By this stage there will be a list of requirements developed
from the customer meeting and the site survey and subsequent
analysis that can be used to design a system best suited to
Since business began they have all been cost conscious and
loathe to spend money when it can be avoided. Whilst you
may be lucky enough to have a customer who will pay a premium
for a top of the range system, in most cases they will be
looking for the lowest price to meet their specification.
When producing the system specification it is important that
the specification is matched. If the procedure above has been
followed this should be a formality. However with some equipment
there are options in its configuration which will differ
from the initial requirements.
Begin by creating the best possible system configuration,
which meets the specification. Then submit this to the costing
down procedure (see the next paragraph) and refine it.
When the final specification has been reached, document and
give reasons for and differences between it and the initial
requirements, weather it falls short or exceeds them and include
this with the specification for discussion with sales and
Costing down is a process where the system specification is
scrutinised and cheaper alternatives are sought. The aim is
to provide the best solution at the lowest price.
There will be some features which can be omitted to achieve
cost savings. The customer circumstances need to be
considered before removing these to reduce costs. Consultation
with the customer explaining the trade off may be useful.
At the end of the cost down process there will be three or
more slightly differing configurations. One will be the ideal,
which will meet and exceed the requirements, a cheaper option
which closely matches the requirements and one with the
options costed out separately which allows a lower specification
to be discussed and a cheaper system sold if budgets
These options should be presented and discussed with the customer
and the choice made concerning which to install.
When the specification has been decided upon, the engineer
should acquire and configure the system in the workshop
and test the operation of all major features. This will ensure
that the installers are familiar with what is to be done and
the equipment taken to site is operable.