D-Tools Software Helps Streamline System Designs

June 1, 2007
Texas systems integration company increases profitability, reduces costs

When Houston-based systems integration company Audio Video Designers was seeking a solution that would create higher-quality proposals and streamline their business processes, they turned to D-Tools Inc., the worldwide leader in systems integration software. Audio Video Designers specializes in high-quality custom electronic design and installation of high-end audio/video and home automation systems. The company also designs and wires systems that control lights, drapes, air-conditioning, security, sprinkler systems, gate and door access, and, of course, entertainment systems. While residential is their primary market, Audio Video Designers has also done large-scale AV systems for churches.

The founder of Audio Video Designers, Doc Greene, first heard about D-Tools at a CEDIA show. He sat in on a free D-Tools seminar about the company's System Integrator software, and it sparked his interest in the product. He had looked at other options but felt D-tools was the best fit for his company. "At the time, I was drowning in lost estimates because I just didn't have the time to develop a quality proposal. After I saw D-Tools' presentation, I knew it was far superior to the alternative options I had looked into, and it was going to change our business," says Green. He soon adopted D-Tools version 2.1 into his business and has been a user ever since.

The No.1 challenge for Audio Video Designers was the length of time it took to design each system; the second biggest challenge was finding a better system to produce professional-quality schematics. Prior to implementing the software, every schematic was hand drawn on a drafting table, which took 3 to 4 hours. Now they do the drawings in D-Tools, which takes only 20 minutes, and the quality is much more professional.

For every client, Audio Video Designers creates a rack view, schematic, and a front view of the system. They can now create high-quality schematics and print out professional looking proposals in full color with a plotter printer, which Greene says increased their company's credibility. "We create high-quality schematics with JPEG icons, so the customer knows exactly what they are getting. That helps manage our customers' expectations, and when that is met, it builds our credibility," says Greene.

His professional proposals also help Audio Video Designers win more bids. "We show up with the big guns: 36- by 42-inch full-color drawings, and our customers are impressed right from the beginning. In fact, one customer told me that out of 5 companies, we were the most professional, so he chose us," says Greene. Greene also noted that nine times out of ten, he is the highest bid, but because D-Tools gives the customers perceived quality right from the beginning stages, he wins the jobs.

Landing the Job
Audio Video Designers have experienced a 25 percent increase in revenues subsequent to their incorporation of D-Tools software. "We show up to high-profile jobs with superior documentation and designs, so our customers have a full-color design before even seeing the system, which lands us the job. This method has proved to minimize our losses and increase our revenue," says Greene.

Audio Video Designers is also reducing costs by $10,000 a year in loss reduction because they are tracking all aspects of a job more efficiently and not overlooking any materials. D-Tools  helped decrease their losses as much in a year to actually pay for the software. In addition, labor hours have been reduced immensely. Typically, D-Tools saves 8 to 10 hours of labor time on a $20,000 one room system, notes Greene.

D-Tools SI also saves Audio Video Designers employee time on task by 10 percent through its ease of use from technician to technician. "D-Tools saves us money now and in the future because a technician can take a look at the documentation, fix or alter it, and know exactly where to look for future alterations. One technician can receive a schematic and not have to do the engineering on a fly because the best method has already been decided," says Greene.

Also, Audio Video Designers' customer satisfaction has increased by 25 percent. They are more satisfied because they know exactly what they are going to get from the high-quality and detailed proposals that they receive from Audio Video Designers. Expectations are met and happy customers are the result.

Audio Video Designers continues to use D-Tools and finds new ways to master and maximize the software. Green has also been impressed with D-Tool's tech support. "The support at D-Tools is great. They are very responsive and are always coming up with great solutions to hard projects." For the first time this year, Audio Video Designers is fully utilizing all aspects of D-Tools, which will continue to contribute to the success of this growing company.

"D-Tools is the best game in town. It gives us that "wow factor" that impresses and wins our customers. I would also encourage all manufacturers to become partners with D-Tools because it saves integrators time and allows manufacturers pickup customers. D-Tools offers a win-win situation for everyone."

About Audio Video Designers
Audio Video Designers' mission is to provide the people of Houston and surrounding communities with high-quality electronics packages and installation to enhance both their business and home life. They offer complete design and installation services for home theaters, distributed sound systems (inside and out), satellite dishes, phone systems, computer networking, and home automation. For more information, contact Audio Video Designers at (281) 856-8367, email [email protected], or visit them on the Web at www.hifidoc.com.

About D-Tools Inc.
D-Tools is a worldwide leader in easy-to-use, highly accurate system design software. Founded in 1998 and based in Concord, CA, it offers a range of products and services created to simplify the design, engineering, documentation, and estimating processes that accompany residential and commercial installation projects. Over 2,000 leading companies use D-Tools software to reduce time and costs and streamline the systems integration process. D-Tools is the recipient of the Consumer Electronics Association's Mark of Excellence Award (2004, 2005, 2006), National Systems Contractors Association and Sound and Video Contractor's Innovations in Technology for Business Productivity Award (2004, 2005), and CE Pro's High Impact Award for Design Software. For more information, contact D-Tools at (866) 386-6571, e-mail [email protected] or visit D-Tools online at www.d-tools.com.

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