As the summer winds down, some of our clients in higher education are taking stock of their responses to the challenges brought by the coronavirus. And it’s pretty clear that they’ve relied upon industry partnerships to get through. As a notable example, and one I’ve heard a couple of times, there was an immediate need for cameras and microphones in every teaching space across a campus. Finding these, and the installers to put them in, has been a challenge, and it’s meant reliance on trusted suppliers. There’s great value in an integrator that knows your operations, knows who to call to resolve coordination issues, and can be counted on to find products. It’s not the right moment for low bid.
We’re also hearing of project owners willing to share the costs of dealing with the virus. No-one foresaw these, the health checks and added cleanings, the staffing inefficiencies, and one owner noted that flexibility here would keep help good relations with contractors. No institution wants to simply open its checkbook, but there’s a middle ground, and seeing contractors as partners acknowledges the value and experience they bring.
I expect more stories like this will come to light as we get our feet under us this fall. But it’s already clear that cooperation and teamwork offer real benefit, and perhaps we can hold onto this as we put the current crisis behind us.