Software Spotlight - D-Tools Systems Integrator
DESIGNING THE JOB
The first challenge for the C-tailer when a customer knocks is the ability to create an acceptable job proposal. System Integrator's proposal-generating capabilities are preset with industry rates and labor hours, both of which are customizable through formulas decided by the C-tailer. These formulas, which make use of variables such as time and labor charges, allow for budgets that can be fine tuned for the end customer on a job by job basis.
As one example, System Integrator can calculate proposals for the customer based on an installed price of a CE product, rather than by a simple SKU price. To do this you create a set of business rules based on hourly or per-room installation charges, and the software would apply the rules across any or all aspects of the proposal. Using the same formula concept, you can also apply time and other variables across the estimate of a job.
An extensive library of product shapes based on the Microsoft Visio graphics system lets C-tailers quickly build a visually appealing proposal. Key product data is automatically associated with each product, through D-Tools' extensive database of SKU information. For example, when a DVD player is added to the proposed system, the dimensions of the specific product populate the spec sheet for the system, along with associated connectivity options, which can then link to connectivity products, along with their vendors, etc. Information within System Integrator can be highly contextual to other information, which makes for less data entry, which means less work and less chance of inaccuracy.
One of SI's main reasons for being is to make sure that all the participating parties of the custom job are getting their info from the same file, or as the company puts it, "one file, one truth." Of course, no one total display can work for everyone. Retailers need to see all the information on a job but salespeople don't; install companies need to see all the labor information, but the install crews don't, necessarily. And few want the end customer to have access to wholesale or labor financials.