Building a new senior living community may seem to be primarily a traditional construction endeavor involving trades like carpenters, electricians, and plumbers. Beneath the surface though, it’s a project deeply embedded in Information Technology (IT). This digital backbone allows residents and staff access to essential services like the internet, phone lines, and even healthcare technologies.
For senior living developers unaware of the many possible IT pitfalls, this part of the project can quickly become a costly and time-consuming headache. This article will explore some of those pitfalls.
4 common IT mistakes to avoid when developing a new senior living community
1. Locking in with one vendor
Many senior living developers make the mistake of getting trapped in a disadvantageous contract in which a single vendor monopolizes all the available wiring, thus forcing the community to solely rely on their services. This can lead to inflated prices, subpar services, and a lack of alternatives when things go wrong.
To avoid this, make sure that contracts with vendors provide the flexibility to accommodate other service providers. Plan your infrastructure so that it remains adaptable for different vendors. This way, you’re less likely to find yourself held hostage to a single vendor’s pricing or service quality.
2. Not leveraging local providers
One often overlooked aspect is the immense value local providers bring to the table. Large, nationwide companies may have brand recognition, but they often lack the personal touch and local understanding that smaller, local vendors can provide.
Local providers can offer faster and more personalized customer service, are better attuned to local regulations, and are often more flexible when it comes to contract negotiations. They might even offer a competitive edge through unique, region-specific solutions. Consider building a consortium of local providers to meet your IT needs. This approach ensures better service and can also foster a sense of community involvement and support.
3. Getting caught in the reseller trap
A common pitfall is getting entangled with resellers, intermediaries who sell services from larger providers, often at a markup. While resellers may promise to simplify your life by offering “one-stop-shop” solutions, they often create more problems than they solve.
When you work with a reseller, you’re one step removed from the actual service provider. This means every service request or issue has to go through an extra layer of bureaucracy, potentially leading to delays and miscommunications. Always opt to work directly with service providers where possible.
4. Failing to keep channels of communications open between parties
Finally, successful IT integration in a new senior living community requires seamless communication between vendors and your IT team. Each party involved in the project needs a clear understanding of the project timeline, goals, and their specific responsibilities. This especially is where a dedicated, experienced IT provider like RSN Technologies can make a significant difference—we know the questions to ask, and the metrics to track to save you time, money, and headaches both during and after development.
Regular check-ins and meetings will ensure all parties are aligned and working together smoothly. This cooperation allows you to spot potential issues early and develop solutions before they become major problems. Developing clear communication channels also facilitates mutual learning, allowing vendors and your IT team to understand each other’s constraints and requirements better.
In conclusion, developing a new senior living community is an extensive project that demands careful planning and execution. Avoiding monopolistic vendor contracts, leveraging local providers, steering clear of resellers, and fostering robust communication are key strategies to ensure your IT infrastructure is cost-effective, efficient, and resilient. By considering these factors, you can create a vibrant, digitally empowered community that enhances the quality of life for all its residents and gives your staff the tools they need to succeed.
RSN Technologies is always here to help! Contact us today to learn how we can partner with you for your next senior living development project.