Access Technologies’ integration services include physical security, IT networking, wireless, Wi-Fi, video conferencing, digital signage and voice control. From infrastructure design to installation to fully managed and monitored services, Access Technologies provides technology solutions for corporate, government, education, healthcare, and utilities across the United States.
Access Technologies first began using the D-Tools System Integrator (SI) software platform in 2012 as a means to better streamline their Security and IT Networking project proposal and estimate process. Previously, the company relied on Tigerpaw as their primary CRM and quoting tool, but needed a better way to create as-built documents since each project proposal was separately created after the previous project phases using Microsoft Word. Access Technologies selected D-Tools as their preferred software solution because of the platform’s integration capabilities and business process automation and streamlining abilities.
“D-Tools SI is the only solution we know of that can provide the capabilities we were looking for,” said RJ Spurr, Sales Engineer and Project Manager for Access Technologies. “We needed a solution that would conveniently integrate with Tigerpaw, and that would also simplify the process of adding products to proposals. Thanks to the D-Tools System Integrator, we can now quickly and easily build needed documents as we create proposals.”
The integration between D-Tools and Tigerpaw enables D-Tools’ Security and IT Networking users like Access Technologies to use custom reporting functions to import their data into Tigerpaw, establishing a complete estimation, design and project management workflow that utilizes the strengths of each solution. In this case, it also allows Access Technologies to create a project proposal and detailed system design from within the SI platform, then push that project and product data into Tigerpaw for invoicing, inventory tracking and additional project management.
“While we must still import D-Tools quotes into Tigerpaw for processing, the integration has been seamless,” Spurr said. “Overall, SI has reduced the time it takes to generate proposals and has also increased our accuracy.”
D-Tools’ extensive product database tracks over 40 different data points such as MSRP, product descriptions, thumbnail images, dimensions and I/Os, plus the platform enables users to enter and manage pricing and estimated labor time to install, according to the company. SI allows security and IT networking integrators to associate accessories and assign products to locations and systems to help organize projects more efficiently. Those using the platform can accessorize any product to make it easier for team members to choose the right option for the customer and can create custom “packages” to group products together and “pre-engineer” systems, creating a repeatable process and eliminating errors during the estimation phase.
“The accessories and packages features not only reduce the time it takes to specify products, it can eliminate overlooking critical components and ensures add-ons are included. This is an enormous benefit for us,” Spurr said. “Any given product can have a variety of accessories depending on the application. The ability to be notified of these accessories or have them automatically assigned saves time and prevents items from being overlooked.”
Installation and service are critical elements of any security and IT networking system integration project. The D-Tools SI software platform features complete project scheduling, resource management and reporting capabilities to help ensure the job is delivered on time and to budget. D-Tools says SI makes it easy to assign tasks to internal installation and programming teams, schedule those tasks, then communicate those tasks, for clear communication in all areas of the business process and across project teams.
“Because we are able to define users and assign roles relevant to their position, our processes have improved and we’ve become more efficient because everyone can access the information they require during any stage of the project,” Spurr said. “The power of the D-Tools database has allowed us to enter vast amounts of information in data fields that build continuity and accessibility throughout the team, further streamlining processes for our company.”
Since implementing the D-Tools System Integrator software platform, Access Technologies has simplified and accelerated their business process efficacy by 30%. “I could never imagine returning to our previous method for generating proposals. With SI, managing and searching for products is so easy and the process far more flexible,” Spurr said. “By implementing D-Tools, we have been able to customize many native reports that replicate our previous proposal creations done in Word. Now, we have a default SOW template that has been created and customized for every proposal that we are able to insert exactly where we want it in the proposal to prevent redundancies.
“We have also been able to customize the default Tigerpaw export report we were using to better suit our needs,” he continued. “The support I have received for my various adaptations has been quick and thorough and D-Tools consistently helps me find a way to accomplish what I want. This allows our adaptations to push the envelope and blaze new paths for our company’s project management direction.”