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D-Tools: Systems Integrator – Gearing up for CEDIA? We are too by reviewing recent v20 advancements.

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Less than 5 min read Minute Read
April 20, 2024
D-Tools: Systems Integrator – Gearing up for CEDIA? We are too by reviewing recent v20 advancements.

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While we are all anxiously looking ahead to this year’s CEDIA, we also know that, for many of you, catching up on all the latest updates from System Integrator’s (SI) most recent release v20, may be challenging. Here is a revisit of some of those features and utilizations that have been presented here since v20 was announced and released.

Hopefully this information will entice your team to expand your usage of SI in new ways and encourage those of you considering the adoption of SI to move forward with the decision. Either way, please make a point to stop by and see us at booth #2743 if you are attending CEDIA. If you cannot make it this year, then please read on for ways to engage us both, as an existing user, or a new one.


Labor Types in v20

How does this enhance my usage of SI?

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This is perhaps “the” if not “one of the” most fundamental changes to the SI platform since its inception.
This feature gives you the ability to bid your labor more accurately per item by allowing multiple types to be assigned to any one product. The prior mechanism of phases only allowed for one such assignment per product.

Phases still exist but now serve purely as a designation of deployment rather than an aggregation value of labor pricing addition.

Now, this enhancement does merit thorough examination so, for those of who missed the prior entry on the aforementioned Labor Types, please click here to catch-up on this one. It is definitely worth your while.

Multiple Vendors for Products

How does this multiple Vendor situation help your SI usage?

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The primary benefit here is that your team (sales, purchasing, or service) can now view pricing from multiple sources in your SI Catalog database.   This will also include pricing for any items linked via our Vendor Partner interface.

We all know the delays that can ensue when trying to source pricing via web-portals, shared-drives, or spreadsheets endlessly emailed between staff members. All of this frustration can now be eased once you have your vendors approved in the vendor partner listing and have the suppliers assigned accordingly in your SI Catalog database. A feat that can be done for multiple product items at once via our Mass Update feature.

Of course, this utilization will vary for our users, so it is certainly encouraged to review the prior entry on this feature here in order to ensure that you get a clear understanding of the benefits.

AVaaS

Selling AVaaS with SI.

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SI gives you several options to start collecting or enhancing your existing collection of funds related to AVaaS projects. Here are 3 just to name a few:
Payment Terms

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-Structure your SI Payment Terms accordingly per the period of the desired agreements.
Packages and Accessories

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-Be creative in your use of Packages and Accessories so that quoting for AVaaS jobs is quick and easy.
Project Templates/Cloning

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-Consider the use of Project Templates and/or the cloning of projects to speed your team’s AVaaS quoting along accordingly.

Also, don’t forget about adding a corresponding Service Plan to your AVaaS proposal offering. The more your present them to your prospective and/or existing clients, the more likelihood that you will sell them.

Checkout the prior entry on this aspect of selling AVaaS via SI here.

And, that of course leads us to…

Service Plans

“Do you even sell service?”

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As you may or may not know, I am often asked about best practices and preferred methods with regard to the use of SI in order to achieve greater organizational success. I cannot recommend enough the use of SI Service Plans. Whether they are included in your initial bid submission or presented at a later date, this can be a game-changer for many of our users.

Now, as a matter of my own professional experience, the earlier you present and review the details of such extended coverage plans with your clients, the more likely your estimators are to not only close those initial deals, but also build in a longer relationship with your clients for those ever-sought renewals.

Do not overlook reviewing the prior entry related to this usage here.

Change Management

How do you use SI to improve and guide your team’s commitment to Change Management?

SI could be viewed as a change agent for your overall change management process itself for, within SI, there are multiple features to assist with instilling and reinforcing directives/policies that contribute to your success with operational transitions and method refinement.
To name a few…

Workflow Rules

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By structuring these evaluations to include key company resources based on the criteria of your selection, you can streamline division functionality and reduce unnecessary or redundant communications. This is one of the most beneficial feature additions to the SI platform that enables our users to send and receive various notifications about projects, purchase orders, tasks, service orders, etc. as these executions become relevant during the overall project’s lifespan.
Project Rules

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Another key component that can contribute to your team’s success with change is to use SI’s Project Rules to establish consistent project structure from the outset that will eliminate deficiencies possibly plaguing your team today.

New Project Required Fields

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This could also be read as mandatory data inclusion. Here we again have the opportunity to set the tone at the outset of Project creation in SI. Meaning, multiple data fields are now accessible in this mechanism to ensure that your team does not leave out that critical data that can make-or-break the overall project’s success.

For a more in-depth dive into these and other details related to successful change management via SI v20, checkout the prior entry here.

KPI’s and metrics in SI?

How does this work within SI?

We hear a lot these days about KPI’s and various metrics in our industry. For clarification, KPI is an abbreviation for Key Performance Indicators and metric” is a sort of catch-all term for measuring performance/progression of actions related to project deployment.

Moreover, while your team’s needs for each of these may vary, suffice it to say, that SI can deliver some of these essential and formative values as you analyze, not only your team’s individual performance, but also whether or not your jobs are profitable and delivered in a time efficient manner.

With that said, here are some features to consider…

Business Analytics (formerly Dashboards)

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Here we see Project opportunities set to close in the next 30 days.
Just to give a further example of the flexibility of the BA interface, here you see similar returns in a pie chart view:

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Job Cost reports

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Here we can see the percentage complete along with budgeted and actual hours as well as the corresponding Labor Cost. Helpful here can be the use of a custom Layout in order to focus on the exact data columns you want to analyze.

As usual, we are just scratching the surface here so please click this link to take a deeper dive.

A Perspective
SI’s v20 has just begun to flex its muscles as the most robust platform in our industry and it behooves you and your team to explore it as a new solution or get with our Professional Services Group of SI/industry veterans in order to maximize your existing usage.

In Summation…

-Come and see us at our CEDIA booth!
-If you’re not attending this year but want to know more, reach out to our team here.
-Get focused, get serious, and make money.

Enjoy!

With all of that said, there’s still plenty more in store for you with SI and forthcoming product releases so keep an eye out for future updates.

As always, we are reviewing your Feature Requests to determine our best step forward and next course of action with future SI product releases so…“keep’em coming”!


In closing…

For more information on these and other features of SI v20, please see this link: D-Tools v20. You can also review our other videos and our usual support documentation.

You can also get more detailed information about v20 via our upcoming webinars and by enrolling in SI training with our PSG team. Please see this link here for our recent “What’s new in v20” webinar.

And don’t forget, that’s why we are here…to ensure your success with our product! Be sure to check back here next time for more on v20. 

 

Doug



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