At this point, most AV integration firms are familiar with integration business-specific software provider D-Tools. Known for D-Tools System Integrator business software (SI 2018), it offers a platform that allows companies to stay within a single software environment though a project life-cycle — from sales, through design, installation and even service, says CEO Randy Stearns.
In a 3 Questions interview, Stearns emphasized that D-Tools System Integrator is increasingly focused on the commercial integration market. “While in the early years, we catered more to the residential sector, over the past handful of years, commercial system integrators have become our largest segment of the market.”
Watch the video above for the full interview. Here are some major takeaways from Stearns’ conversation with CI:
On business software evening the playing field for smaller firms:
It narrows the perception gap, Stearns says. “Large, enterprise-level commercial integrators often develop highly detailed proposals and an impressive set of project documentation, which can often be a visual differentiator.
The ability to “generate best-in-class quality proposals and drawings in record time” helps small- and mid-sized firms overcome those perceptual disadvantages. “In other words,” he adds, “D-Tools helps the smaller guys look bigger and more sophisticated.”
“D-Tools helps the smaller guys look bigger and more sophisticated.”
In some ways, Stearns says, good software can make a small team “look like they have an army working on a system design, whereas really it is a small team working with highly efficient and powerful tools that generate proposals and drawings that are unmatched in quality.”
It’s not just perceptual, of course. Stearns says better software can improve small firms’ confidence to focus on large projects. “Under-bidding a large project could bankrupt a small company, or at least deliver a painful blow.
For that reason, even if they have the manpower, many smaller commercial integrators shy away from bidding large projects. With D-Tools, that risk is reduced substantially because of the way D-Tools System Integrator software calculates labor time and reduces the likelihood of design oversights.”
D-Tools’ emphasis on streamlining sales:
Stearns focuses on D-Tool’s Mobile Quote 2.0 app, which he calls a process improvement tool. The companion iOS app is designed to quickly and accurately develop a project scope and budget estimate for client approval in the initial meeting, he says.
“Besides expediting the sales process and increasing throughput, it also serves to cut proposal time in half, reduce the likelihood of proposal revisions, and eliminate the competition. When used correctly, it is truly a brilliant sales tool.”
On recent improvements to SI 2018:
When we chatted with Stearns, D-Tools was just weeks away from a planned release of its SI 2018, which addresses some key requirements of the commercial sector including:
- Change orders
- Integration with PSA and USAV organizations’ product libraries
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance
- AutoCAD integration improvements
- Service contracts and recurring revenue