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Hi-Concept increases revenue and enhances customer satisfaction in Angers, France whole home AV and control project

As smart home technology integrators go, Hi-Concept is not a large firm. The Mayenne, France-based company has just three employees and several independent contractors who assist the company with audio, video, lighting, control, and custom home theater installations. Even so, the company is growing at a rapid pace, and recently was named a finalist in the D-Tools Design Awards for a whole home audio, video, lighting, and control project, which also included a luxury private cinema, in Angers, France. 

Hi-Concept CEO Maxime Theard attributes the company’s growth, in part, to its success with D-Tools, noting that the software has helped Hi-Concept expand its customer base and reduce the amount of time it takes to complete project proposals.

Designed from the Ground Up with Help from D-Tools
Hi-Concept was brought in during the design phase of the Angers home, which as many readers know, is an unusual luxury for smart home integrators. “The home automation system was built, from the ground up, along with the physical foundation of the actual home, making the entire process highly intuitive,” says Theard.

This gave Hi-Concept the luxury of optimal placement for conduits, wiring, and equipment, without having to work around the building’s architectural elements. D-Tools made the process even smoother, giving Hi-Concept accurate line drawings and schematics to share with the other contractors, ensuring proper placement. “Conduits, product placement, and wiring were carefully designed during the construction phase, allowing for the best placement,” says Theard. “D-Tools helped us prepare all the necessary details, and to allow all the companies that work with us to be on the same page right from the start.”

D-Tools Saves Time and Reduces Costs on Larger Projects
Prior to discovering D-Tools at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) in 2015, Hi-Concept used Visio to generate drawings, complete proposals, and manage project processes. Seeking software that would enable the firm to streamline operations, create proposals faster and, ultimately, take on more and larger projects, Theard turned to the System Integrator estimation, design, and project management software platform. 

Since onboarding the D-Tools SI platform, Theard says Hi-Concept finishes jobs 10 percent faster and has increased revenue by 15 percent. In addition, the company can turn around bids faster, generating professional proposals in just 90 percent of the time it used to take.

The time and cost savings were notable during the Angers project, with D-Tools drawings improving communication between the different trades for faster installation. The D-Tools product catalog also made if it easy to insert commonly used gear in multiple locations on such a large project.

Pushing the Boundaries of Functionality
The Angers home boasts the latest in control system technology with a Control4 system automating custom lighting, shades, heating by means of a smart thermostat. The touch screens also control multi-room video and a Revel multi-room audio system for distributed sound throughout the 200-square-meter (2,100-square-foot), nine-room home.

The family sought the convenience of whole-home control and an entertainment experience that only the best technology, installed under the best circumstances, could provide. “Precise calculations could be made to ensure speakers were installed for the greatest immersive experience,” says Theard, adding that the family “enjoys the best and most updated smart home technology.”

By creating specific scenes in the Control4 automation system, the family can reduce costs on electricity and heating, and, perhaps more importantly, enjoy the chance to live more sustainably through reduced energy consumption. “The boundaries for end-user functionality was constantly pushed, with programming that could manipulate the minute details in the house, and yet allowed for overall ease and global control to the customer,” says Theard.

D-Tools Simplifies Design and Integration
Just as the control system simplifies the family’s operation of the home’s technology, D-Tools simplified project design, management, coordination with the trades and, ultimately, the overall installation for Hi-Concept.

Theard pinpointed several ways D-Tools saved time during the design phase. “The online database of products eliminates wasting time searching for the products repeatedly because once it’s integrated within the project it is easy to insert the same product into the synoptic,” he says.

“The ability to switch product orientation between line diagram and elevation view within D-Tools, along with including the necessary cables, saves a lot of time,” says Theard.

Having this information available also helped facilitate communication between the design and installation teams. “Detailed plans give the technicians on site a more comprehensive picture of tasks they have to complete. Additionally, it allows me to create a wire checklist for the electrician, leading to overall greater efficiency,” says Theard.

The highly visual presentation of the project enabled by D-Tools is also a selling point for the customer, Theard points out. The family in Angers found Hi-Concept online, and the company’s detailed, professional proposal with engaging drawings helped the integrator stand out from the competition to win the project.

D-Tools Helps Hi-Concept Design a Home Theater to Envy
The shining star of the Angers home is a seven leather seats home theater, boasting a 3 meter 16/9 Screen Research screen, Sony 2K SXRD VPL-HW65 home cinema projector, and Bronze series Triad speakers powered by Integra DRX7 amplifiers with 7.2 surround sound.

The Hi-Concept team designed the home theater via D-Tools integrated Visio and provided the layout to Cinema Privee, the firm that manufactured the acoustical panels. “They only needed to follow the specifications as laid out, reducing the likelihood of mistakes,” says Theard. It also saved time because Cinema Privee was creating the acoustical panels while Theard’s team was working on the theater.

The Angers home is just one of many large projects Hi-Concept has completed since implementing D-Tools. It serves as a showcase of the small firm’s capabilities along with the software’s benefits, which is why it was selected as a Design Award finalist.

“Our firm has become much more precise from start to finish,” says Theard. “We are now able to provide a more detailed project plan during the proposal process, clear definitions during the implementation phase, and finally create a comprehensive summary for any follow-up requirements. I would recommend the software platform to other integrators of any size. It enables companies to be more efficient in their business processes, leading to growth.”

Hi-Concepts’ Key Benefits of Utilizing D-Tools

  • 10% faster project completion
  • 15% revenue increase
  • 10% faster proposal generation

Additional information on the D-Tools SI platform can be obtained by signing up for a free personal tour by visiting https://d-tools.com/live-demo-webinar/ or a free 30-day trial, which can be downloaded by visiting https://d-tools.com/hosted-free-trial-signup/.

For more information on Hi-Concept visit http://www.hi-concept.fr/en/content/services-en