D-Tools Case Study Featuring Advanced Home Environments
Advanced Home Environments Evolves Into Fully Integrated Multi-Million Organization Utilizing D-Tools System Integrator Software
Based out of Woodbury, Minnesota, Advanced Home Environments is a full service system integration company specializing in easy to use home theaters, distributed audio/video, security, lighting systems and complete control with whole home automations systems for today’s modern homes. Advanced Home Environments has been serving leading builders and designers since 1994. Customer service is a strong fundamental to their business platform and a close working relationship is established from the initial meeting with the client. Advanced Home Environments instills confidence in the customer upon introduction by listening to the needs of what is needed so they can propose a solution that offers the utmost comfort and convenience.
Although Advanced Home Environments business was booming, they began to notice that they needed to make some changes in order to take their business to the next professional level.
They lacked a solid method to attach an accurate price tag on each project and there was no set system to their business processes. The Sales team would often sell the same products at different costs because there wasn’t a pricing structure implemented which resulted in inefficiencies and a loss of money due to underestimation. In addition, the incorrect parts were often ordered which would not work with the particular system they were installing, which would result in a loss of profit.
Advanced Home Environments were profitable, however, they did not have the visibility of what was actually being sold and installed. They were unable to track daily and common items that were easily overlooked. As a result, systems were sold incorrectly and they were not maximizing their potential profit per project.
Advanced Home Environments didn’t know where the money they made was coming from and they didn’t have a system in place to allow them to see where money was being lost. They lacked a quantifiable method to analyze data and projects.
In addition, there wasn’t a clear path of every employees daily tasks and as a result, the sales team would sell the jobs and also act as project managers, which resulted in inefficiencies on the job.
In 2007, Advanced Home Environments evaluated D-Tools System Integrator (SI) software at CEDIA Expo. Brian Gunderson, Director of Engineering for Advanced Home Environments, downloaded the free trial when he returned home. After comparing it to competitors, he immediately saw the depth and value the software package could offer.
“We looked at competitors and they said they could do everything that D-Tools could, but they didn’t deliver,” said Gunderson. “When we abandoned them, we gladly switched to D-Tools SI. The software’s robust capabilities proved to be a time saver for us and it was easy to incorporate it into our business.”
Upon adopting D-Tools into their business process, Advanced Home Environments got up and running very quickly and immediately began refining their business. They revamped every employee’s responsibilities and job functions. As mentioned before, prior to the addition of D-Tools, the sales team managed the project as well, but this soon changed after the software was examined, and a Project Manager was hired.
“Before we brought on D-Tools, we did not have a clear idea of who did what and although we would get by, there wasn’t a solid business process and those type of inefficiencies cost us time and money, said Gunderson. D-Tools SI allowed us to realize a deeper level of what processes were working and which needed abandoned for us to maximize our time and profit ratio”.
In addition, Advanced Home Environments was able to immediately turn out more professional proposals at a higher professional quality utilizing D-Tools software. “Our proposals are leaps and bounds better than our previous method, and although it got us through, D-Tools generated proposals are more impactful and intuitive for our clients because it allows them to actually see the value we are promising them and instills confidence,”, said Gunderson.
D-Tools allows Advanced Home Environments to only have to do the work once and be able to run the data differently depending on the application desired. “The proposals are great because it allows us to show the customer what they are getting without confusing them. We can cut the fluff for the customer, but the data is still there for us to run in the back office for internal needs,” said Gunderson.
As a result of implementing D-Tools System Integrator software, Advanced Home Environments has been able to prioritize their methods and choose the best opportunity in order to increase profit, decrease time, and increase customer service per job.
“We are making more on each sale because using D-Tools start to finish gives us data visibility, so we are able to see where we are making money and where we are losing it, and we’ve been able to capitalize on that aspect,” said Gunderson.
Advanced Home Environments has also been able to create a clearly defined business process utilizing D-Tools. They know who completes each task and that contributes to a smooth work flow environment for the whole company.
In addition, Advanced Home Environments has become a true “Integration” company which has set them apart from their competitors. They are able to offer engineered solutions to clients and builders which has made them an organization that’s stands apart from mere A/V companies. They can now fit in with other trades because they are a process driven organization. “D-Tools has allowed us to stand apart from competitors because we work at a higher professional level, said Gunderson. “We play on a different field in a different game now and we see rapid and booming expansion in the future for us”.
“Dealers who grow past 2.5-3 million a year without a system like D-Tools, will fall apart quickly. We recently broke that barrier and D-Tools SI has taken us to that level. It has made us a full integrated multi-million organization and we look forward to what the future brings us.”
Brian Gunderson of Advanced Home Environments standing next to the main rack of a $1,000,000+ system including 90 speakers, 24 touchpanels, over 150 lighting keypads, and 17 handheld remotes, designed with D-Tools software.