Every technician knows that dealing with a tangled mass of cords coming out of an electronic device is a nightmare. There are a lot of organization schemes that can help with that problem, but color coding is usually the most convenient. It takes a little bit of effort to get the system ready, it’s worth the effort, and there are plenty of times when the people who don’t use it regret their decision.
When Something Breaks
There are a lot of things that can damage a cord, from misbehaving animals to simple wear and tear. In most cases, it’s easy to identify the cord that has been damaged simply by figuring out which part of the system has stopped working properly. Unfortunately, identifying the cord that needs to be replaced and pulling it out of an unlabeled, tangled mess are very different things. Color coding makes the job easy, but a failure to color code means hunting through all of the cords to find the right one.
Dust often builds up inside of electronics, and it needs to be cleaned out to prevent them from overheating. That usually means unplugging all of the cords, and getting unlabeled cords back into the right sockets after the job is done can be a nightmare. A color coding scheme that extends to the sockets is the easiest way to make that stage go quickly, but even one that is restricted to the cords themselves will help.
Upgrades have the same problem as cleaning sessions, in that they require all of the cords to get unplugged. However, they often involve replacing cords, so even more sorting is required than usual. Workers who are not careful can find themselves sorting out the cables to make the replacement, letting them get into a tangled heap during the rest of the project, and needing to sort them again to plug them back in. Color coding will save time at every stage of that process, and an upgrade is a great time to enhance an older system by replacing ambiguous cords with colored replacements.
When New Users Arrive
An experienced technician can get used to any mess, and eventually learn to get work done in spite of it, but every system will eventually meet a new user. That novice will not have any experience with the system, which means that they won’t be able to deal with the unlabeled cords. That will cause them to work slowly until they get used to the mess. Color coding will make it easy for anyone to quickly work with the cords, so it’s absolutely vital for any set of cords that will have multiple users.