February 13, 2018

What’s Better- Projects Staffed with 1099 or W2 Technicians?

[3 Minute Read] 

Having the right resources available on demand is necessary to the success of complex technology initiatives in the workplace.

For any given project, it's essential to:

  • Obtain the right technical skill sets
  • Maintain the correct amount of field resources

And you should have those skilled resources:

  • In the right places geographically
  • At the right times on each project

In fact, the larger and more complicated your project(s) become the more untenable it will be for any organization to staff them with only W2 technicians. When enterprises run simultaneous projects that span across geographies, travel costs and scheduling conflicts become a challenge & prohibitive.

Click here to download the 1099 vs W2 Technicians infographic. 

The critical considerations for controlling quality and delivering exceptional project outcomes include:

  • Ensure there is a comprehensive design for the project. Having a clear set of technology drawings will make for fewer questions, mistakes and coordination challenges throughout the project.
  • Set clear expectations on what defines project success. Establish mutually understood objectives upfront. Everything from the aesthetics of your boardroom touch panel down to the nitty-gritty of how you want the back of your rack wired.
  • Regardless the system, make sure to stage all equipment for a uniform installation. It's important to define roles and guidelines to ensure the systems installed perform the same way across the client's footprint.
  • Define the closeout process. Ensure your users are getting consistent training and documentation on systems installed. This will help create clarity and avoid misunderstandings that lead to unhappy users.
  • Decide on 1099 or W2 Technicians.

Let's stop for a moment and discuss this last one. We get this question occasionally, "Are your technicians W2 employees?" Why isn't this practical for solution providers providing national coverage? The few companies that try to accomplish national work with W2s face these challenges:

1) Travel

Yes, this can obviously have cost implications for the client. Beyond cost, it bears something even larger - speed to react. Making multiple re-trips due to construction delays, equipment delays, and customer readiness delays become incrementally more difficult. What happens is that customers end up with situations where the right person just isn't onsite.

2) Proper installation requires phasing

Companies who travel W2 employees want to "Do it all at once," to avoid increased travel costs. This can often cause delays and make it inconvenient not just for the client but for the general contractor and other trades on a job site.

3) A W2 resource pool becomes limited

Scaling for large projects is difficult as there are fewer resources from which to draw. Companies with 1099 technician programs are able to hire faster b/c their labor partners are already under contract with the integrator.

What W2 is NOT:

W2 is only a tax status, NOT a guarantee of superior quality and craftsmanship.

It's not an indicator that companies are taking better care of their people and giving them proper training. You can hire someone and give them 5 hours of work a week, without any training, or any company benefits, and call them your people (W2's). This is exactly what most of the companies who say they have their own national W2s do. This is because the business math does NOT make sense financially for large W2 workforces.

At ASD®, we have worked with a 100% contingent workforce since 1992.

We call our program the AASDI model (Authorized ASD Installers). This has given us hundreds of thousands of projects full of lessons learned on how to deliver successful technology projects.

ASD® isn't just dabbling in national business. Our unique ability to service clients with a national footprint is built upon our proven project management processes and our established AASDI network since 1992.

Anytime you would like answers to questions about a local, regional, or national project rollout, "Ask ASD". The answers you're looking for are just a phone call away.

W2 vs 1099 Infographic Download

About the author 

Mike Castiglione

Michael is the Chief Operating Officer at ASD®. He has more than a decade of experience in the workplace technology space. His oversight includes management of ASD® operations, development of the ASD® cloud platform OMNI, and key initiatives to continuously improve the ASD® client experience.

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