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Three of the Best Tips You’ll Ever Get When Buying Dispatch Furniture

Posted by Kathleen Babcook on Jul 14, 2015 3:37:05 PM

    

ThomasTheTrainDispatchFurnitreYou’re a Comm Center manager or supervisor and you’ve been tasked with buying new dispatch furniture. HOLY (insert choice four letter word) ! You probably feel like you are just not ready to tackle this monstrosity of project, or maybe you feel rather intimidated like buying a new car. Hey, we get it, this task is not an easy one. Infact, while reading this, you might already be thinking of the best way to secretly exit the building (never to return). Whoa-nelly! Take a minute and remember the beloved childhood icon, Thomas the Train. I want you to try whispering quietly to yourself “I think I can…I think I can…” and DON’T panic! Here are three tips to buying dispatch furniture that can help:

Price Tip
We’ve seen it before, a purchasing decision can be made on price alone. And while many vendors would love to claim to be “the best” with the lowest in price or have a special new shiny feature that no one else has. Consider this, while price is extremely important when spending public funds, getting the right product that will last your agency is probably more important. Price will mean nothing, if after a few short years, you’re already searching for more public funds to replace what you have. Don’t just select on price alone!

Management Tip
Keep in mind the end-user. You know, the person or persons who will be working on the console for a better part of their natural life. We often hear dispatchers say, “Management made the decision to go with this furniture vendor and didn’t ask for any input from us. Now we are stuck with the furniture for 10+ years. Agh!” Here’s a tip, get input from your dispatchers, ask them what they like and don’t like about their current furniture. Next, if you have the ability to, send them to a national APCO or NENA to visit with some of the vendors and see the furniture first hand. If not, use the internet and research! Take this feedback into account. Trust me, you’ll be wise to listen!

Future Planning Tip
This one is easy, plan for the future - duh! Lately, we have seen a lot of consolidating and even new builds. Many city and county populations are growing at a rapid pace, and for the foreseeable future, I don’t see this changing. This means more calls coming in to 9-1-1. And while adding people to your current daily “role call” might not be in the cards in the next 5 years (I don’t know why we always look at this range of time but, we do), so as furniture may have it, you’ll probably need a place to put warm bodies within the next 10 years. Plan for this!

And that’s it! With these three tips, you can literally float on air when making your next dispatch furniture purchase. Just kidding! But, we hope it helps! Good luck in your purchase decision and remember, if you can’t do it, no one can! And remember, “I think I can…I think I can…I think I can!”

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Topics: QUICK TIPS, Buying, Purchasing

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