How Do I Save Money On My Deployment?

Our experienced project managers are often asked, “How can I save money on my tech deployment?” which is a polite way to ask, “Why is this costing so much?” MTP deploys tens of thousands of sites a year for our clients, and even though we offer a lot of good advice, we see a lot of dollars that could be better spent. 

The top ways to save money on a technology rollout, in no particular order, are: 

  • Get multiple quotes for deployment services. This may sound time-consuming, but each vendor will approach it a little differently. Mix and match, “borrow” ideas. Understand their processes and who they are – then pick the one that best meets your needs and culture. This also keeps a pool of potential vendors at the ready who know what your business is trying to do.
  • Pick a partner, not a vendor. Once you decide on the services company, trust that process. Ask for guidance on how best to execute sourcing materials, procurement, and the schedule. They know the process and likely have been through it way more than you. Listen to your experts.
  • Walk before you run. Proper vetting of the install process/documentation is best served when you get it down before the rollout starts. Do a tech walkthrough call the week before to review the requirements, choreograph the workflow end to end, and then go on-site. Perform the SOW and make notes on what worked and what didn’t. Were the assumptions in the SOW accurate? Costs? Review all elements in lessons learned with all parties: the stakeholders from the business, the on-site team, and operations. Address any issues, update documentation (technical, procurement, contracts), and start the deployments.
  • Get it done the first time. Once the team is on-site, finish the SOW. Avoid revisits—extending the on-site time by a day or so is far less costly than scheduling a return trip. The real savings are in planning well enough to complete the SOW on schedule.
  • Don’t make changes unless they are a show-stopper. You’ve built the SOW, reviewed it with your installation partner, and done a few sites. Unless you encounter a show-stopper, don’t change the meal once it’s on the table. Adding tasks to a SOW isn’t always a cost savings (change orders, retaining the team, explaining the changes to accounting, etc.) Plus, you must return to retrofit the sites completed before the change. 

Aside from cost, there are certain areas where getting value may be worth more than saving a few dollars. A prime example is having a “single throat to choke.” Acting as your own GC and coordinating several trades and suppliers may save money, but few are actually good at it unless it’s their core business. A retail chain or QSR rarely knows all the ins/outs of construction. Hiring professionals who live and breathe it is better, all led by a single vendor who understands your requirements and vision. Less meetings, fewer contracts to sort out, and a single point of contact for all facets of the project. That’s value. 

What’s the best way you know to save money when deploying technology? Or, put another way: what’s the biggest waste of $ in a rollout?