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Armored Electric works hard to provide the most value for the service it

performs but that does not mean we have the lowest price.  It is impossible

to provide the best service always at the lowest price.  This is especially

true in a market that tries to make contractors cut corners in order to have

the lowest price so they can get work.  This “low bid” pricing is usually

taken as the best solution or deal without some considering performance or

workmanship and other factors.  Some contractors have a reputation for not

caring about workmanship or the longevity of their installations.  Many

times this issue goes unnoticed until the job is complete.  Other companies

cannot be found once the job is done or may ignore defects altogether after

a job is complete.  Some may not provide the same level of professional

service or number of services that a high quality company may provide. 

These are factors which must be considered when shopping for the best price. 

Lowest Price usually equals Lowest Service:  When hiring an installer or service contractor many assume you should find the lowest hourly rate or shop for the lowest price for a project in order to receive the best value for your money.  Although this has been the contracting norm for years it has also produced many shortcuts and hidden defects in completed projects.  It has also given contractors in general a bad reputation.  Contractors that always have to have the lowest price in order to get a job are at some point going to take shortcuts in order to make up for their lack of funds to complete projects properly.  While it is assumed the lowest price for a project or the lowest hourly rate gives a customer the best value (because simple math tells us $45 an hour is less than $65 an hour) it is actually very far from being true when it comes to actual “SERVICE VALUE”.  Choosing the lower priced service provider without researching the QUANTITY and QUALITY of the services provided by each contractor is almost certain to produce a lower quality installation.    Service Value vs Product Value: Service pricing is not the same as product pricing.  The pricing of labor and the pricing of products are very different.  When buying a product by itself it is very easy to compare pricing because typically the products are equal in type and value (if the same brand and quality) and so they are easily compared and priced.  With service pricing it is not so easily done and it takes more time to analyze what level of service you are going to receive.  MOST CUSTOMERS DO NOT TAKE THE TIME TO DO THIS AND END UP FINDING IT OUT THE HARD WAY IN THE END.  How do you protect yourself from this mistake?  By doing some additional research on who you plan to hire.   At the same time we say the lowest price does not usually produce the best value we must also say that the highest price charged or the higher contract amount paid may also not provide you with the best level of service either.  This is why you need to do some research to compare what your needs are and what you will be receiving for the amount you will be paying.  You must research a service provider and know the level of service and their history and reputation if at all possible.    QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF SERVICES RENDERED   When doing your research it is best to ask yourself some additional questions:  What are they capable of doing?  What is their level of expertise?  Can they do the project without you having to watch them all the time?  Are they trustworthy?  Have they done this before?  Will they return if there are problems or issues or additional items to be done?  10 Basic Questions to ask yourself when selecting a service provider (not in order of importance) 1) Do they have a commercial facility/building to where you can go to and pick up supplies or lodge a complaint if you have one? 2) Will they take care of you day and night, rain or shine?  3) Do they have office support that can coordinate jobs and provide you additional assistance when needed?  4) Do they have multiple areas of expertise and/or provide more than one service in case your job blends over into other technologies?  5) What level of expertise do the technicians have and what level of maturity and cleanliness do they operate at? (Will you have to watch them?) 6) Do they have more than one technician to support you in the event of the owner or a technician is absent?    7) Do they operate out of dedicated service trucks?  (Professionally labeled and stocked)  8) Do you like something else about them besides their personality or low price?  (Something of substance).    9) Do they have good Insurance?  Bonding is basic but Workman’s compensation & Liability Insurance is just as important.    10) Are they trustworthy?  Do you know anything about them or know their reputation? Commercial Facility - A company that has a building or facility that you can go to is more than likely going to be more dedicated and professional than a company that operates out of the back of a truck, a shed , storage facility or a house.  A dedicated building shows the company has a vested interest in what they do and are committed to the community they work in.  It is a bad idea to hire companies that operate out of the back of a truck, shed or house unless the character of the owner is well known.  We know of multiple clients that have been taken advantage of by cheaper contractors operating out of the back of their trucks who were able to quickly skip town when the jobs they were on went bad.  It was very easy for them to skip town or hide from their clients because they were nothing but a mobile company that quickly vaporized.  Some of these clients did multi-million dollar jobs with contractors like this and they all went bad.  A company that has a dedicated facility for their business operations has something invested in the community and are not going to vaporize fast.  If you have a problem you are able to go straight to their location and look them in the eye and discuss any problem you might have.  A company that has a building is going to have more overhead and may cost you more but that overhead should translate into more value and better services toward you as a customer.   After Hours & Stocking Supplies  -  A company that stocks supplies will have supplies ready and waiting for after hour emergencies when you need them.  They will also be better able to control the cost of their inventory by buying when the price is right and not with heavy market fluctuations or at local mark up.  They may be able to buy from direct sources rather than local markets and should give you even greater value or lower pricing on the products being sold.  A company that stocks supplies may also have more overhead but that overhead should provide you additional services that are worth the expense or hiring them.  This should translate into better value. Office Support - We don’t think enough can be said about companies that have good office personnel coordinating jobs.  Without office support a company or contractor will simply have to much to deal with and this will cut into time working on jobs and lower their productivity.  Office support is like oil to a mechanical machine.  You may think you can skimp on it but ultimately something is going to grind or scrape without it.  You may get away with it for a while but some job somewhere is going to end up paying for it.  