D-Tools, an estimating, design, engineering and documentation software popular with commercial and residential A/V systems dealers, announced today that it's opening its software up to the physical security industry.
The company's software for security -- "Systems Integrator 5" -- is a largely product-driven database designed to create more efficient proposals, system spec and engineering sheets and project management processes. By incorporating data on most common security products and including information such as product cost, MSRP and suggested time to install, sales, managers and technical staff are given a common database to build from.
The software integrates directly into Visio and AutoCAD, so that product lists can be merged with CAD designs, and the system even comes back around to integrate contracts and proposals into CRM and accounting software that a company may already be using. Drag and drop functionality allows standard images for products listed in the Systems Integrator 5 software to be dragged into the Visio and AutoCAD-created designs, a feature which saves technical engineers and architects time in the project design phase.
For companies that have been using separate systems (sales proposals in MS Word, tech equipment lists in MS Excel, engineering docs in AutoCAD, sales contracts in word processing files or PDFs), D-Tools' Tim Bigoness, vice president of sales and marketing, says the advantage is a streamlined process that can save companies both money and time. The system creates a single, shared project file, which keeps sales and technical staff on the same page throughout the project.
To enter the security market, the company is aggressively building its security products database. While it had been in the A/V business space for about a decade and had over 50,000 products listed in the database from that market, the chief focus for the company now has been to work with key industry players like GE Security and Honeywell to build core product listings. Bigoness says the company is quickly engaging other product vendors to create a more comprehensive data of product solutions that could be directly accessed from the Systems Integrator 5 software.
For implementing the software, Bigoness recommends that integrators work up a list of the top 100 SKUs that they sell and use the most. That creates the core product listing, but the system allows easy additions of specialty products. The software also allows integrators to build pre-configured product packages and to create groups of pre-configured products with standard accessories (such as a camera accessory package that includes cabling, the power supply and the enclosure and mounting hardware).
More info on D-Tools is at www.d-tools.com.