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Customize Report Themes in SI 2017 – Improve your proposals and enhance your market presence

If you’ve been in this industry for a good while, you have definitely had that moment where you hand over your proposal (after hours of hard work) only to look down on your client’s desk and see at least one other submission that closely resembles yours. Even if you’re new to this business, you still may have had a moment where you realize that your quote submission looks almost like the others.

It happens.  Discouragingly we’ve all been there in some capacity. I myself had a similar experience where, after weeks of hard work to secure an opportunity to bid on a large integration project, upon handing the GC my quote, I looked down on his desk and saw no less than two other submissions clearly made with my trusted resource of D-Tools.  Now that really shouldn’t be that shocking considering that I have also seen an infinite number of quotes over the years clearly made with a Microsoft product (e.g. Word, Excel, Publisher, etc.).Lear

With that said, all dealers want their quotes or proposals to stand out – I know I did. I wanted them to be different and “eye-catching”.  And of course, this can be accomplished by exporting any of our reports via PDF or RTF (MS Word) and then making changes or adding desired graphics. Such documents can then easily be merged to create the desired outcome – a favorite technique of mine over the years by the way. But many SI users may not realize that there are some very good customization tools within SI 2017 that do not require a “re-write” of code or hours dedicated time.  And there is really something to be said for being able to keep all of your document generations in the same software – namely SI 2017.

So let’s look at how you can maximize these features within SI 2017 so you can deliver your preferred (and perhaps) best outcome yet:

Report Themes

So let’s first get you set-up with the interface.  If you’re new to SI (or in case you hadn’t located this feature before), the first step is to download the “Report Themes”.

This setting can be found in the “Report Settings” area of the Control Panel…

…or from within the Project Explorer.

Once there, you’ll need to download the “Themes” if you haven’t done so already.  (Legacy themes are also available.)

Once done, you’ll have a result such as this:

From here, you can select one of the pre-determined color sets or you can customize your color, color pattern, or remove the colors all together.
Simply click this button to being the process.  Here is what you’ll see next…

All we need from here is a new theme name and your creative input.  You can not only click on the block color segments to select new color shading, but you can also click on the text areas to change their color as well.  Further, you can enter “RGB” values to create custom colors as well or even remove all the colors completely.

Here are just a few examples:

Silver & Black custom theme

Red & Black custom theme

Black custom theme

Notice too that each cover sheet has a different image and each summation section varies as well per the details of each report setting being selected exclusively for that project’s needs.

Now let’s get you “checked-out” on how to adjust those variables as well…

Cover page image

This is perhaps one of the important factors in your presentation.  SI gives you the ability to select different images for each project.

Just navigate to the Cover Page Image section of the Reports tab in your project…

…and select your unique image.
You can even insert a client’s logo (if appropriate) instead of an environmental picture.

Project Summation Values
                In this section of the Report Settings…

…you can add your team’s “touch” to your proposals via the language that will be displayed on the Project Summation page.  Below here are some examples of changes you could make…

…and here are these values in the actual proposal report:

So give this some good thought and add the words you would prefer for your clients to read when they are considering the potentially most important aspect of your offering…the price.

Further insights and considerations

Recently, I’ve encouraged dealers to think about their “branding”.  Meaning, the usage of colors images, and graphics employed to accentuate quotes and collaterals presented to their clients.  Notice above on the cover sheet examples, I have this D-Tools logo…

…instead of this:

Both are great examples of our company’s branding but the top one conveys and communicates a message in a less complex “symbol” style presentation. These type of “icon” based symbols permeate our world now and there is no reason not to capitalize on this trend by stamping your company’s brand on all your documents.

And isn’t that one of the reasons that users have invested in this tool we use every day called D-Tools?  The capability to present your documents with appropriate colors, themes, and branding combined with your team’s unique design and pricing offerings.  And maximizing these capabilities (such as the items listed above here) is a great way to get that ROI as you add your creative input into the feature set and leverage those data values to work on your behalf.

Hopefully, this perspective was beneficial.  As a “real-world” user of D-Tools before joining our PSG team, I valued the insight of more experienced users and always gained something from their perspective.  Remember, we’re all here to help enable your team to maximize your overall goals of efficiency and profitability within our platform.