the beginning. Our goal is to ensure successful project completion for all involved, from start to finish. Projects are scaled up or down based on scope and client requirements, respecting business commitments and other design impacts, such as environmental design and legacy systems. Each approach is unique and yet that is why using us saves time, money, and headaches. We at Attain know how to navigate these waters and ensure the build and technology is designed the right way, the first time around through objective analysis.

 

 

5. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

 

Clients know what they want, how they want it, and when. They hire you — Architects, and Interior Designers — to build it. This is an awesome yet heavy responsibility!

 

As buildings become smarter, end-users become more sophisticated in their demands of space, and you as the Prime consultant get to push the design envelope more and more, it’s vital that project teams don’t create in a silo. When that happens, everyone suffers, especially the clients. Having someone in your corner like Attain helps elevate a project to the next level. We are the tech niche experts. You tell us what you want — what the client wants — we will show you how that’s achievable and how it makes sense in the budget.  If, for whatever reason, it’s not feasible or advisable, we transparently discuss why and work with you to come up with an appropriate solution based on the client’s budget and your vision and scope.

 

We love bridging knowledge gaps. Through strategic counsel, we ensure our scope matches yours through open communication and technology translation for full transparency and understanding. Helping clients and other professionals understand concepts like these and how to successfully navigate implementing them into projects are just the tip of the iceberg:

 

  • what’s the difference between an electric latch or an electric strike?
  • what it means to be a smart building and how doing that properly can save a client money.
  • How an intelligent and collaborative conferencing and AV setup can enhance user experience and marketability with remote work and teleconferencing such a prevalent business driver in today’s market (and how this is run throughout the building without sacrificing functionality or design).

 

We at Attain thrive in helping bridge the gap between traditional practices and forward-thinking designs and experiences. We know the tech, we know the best methods of approach and futureproofing, and with us beside you, everyone wins.

 

 

GIVE US A CALL!

 

At Attain, we partner with you to ensure the best experience for every client. By tailoring our approach and objectively recommending products, systems, and integrations to support each client’s needs while realizing your designs to their fullest intent, we work to avoid unwanted surprises, support the design team and the clients as they increase their revenue stream. We take an agnostic approach to technology that allows objectivity and clear separation of design and intent to ensure that whatever the client or you want, we work hard to make happen.

 

We can’t want to chat with you about your next building and look forward to working with you on making your dreams – and your clients – a reality!

 

Garrity Beales
, Security Project Coordinator & Technical Designer
As unique as her name, Garrity is a multifaceted professional who has worn many hats: designer, technologist, writer, healthcare advocate. Combining humor, pragmatism, experience, and compassion—with a dash of sass—she creates a supportive growth environment to help others achieve success; you’ll want her on your team!

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