ESS, a family-owned and -operated integration business in Hillsborough, NJ, has been using D-Tools’ comprehensive, on-premises business software, System Integrator (SI), for about 13 years. It wasn’t until recently, on a 10,000-square-foot residential renovation in Cranbury, NJ, that ESS was able to try D-Tools Cloud for the first time.
D-Tools’ next-generation platform is an easy-to-deploy, web-based end-to-end solution that drives sales and operating efficiency for residential security and AV system integrators. D-Tools Cloud offers sales pipeline management, on-the-fly estimating using a drag-and-drop interface from any mobile device, interactive system design presentations, procurement using supplier-authorized dealer-specific pricing, and a new project management suite of features.
The homeowner on this particular project works in IT at a very high level, so updating the seven-year-old system with new technology was important to him, as was the security system. ESS also outfitted the home theater with a new Epson 4K projector, new equipment in the rack, and a new Savant control system. The whole-house music system is a Sonos sound system that feeds the Stealth in-wall speakers throughout the home. All with a budget of around $65,000.
After trying the free D-Tools Cloud trial, ESS was sold immediately. “It’s fantastic, a home run,” says owner John Costa. Because John and co-owner/brother-in-law Jonathan Coords had a hand in the project (John is the resident security expert and Jonathan is the resident AV guru), they needed to collaborate. “D-Tools Cloud allowed us to work together on a proposal. Jonathan was on vacation and had to make a final decision and was able to do it from the beach,” says John.
That ability to collaborate within D-Tools Cloud was key. There were changes along the way, and it allowed ESS to adapt to those changes quickly. “The platform is seamless and easy to use. Everything is there, from the quoting experience to the products needed, to pricing,” says John. “When we had to make adjustments on things we installed, everything came up in the D-Tools Cloud search. And when I had to adjust my pricing to my distributor, we did not have to add anything. All the brands and suppliers were already represented. The process is very smooth. I have been really happy with this, relative to using a different AV proposal software where you have to manually enter all the parts and pricing descriptions by hand. This kills the whole flow of the process.”
ESS also used D-Tools Cloud for change orders. “The change order process is built into the project, so you can make your changes from the cloud and submit them to clients,” says John.
Being newer to D-Tools Cloud, John has plans to try out its visual quoting click-to-add interface that allows users to add devices to floorplans and images right on their mobile device, hastening the design process and creating a collaborative experience with clients. To extend the value of D-Tools Cloud from the sales team to project managers and field technicians, D-Tools Cloud also now offers a new project management suite with project planning, resource management, scheduling, task assignments, item tracking, time tracking, and more, providing an easy-to-use, end-to-end solution for electronic system integrators.
“There is quite a difference between D-Tools System Integrator and Cloud. D-Tools Cloud is designed to start quoting right away and is different than building and setting up a catalog traditionally needed for a more on-premises solution,” says John. “If someone wanted to sign up for a free test run, they really will be able to be quoting within an hour or two. We found D-Tools Cloud very intuitive!”
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