Office coordination also keeps field technicians busy doing their jobs instead of dealing with other issues or ordering small parts and/or locating supplies and special order items.  Simply put, having office coordination allows technicians to keep working without being interrupted and that should translate into higher productivity and more value.  Again, office support may cost a little more but this should also translate into better customer service toward you the customer and at the same time produce more productivity with the technicians in the field.    Able to Provide More Than Basic Electrical Services - A contractor or service provider that can only do one thing can be good at what they do and even specialize (especially in larger cities this works) but they also may add costs to a job by having to hire other contractors to work around their area of expertise.  A multipurpose contractor who can do multiple things can save large amounts of money.  On many jobs we have been able to save customers from having to hire a tel-com contractor and an electrician.  Regarding industrial areas we have done the same with SCADA or instrumentation mixed with electrical.  Since we are able to provide multiple services this translates into better value on complex jobs.    Level of Expertise - The level of expertise of any company ought to be one of the main deciding factors in selecting a service professional.  A technician or company that can only perform basic services is not going to be worth the same as a company that can troubleshoot problems, work on controls, provide the latest technology or give valuable past experience to the current job.  Since a higher level expertise or experienced technician is going to cost the company more to employ you must also realize that their hourly rate is also going to be higher.   An expert in the trade can save you time and money with their experience and knowledge over the long haul but in the mean time you might assume they are more expensive if you didn’t know better.  In some cases we have seen experienced technicians cut project completion time in less than half.  A more experienced or higher trained technician is going to cost more to put out in the field but in the long run this should translate into better service and even savings. Multiple Technicians - Many of our clients that we have came through providing services after hours.  We are able to do this because of the multiple technicians that we have on call.  This enables us to service our customers all the time.  When the owner of a lower cost one man shop is on vacation who is taking care of his clients?  What about if the owner gets sick or has a hospital visit who will take care then?  Having more than one technician greatly increases the dependability of services rendered and it provides consistent service without delays or undue hardship on your business.  Having multiple technicians and providing services after hours will cost more but should result in better customer service for you and this is especially true during emergencies.   Dedicated Trucks - Dedicated service vehicles are usually stocked with more supplies and tools than personal vehicles are.  We have seen contractors operating out of passenger vans or other surplus vehicles.  While this may seem cheaper the time taken to complete the job or project is usually more because of the lack of supplies or quality tools.  Some people think it does not matter what vehicle a service provider drives but after years in the trade we can state that a company that provides dedicated vehicles to their employees will provide better services. A worker having more supplies on hand and having better tools is going to get more done in less time.  Dedicated vehicles require more overhead cost but this should translate into better services toward customers by increasing productivity in the field.    Can you find something good besides the low price or energetic personality?  - Over the years we have serviced many clients who had been taken advantage of by contractors who promised the lowest price only to find they the opposite was true by the time the project was over.  There have been contractors who had a reputation of being “Change Order Kings” and had a knack for adding costs to jobs in order to make up for their supposed lowest price.  Some contractors that are like this tend to bid jobs at cost knowing they can charge high amounts for change orders or other additions a client makes.  Over the years we have found clients who where duped by contractors who had great personalities and talked their customer into doing something they knew they should not do (Giving large amount of money upfront or paying before a job was complete).  When researching a service provider see if there is anything you like about them rather than just an upbeat personality or their lowest price.  This does not mean you cannot hire the nicest or coolest contractor in town or the one that has the lowest price but rather it is to make sure that is not the only basis on which you decide to hire a service provider.    Insurance / Bonding -  Bonding is not enough on its own.  Research the insurance of the provider you are planning on hiring and not only check the value of that insurance but be sure and check that they have WORKMAN’S COMPENSATION.  We know of a very large flower business that built itself up to 5 locations only to hire a service provider who did not have workman’s compensation.  A worker fell off a roof and the company that hired them was sued and lost all of their locations except one.  All their hard work over the years of expansion were lost because of something that was not even their fault other than they were thinking they were getting something done cheaper than hiring the right service professional with proper insurance.   We have known many contractors to lie and skimp on work mans compensation and/or insurance - it doesn’t pay.  Do the research; any viable contractor will gladly produce their insurance for you.  Once again a contractor or service provider that has insurance and pays all the proper fees and taxes is going to cost more than one who does not.  Reputation & History - While its true new companies can be just as good as older companies it must be mentioned that older companies typically provide a level of safety and experience that should provide more value to a particular job or task.  Knowledge is not just power its value.  A company that has been around longer will more than likely know better how to complete a particular task and have the equipment to do so.  A company that has done something before will probably be better at it and get it done in less time than one who hasn’t.  At the same time a new company can provide innovation that an older company may have left off so if you choose a newer company we recommend you watch them closely.  An older company is typically here to stay so that should provide a higher level of security.  If you want to give a new contractor a shot at something then be sure and watch them closely, if security and dependability is your aim then go for the contractor that has been around a while.    
Providing Professional Electrical, Tel-Com, Video, Instrumentation, Automation & SCADA Services
Physical Address: 3640 West Hwy 66, Gallup, NM 87301
Mailing Address: PO Box 2933, Gallup, NM 87305
(505)722-4747 
ARMORED ELECTRIC

SERVICE VALUE vs COST

Value