ESS, a family owned low-voltage integration firm in Hillsborough, NJ, has made many breakthroughs in its nearly 40 years in business, expanding from a small security installation company to a highly regarded audio, video, lighting, security and smart-home systems designer and installer across their region. Over the years, the company has grown incrementally in the residential, commercial, and multi-dwelling unit markets. But few breakthroughs have had as much impact as the adoption of the D-Tools System Integrator (SI) software, which helped make it possible for the company to grow without sacrificing efficiency.
Company owner John Costa reveals that he, along with his brother-in-law and co-owner Jonathan Coords, first spotted an ad for D-Tools SI software in a trade magazine back in 2009, and immediately saw it as a proactive solution to problems that could potentially plague the fast-growing AV firm. “As our business began to grow, the opportunity to lose efficiency was evident,” he says. “D-Tools gave us a means to stay the course. SI gives us the ability to follow a job timeline so that everyone from project managers to installers know what to expect on every job.”
The company uses SI software to create:
– Streamlined, professional-looking proposals quickly, which Costa says often lead to a sale. “A potential client knows he or she is dealing with a legitimate company,” he says. “Often, that is reason enough for them to buy.”
– Clear, efficient work orders that help keep the installation team on task. “For new construction jobs that have multiple phases, there is no need to manually create three different work orders. With D-Tools SI, we just assign the task for the current phase, whether it’s rough, trim or final,” Costa says, noting that the process saves time.
– Official purchase orders, eliminating duplicate or missing orders that sometimes resulted from handwritten or e-mailed equipment lists being used as POs.
– Service orders. “Clients are quoted our service rate on the phone when they make the appointment. Then, the same rate is printed on the service order so there’s no room for ambiguity,” Costa says. “Our clients aren’t getting free service due to miscommunications anymore.”
– Management reports. “D-Tools System Integrator has helped us cut down on the paperwork that often comes with project management, allowing our project managers to focus on the client and the actual job,” Costa says.
ESS has been a D-Tools System Integrator user for many years, but Costa still remembers what it was like before adopting the platform. “We created proposals in Excel or Word and manually created work orders and service orders. D-Tools SI now gives us the ability to turn a sales proposal into a work order, and then create a PO request that goes to the purchasing department, eliminating redundant paperwork. With everything integrated, we operate so much more efficiently.”
In spite of the time and money savings offered by D-Tools, Costa remains frugal and admits he’s shopped around for other options. After all, a growing company should never remain stagnant, but be willing to adopt state-of-the-art technologies to continue to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Having done his research, he says, “I can honestly say there just isn’t anything out there that compares to D-Tools.”