Low Volt consultant business development

bccarlso

Member
Location
WA State
Occupation
Technology Design Engineer
Hi all,

I know I'm speaking to a lot of contractors here, but hopefully there are some consultants as well. =) I work at an MEP firm in the low voltage department (security, A/V, data networks, etc.) and am starting to brainstorm ways to bring more LV design jobs into the company. However, I admit that most of our design is competitively beat out by design-build installers for those systems. And I don't think the installers would want to team up with us for design since they can design themselves.

Has anyone done low volt consulting design and not been an installer. Or does anyone have any tips or types of work that I might be able to look into winning, where we will not be doing the install? I follow a few sources for public sector RFPs/procurement, but am curious what else is out there.

Thanks!
 

cadpoint

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Maybe you should be watching your local Permit work of the county or Submittals to Regional building inspection departments.
Going after those types of actions may be the key.
The problem I see is the static nature of being in a "For Hire" position with-in a design firm, this would be a marketing move
that most companies don't entertain. Another is your dealing in a world of Bid work based on submittals where
(security, A/V, data networks, etc.) is a mostly a secondary bulk package bid and most EC's have that quy/Co to go to,
A local Architect has carved out a business helping consult for design build clients.
Our State has some sudo stout construction laws when it comes to play when "drawings" and submittals are presented.
It's defined by the Dollar valve when one is practicing architecture or engineering, there is even a dollar value of when you need
a contractors license!

You've got your work cut out you! Good Luck!
 

John Adams

Member
Location
Lady Lake FL
I've been in the low voltage world (communications) for 58 years now and I'm still teaching that subject worldwide. I can't speak for all commercial businesses, but I can surely speak for Government work. A KEY to getting design work for them is the Bicsi RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) designation. Being a RCDD is a mandatory requirement of the Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) document entitled UFC 3-580-01. (page 4). Extensive training and studying is reality in the pursuit of that as well. And let me finish by making this statement that some of the readers of this review will not like. In my career, I have never seen one installation project done correctly in total compliance with contractual specifications, codes, or standards. Problem is, we engineers/designers are not keeping up with changes and we're certainly not relaying all our knowledge down to the installers. JUST MY OPINION THOUGH and we all have one
Please remember 'we're all entitled to our own opinion but we're not entitled to our own facts"
 

bccarlso

Member
Location
WA State
Occupation
Technology Design Engineer
Thanks cadpoint, I am somewhat familiar with our local permitting sites, but I have not gone out of my way to monitor them looking for work, that may be a good pursuit.

John Adams, we do have one RCDD on staff and we do quite a bit of UFC work. I have considered studying for it, but would be lying if I wasn't a bit intimidated at the time it would require! Would be worth it for me professionally, though, I know. Do you do much non-government commercial work?
 
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