Q: Do you call yourself a designer, engineer or both?
A: Design Engineer.
Q: What is the process that goes into your job from start to finish?
A: It involves many things. It means:
Staying on top of new product offerings as well as current offerings and what works well/what doesn’t.
Being front end technical support for the sales team with initial customer visits, site walks and surveys for larger or complex projects.
Staying on top of a large number of tasks for requested system designs, which includes:
filtering sales requests and asking for more info if needed,
coming up with a conceptual design,
putting together a proposal with detailed parts and labor,
making sure the proposal hits specific target margins and has all aspects of the project covered.
We also support sales in presenting larger or more complex systems.
Then, if the project becomes a sale, my team puts together documentation needed for the install including submittals, layout plans, schematic plans, elevations, detail drawings, spreadsheets, risers and more.
When we become back-end support for the project, We'll provide assistance with any onsite conflicts, issues, change orders, job meetings and more.
Finally, when the job is completed, we take any marked-up plans and drawings and create as-built drawings for our business and our customer’s records.
Plus, for me specifically, being a VP, I have other responsibilities like executive and management meetings, planning, procedures, and other company functions.
Wow, putting it in writing really explains why I am always so busy!
Q: What expertise does your role play in the overall end goal of projects, what can you offer that other companies, who may not have this position, offer?
A: I think most companies do have this position, but my overall experience and expertise does have a great deal of impact on securing large and complicated jobs by instilling confidence in our customers. We are more than capable of listening to their needs and coming up with a custom solution to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.
Q: How did YOU become a professional in this field/what are your qualifications?
A: I don’t think anyone really intentionally sets a career path in this field. Almost everyone started in the music business or another field and found their path led them into this field. The same goes for me! I actually went to school to become a recording engineer, graduating in ‘98. Shortly after, in 2000, I started my own company providing audio and lighting for live events as well as system designs, installation, and studio recording services. I also started mixing and working with music when I bought my first audio mixer at age 15. After about 7 years of being in business, I had a friend working at Fearing’s ask me if I would be interested in part-time service work during the week. I had free time during the week, so it was a no-brainer to pick up some extra money doing some AV work. I had also worked for a few AV integrators while in school, so I had some experience already with this type of work. It didn’t take long for Fearing’s to offer me a full-time project manager position, which I accepted and found to be a fun challenge! Shortly after that, our main design engineer, my friend who brought me into Fearing’s, left for a different career path and I was offered his position. I dove in head first and went for my Certified Technology Specialist ― Design certification right away. At that time, I was 1 of only 500 in the world with this certification. I also studied and took many other product and manufacturer certifications. In the end, it has been a culmination of skills and knowledge that I have acquired throughout my life’s adventures that have led me to where I am now.
Q: How many people are on the design team at Fearing's?
A: At the moment, we have 5 designers. Two of us are commercial AV designers, one security and access control designer, one residential and small commercial designer and one structured cabling and bid desk designer.
Q: What else would you like to say that we haven't touched on?
A: Our design team is a big part of our success. We offer a bunch of different services, so having specialized experts in each field not only helps Fearing’s be a one-stop shop for our customers but, instead of being a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, we have the key people to make Fearing’s a master of all!
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