In the past few years, building relationships with trusted integrators has become vitally important. The right integration firm can help ensure that the technology you deploy – and the network that supports it – will do things like improve productivity and efficiency, increase safety, make building management faster and easier, and provide you with actionable data.

But if you’ve never worked with a low-voltage cabling contractor before, or if it’s been several years (or decades), how do you find the right one?

As you search for your perfect match, we’ve put together this short list of questions to ask as you narrow the field.

1. Are they certified?

Who better to install your technology infrastructure than trained and certified integrators that know how to properly and efficiently install cable and connectivity products to achieve long-lasting, high-performance results?

An integrator that receives manufacturer training on design standards and installation best practices understands how to work with the products they’re installing, makes fewer installation errors and knows the most efficient way to install them for high levels of reliability.

2. What types of warranties do they provide?

Especially when you’re working with a certified integrator, you may have access to impressive warranties that can’t be found elsewhere or aren’t offered directly through a manufacturer. The best way to ensure that your cabling system, once installed, will keep up with (or exceed) industry standards for the long term – and support any future standards and protocol – is to have a warranty in place from your low-voltage cabling contractor that guarantees it.

3. Are the products they select and install designed to work together?

Instead of using cabling and connectivity solutions from a variety of manufacturers, and piecing it all together, the products installed by an integrator should be designed to work together to minimize potential problems and ensure consistency and standardization. An end-to-end solution brings all the system’s parts and pieces together to ensure that every component in your network has been designed to work with the others.

4. Will they share references?

Ask around to see if anyone in your professional circle has worked with the integrator you’re considering – and ask the integrator for a list of references you can call on your own. (The list should include organizations with projects similar in size and scope to yours.)

5. Can they offer suggestions for futureproofing?

Given the pace of technology changes, it’s hard to keep up with the type of cable and connectivity solutions that are best designed to support not only today’s needs, but also whatever tomorrow brings. Your low-voltage cabling contractor should keep up with – and stay ahead of – technology, installation and industry trends so they can make suggestions or offer alternatives you may not think of on your own.

Make sure they also take time to discuss the value of the cable and connectivity solutions they chose for your project, why they chose them and how these solutions will solve existing problems and set you up for success.

If one of your upcoming cabling and connectivity projects requires the expertise of a low-voltage cabling contractor, visit Belden’s “Find a Partner” portal to search for a certified one in your area.

What questions are missing from this list? What questions do you ask yourself and your team before hiring an integrator? Let us know in the comments below!