How to choose your next structured cabling contractor

How to choose your next structured cabling contractor

Structured cabling is integral to IT infrastructure design. It ensures that your communication cables are up to spec for commercial use, and provides an organized and easy way to manage your communications tools, especially as your organization continues to grow. So it’s imperative that you — through a reputable cabling contractor — get a well-designed structured cabling plan for your business.

Ohio is home to a multitude of cabling contractors. However, it doesn’t mean that they’re all equally competent. There are cable installers who are less than scrupulous in their workmanship, and they may rely on overly technical terminologies to hide unwanted practices. You’ll want to partner with a trusted structured cabling contractor that cares as much about reliable cable solutions as you.

Below are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a structured cabling contractor:

Get a fair and detailed quote

Do your homework and request quotes from all your prospective contractors. This way, you can compare them and identify which quote offers the most bang for your buck. But don’t get easily misled by rock-bottom prices — you’ll always get what you pay for. So if a quote is too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.

When assessing service quotes, no detail is too small. A quote from a good contractor will outline every service element you have discussed. Beware of contractors that disguise details in their quotes by lumping together several items or by listing vague entries such as “miscellaneous.”

Research customer reviews

Don’t be your contractor’s guinea pig. Take the time to look up customer reviews about your contractor and gain a better understanding of how they actually work. You can try Google My Business, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and even social media sites like Facebook to try to glean as much customer satisfaction information as possible. Just make sure to take a balanced approach to assessing ratings, identify whether a review is sensationalized or is too good/bad to be true, and take those extreme reviews and ratings with a grain of salt. Can you put a link somewhere in this paragraph to our Google My Business profile

Check that their proposed system meets your needs

Structured cabling cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach. Cable design is dependent on physical office layouts and specific client requirements, so make sure any prospective cable installer takes the time to assess your spaces and assets before sending you a quote.

And once they send in their proposed system, have your IT team or provider check if everything makes sense. For instance, your IT team should be able to determine if the main distribution area is in an optimal location to allow for maintenance without disrupting operations. They should also be able to tell if certain trunks need to be repositioned to avoid causing Wi-Fi interference that affects productivity.

Ask for their standards and certifications

Well-decorated cable installers won’t be shy about their certifications. And this is a good sign, because a good cable installer will work hard to prove their skill, quality of output, and trustworthiness. So don’t be afraid to ask your potential contractor about their cabling certifications, especially the important ones like BICSI and ANSI/TIA-942.

Request tests to corroborate their claims

A good cabling contractor won’t expect you to take their word at face value. They’ll test their own cable design before fully releasing it to their clients. Take advantage of this and request proof of quality as often as you need. Also, you can task your IT team or provider to do their own testing by extending pings, transferring files, and measuring download speeds to corroborate your contractor’s claims.

You can also look into hiring a cabling certifier to conduct advanced testing such as measuring bandwidth, propagation delay, skew, near-end crosstalk, and far-end crosstalk.

Look into their cable management practices

Cables can easily pile up and become a rat’s nest that any member of your organization will dread having to handle. So when looking for a cabling contractor, choose one that can ensure messy tangled cables are a thing of the past.

Aside from keeping things neat, your cable provider should also make sure that cabling is properly terminated and managed to make future changes easy. Correct terminations are crucial in bandwidth expansions, and proper labeling of cables ensures that your wiring infrastructure can be easily managed even if IT staff come and go.

Get cabling solutions that work. Contact us at 440-392-9928 or for top-of-the-line cable installations and more.