Cabling pros share project pain points

Feb. 1, 2016
DeLorean Motors announced in late January that it plans to build replicas of the DMC-12 that probably is best remembered as the vehicle that was converted to a time machine in the movie "Back to the Future." If the company built actual time machines, it likely would have a decent market to sell into within the cabling industry.

DeLorean Motors announced in late January that it plans to build replicas of the DMC-12 that probably is best remembered as the vehicle that was converted to a time machine in the movie "Back to the Future." If the company built actual time machines, it likely would have a decent market to sell into within the cabling industry. I say that because results of a survey we recently conducted show that one of the biggest pain points among cabling contractors, end users and consultants is that there never seems to be enough time to plan and execute cabling projects the way everyone would like.

We conducted the survey in mid-January and asked respondents specifically about the relative "pain" associated with several aspects of product selection, project operations, and logistics as they relate to cabling installations. The survey results suggest that if that DeLorean time machine could contain a giant bag of money, that would be great, because "working within a realistic budget" was also another top pain point. No great surprise there, I know. Cabling is like life itself: Things would be better if we just had more time and more money.

Beyond those rather predictable results, here are a few of the other highest-pain-inducing elements of cabling projects, according to the survey: obtaining all products needed from a single source; procuring older-generation products to be used with installed-base cabling systems; the bidding process.

When compiling the survey results, we separated data based on whether a respondent identified him/herself as a cabling system designer/installer/integrator, an end user, or a consultant working on behalf of an end user. Going in I wondered if we would find wildly different responses from each of these professional types. We really didn't. There were some slight differences for sure, but on the whole the same handful of topics represented the most significant "pain" across the board.

One objective of obtaining this information is to use it as the basis for a series of articles here in the magazine and on our website, cablinginstall.com. The survey results are fresh as I write this column, and have been compiled but not really analyzed. We'll get into that analysis in the weeks to come. Then in these pages as well as on our web pages, we'll go into greater depth on the industry's headaches and, if we're doing it right, what can be done to ease them.

Thanks to the many of you who completed our survey. Your input, based on your professional experience, is leading us in this effort.

Patrick McLaughlin
Chief Editor
[email protected]

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