(This blog post from Sal Perez, CPI Regional Sales Manager, gives a great overview of customization options and how to determine which options will most benefit your next project. -Teddi)
Whether you’re managing systems, a telecom room or an entire data center, adding your signature touch is easy to do. But, if customization is required, you’ll need to ensure it works within your deployment schedule, as custom work does typically take longer to build and ship as compared to standard product.
Every project—be it a remodel, expansion or new build, takes time. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a team of experts for design, demo and build, there’s a lot to think about. And, while every step is important, some will take more time than others. Consider the following three factors you should pay close attention to when you’re out to get what you want and avoid settling for anything less.
Custom Enclosures: Did you know that having custom enclosures or cabinets is even a thing? Imagine being able to get exact specs and custom sizes, features, accessories and colors on your project? It’s a dream come true. And yes, while having custom solutions is great, it does come with a price—not necessarily the cost mind you—but the time it takes to design, manufacture and ship these custom solutions. Everything has to be perfect to ensure the equipment will fit, cables will be managed and airflow will be optimal. But, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration: the placement of power, cooling and lighting.
Going custom is great because it means your solution is manufactured from scratch to fit your unique needs. Be sure to share all intended features with your internal team or hired team of experts. Ensure they allow time in the schedule for the product. Otherwise, you may end up with something that is not readily available, will not work with the room design and may even take more time than originally expected.
Made-to-Order Rack-Level PDUs: We often see requests for custom PDUs, and if any of our 350-plus standard configurations can’t cut it, we will make a new one! Having custom PDUs is especially nice because it means you’re thinking about how to power your devices, implement a redundancy or back-up power strategy and maybe even route of cords and manage all those cables. Perhaps you just want to add custom color finishes and cables to distinguish between the A and B power feed more easily.
Be prepared to put in the time and deeply familiarize yourself with the available options, features and benefits of Metered, Monitored and Switched PDU solutions. Then work on the power load requirements, number of outlets and finish options. If you miss a step, including how you’ll manage that power, any alarms or even who will manage the DCIM software system, you’ll wind up wasting valuable time and may discover that your specs may need to change. Custom PDUs are worth the wait, but planning is the key to make it fit your schedule.
Lead time on specialty items: We know, “specialty items” can be vague, but if you’re using a custom raised floor or special seismic braces, special copper or fiber optic cable, these can take a really long time to get. I’ve personally witnessed projects go on hold because the air conditioning unit had a much longer lead time than anything else and had to be installed first, which held up every other trade.
What’s the secret? Well, it’s never one size fits all, but I have learned that being forthcoming and asking when you need something by is a key driver to every project, big or small. If time is not on your side, it’s typically not practical to recommend a custom solution. But at the end of the day, even while custom solutions require careful planning and scheduling, they are definitely worth the wait. And think of it this way—if you’re already making the effort to invest in your project, you should get exactly what you desire.
I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before, which still speaks true today, “plans are nothing, planning is everything.” Ready to start planning? Contact your local Accu-Tech representative today.