January 3rd, 2015

Business Challenges:
• Automating and streamlining the system design process
• Integrating data management system
• Reducing estimation and proposal times

Buzzfire Inc., is a national leader in video conferencing, commercial audio visual and digital signage solutions. The company solves business needs, engages with audiences and strives to deliver users a tangible return on investment strategy through its differentiated product and service offering. 80+ employees and consultants manage hundreds of projects across a variety of industries, including financial and professional services, insurance, legal, retail and hospitality, providing consulting, design, sales, installation and support to multi-location organizations and businesses, from enterprise corporations to hotels, restaurants and bars.

In 2011, Buzzfire attended InfoComm looking for new ways to streamline the company’s business process and reduce system design errors. D-Tools provided a demonstration of the D-Tools System Integrator software platform, which is commonly referred to as SI. “After the presentation, we took a hard look at our current processes to determine the best way to further automate and streamline project specifications,” said Randy Zahora, president of Buzzfire.

Prior to using D-Tools, Buzzfire generated proposals using a combination of Microsoft Word, Excel, Visio, and QuickBooks, which presented many challenges since none of the products were integrated with each other. One such challenge included determining labor calculations, which Zahora stated was a tremendous effort that required multiple reviews over many hours to ensure each project was priced correctly. Without having a centralized data management system in place, the company was managing information separately in each application, thereby making changes impossible to accurately track. Now, with the D-Tools System Integrator software platform in place, data-driven workflow links equipment lists to project documentation—including estimates and drawings (via Visio or AutoCAD)—and enables the seamless creation of Work and Service Orders to effectively manage the project through to completion. “After an extensive evaluation of three different platforms we selected D-Tools for its robust system functionality, technical support, and integration with other systems. Since the implementation three years ago, we have experienced tremendous growth and continue to be impressed with D-Tools’ commitment to the future through its roadmap of upcoming features, enhancements, and functionality improvements,” adds Zahora.

System integration and standardization

By implementing D-Tools, Buzzfire is now able to more accurately design systems, track changes, and produce proposals quickly and efficiently. D-Tools System Integrator allows users to create detailed designs by leveraging proven, industry design standards that are incorporated into the software platform. Because everything in System Integrator is data-driven, users can quickly and easily generate detailed Line, Plan, Elevation, and Schematic drawings by simply dragging and dropping products from the catalog or project file to the drawing surface to create desired specifications. “Through System Integrator, our selected products are correlated with line diagrams and schematics to ensure there aren’t any missing materials in the final design. Labor is automatically calculated, and we now generate proposals in half the time, with complete accuracy and full confidence that the design is sound. Our company now also has a better handle on gross margins and profitability, allowing us to quickly adjust our pricing on a per-project basis.”

Buzzfire has built a library of standards-based designs and templates using System Integrator. Now, the company can take an existing design and easily modify it to fit a specific client’s needs without re-inventing the wheel. Along with driving the company’s proposal process, template options enable the creation of a series of custom reports used to evaluate each project and opportunity. “The proposal templates present information to our clients in a variety of ways while maintaining a consistent look and feel, enhancing the Buzzfire brand. Labor hours are standardized across similar products and services that are tied to project management, and training, maintenance and support are now automated, which further streamlines our processes.”

Shoring-up designs

A primary reason Buzzfire selected D-Tools was to reduce product and service-related system design errors. “D-Tools has virtually eliminated system design errors and has been easily adapted into our review process. We now have the ability to present system options then effortlessly incorporate desired options into the final design. Moreover, through its seamless AutoCAD and Visio integration, our field engineers are better equipped to manage installations in a more effective manner,” Zahora said.

The integration of QuickBooks with D-Tools is another tremendous benefit for the company, providing easy export to an estimate, eliminating errors that often result from manual dual entry. Purchase order integration with QuickBooks has also tightened Buzzfire’s ordering processes. “D-Tools’ purchase order integration with QuickBooks provides accurate tracking for our purchasing department, so all items are ordered correctly and delivered on-time to the right place. Processing orders and producing final billing is a breeze, which dramatically improves cash flow and enhances our bottom line.”.

Zahora notes that Buzzfire has experienced a marked increase in profits since implementing D-Tools System Integrator. Labor hours and product margins have increased and design time has been decreased, which keeps costs in check. “Frankly, I’m not sure how Buzzfire survived without D-Tools in the past,” he added.

Conclusion:

Through the use of D-Tools, Buzzfire has developed significant enhancements and improvements for the company’s audiovisual design and consulting business. Buzzfire is growing at a faster rate and spends more time innovating and testing products, enhancing customer-facing efforts. “Our experience has been phenomenal, allowing us to become a more cohesive and forward thinking company. We could not function without the D-Tools System Integrator software platform and the ongoing support of the organization. I know we made the right choice with D-Tools.”

 

Benefits from Implementing D-Tools:

  • Revenue: Increased by at least 10%
  • Costs: Reduced by 20%
  • Operations: Purchasing processes accelerated by 50%
  • Time: System design time outlay requirements reduced by 60%