From first client contact to final installation, D-Tools helps Digital Installers impress clients and improve internal operations
Digital Installers, Inc., a Long Beach, CA, audio video integrator, has been using D-Tools’ on-premises software solution, System Integrator (SI) for the past two years. Matt Fleischmann, Digital Installers manager, says the solution helped their firm increase revenue significantly.
Digital Installers projects comprise a 60/40 mix of residential and commercial AV installations. The firm uses D-Tools SI on everything from small, $3,000 single-room projects to $300,000 smart home installations. Fleischmann says the software helps Digital Installers create more professional proposals, streamline project management, increase productivity and revenue, and saves time and money across the board.
“It was a natural step,” he says. “You get to a point where you need a specialized program for proposals and project management as opposed to a one-size-fits-all solution like QuickBooks. D-Tools SI is more specific and more detailed than what we were using before.”
D-Tools SI seamlessly interfaces with QuickBooks, Visio, and 3rd party software partners helping Digital Installers create proposals, contracts, pick lists, and designs faster than before. “D-Tools saves time and makes creating proposals and project documentation less daunting,” Fleischmann says.
While Fleischmann and Esmond Duong say it is impossible to estimate their increase in profitability, time savings, or enhanced customer satisfaction over the past two years, they agree that D-Tools has benefited the business in many ways.
In a short conversation, Fleischmann and Digital Installers President and CEO Rusty Deeble outline five ways D-Tools helps Digital Installers complete bigger, more complex residential and commercial installation projects successfully, streamlining steps from proposal to project management.
Standing Out from the Competition with More Professional Looking Proposals
As a high-end designer, Digital Installers knows that first impressions matter. From the company’s state-of-the-art showroom to the professionally produced website and – most importantly – the way company representatives carry themselves, the Digital Installers team presents themselves as consummate professionals. When a meeting with a prospective client culminates in a proposal and contract produced via D-Tools SI, it solidifies that impression of professionalism.
“D-Tools proposals help us end on a high note, completing the picture for our clients,” Fleischmann says. “Customers size up all the bidders based on so many factors, and the proposal is really important. If it looks good, it helps our overall chances of winning the job.”
Money Saved and Profitability Increased with More Accurate Bids
Not only are those proposals designed to “wow” prospective clients, but D-Tools also helps ensure Digital Installers doesn’t underbid on jobs and lose money as a result. By bundling commonly spec’d equipment, Digital Installers designers can ensure that all relevant parts are included within the proposal, with labor costs associated with each item. “Estimating labor is easier because labor is assigned to each item,” says Rusty Deeble, Digital Installers president and CEO. “Allocating the right amount of labor per item installed has increased accuracy.”
He continues, “We went from itemized proposals produced in QuickBooks, which was overwhelming, to the ability to look at an organized view of rooms and bundles. We can adjust margins quickly within D-Tools SI to ensure profitability.”
Quickly and Accurately Produced Pick Lists and Product Orders
With an accurate and detailed bid created, the Digital Installers team can take the next step to create a pick list. They can create necessary purchase orders, call their distributors, and order the required equipment. “D-Tools has increased our efficiency through this stage of a project,” Fleischmann says.
Using D-Tools’ 3rd party integration capabilities, which connects to the D-Tools Data Library, the Digital Installers team can search existing databases and add products to their own D-Tools library quickly. There, the Digital Installers team can view and download vendor information, pricing, and availability.
“We can create bundles or packages, so we don’t forget to add small items that often go together. If we pull a part that usually requires several other products, the software prompts us. Then we pull that pick list, call our distributors, and get the products,” says Fleischmann.
With everything presented in an easy-to-read format, there is less danger that the team will have to pay rush shipping or even delay a project due to forgotten components.
Fleischmann admits that, in a perfect world, his team wouldn’t need a robust software solution like D-Tools SI to help with pick lists and purchase orders. “But it’s not a perfect world,” he says. “We are humans, and when there are humans involved, small details may be forgotten. D-Tools has considerably reduced our chances of errors, saving us time and money.”
Simplified Project Design and Drawings
D-Tools SI’s integration with Visio has streamlined the design stage of every project for the Digital Installers team – and especially large-scale commercial projects with multiple rooms and similar technology setups in each room. “If we have the same camera in multiple rooms on a proposal, we drag and drop the camera into Visio. We don’t have to create a custom graphic, so we save time designing graphics,” Fleischmann explains. “It all looks clean and consistent.”
Projects Kept on Track and To-budget
As a result of being able to produce professional proposals, with a custom cover sheet and customized contract, Digital Installers can bid on bigger and better projects. They can enter those jobs with the confidence of knowing they’ve provided an accurate estimate. Every phase of the project, from the proposal to project management, will flow through D-Tools to stay on time and within budget.
“D-Tools has been instrumental in helping us grow. It’s made us more efficient as we do so and given us better odds at getting those bigger jobs,” says Fleischmann.
“D-Tools is the gold standard for AV integrator proposal software with many tangential benefits,” concludes Deeble.