Biggest Challenges:

  • Proposal generation too time consuming
  • Lacked a method to track inventory and pricing
  • Project Modifications and Calculations too time consuming and inaccurate
  • Inability to manage larger-scale projects

Based in Fort Wayne Indiana, Audio Video Lifestyles started out at as a high-end stereo shop with a focus on retail and system integration for residential homes.  They wanted to expand into a full system integration company servicing both the residential and commercial market.  While attending CEDIA in 2003, Rich Hoppe, General Manager of Commercial Projects, visited the D-Tools booth and sat through the presentation.  Right off the bat, D-Tools made a lot of sense to him because of its power, flexibility, and ability to fit each company’s individual needs.   Rich realized that he had been spending a lot of time producing proposals that were not as professional as he would like and he was lacking a way to track inventory and pricing.

Rich made the decision to adopt D-Tools Estimator version into their business processes to give the software a test drive.  Even though they were only using the Estimator version, they realized some immediate benefits. They were able to better manage their entire product database and created a more professional look than their competitors.  “The ease of design quickly allowed us to create proposals with minimal training and the advantages of D-Tools were immediate and powerful for us.”

After seeing what the Estimator version could do, Audio Video Lifestyles moved forward and implemented the full version of D-Tools Professional and took advantage of the power of Visio as their drawing engine.  They excelled in front wall sketches, detailed rack setups, and their overall designs proved to be a powerful tool to bring to their customers upon their initial meetings.

“When you use D-Tools, it’s a no-brainer because it was developed by professionals in the system integration industry so it only makes sense for us to invest in it”, said Hoppe.  “It is clear to us that D-Tools is the best software on the market for our industry.  We use it as our design and sales platform as well as an on-site project management tool. As we use it, we continuously learn new ways to customize it for our company and capitalize on the results.”


In 2009, Audio Video Lifestyles was fully residential, but the company soon moved into the commercial market, by winning a bid for a popular buffalo wing franchise, Buffalo Wild Wings with the help of D-Tools software. Rich had performed previous work on the franchise owner’s home and he asked that Audio Video Lifestyles submit a proposal because he liked their professional work so much.  They soon provided him a visual proposal which showed him how the system would work from the beginning and he was instantly won over by their method, and thought it would be perfect for his franchise.

“We won the bid over four other companies because our quote was the best, said Hoppe, “it was the easiest to read, most organized, incorporated a Visio overlay, and detailed equipment location.  Our small, simple, yet clear and concise solution – created with D-Tools, won the job.”

Audio Video Lifestyle’s design method has become the standard for all Buffalo Wild Wings, as every franchise is now utilizing their technique.

In addition, their method is so impressive that Buffalo Wild Wings Construction Company asked Audio Video Lifestyles to do ALL of their jobs as well.  Each Buffalo Wild Wings job is a $100k+ job because it includes video cameras, security, low voltage work, and TV and Audio equipment and each restaurant has over 40 TVs.  They manage and perform all of the work to perfection with the assistance of D-Tools.

“D-Tools gives us such a professional image that we are able to gain more work from the initial D-Tools PDF print out. It shows our potential clients what type of company we are and that they will get the best product and service with us.   We know how to market ourselves to them as the best company for the job.”

On a personal note, Rich attributes D-Tools to giving him confidence upon each initial meeting with a new client. “Because I design each system with D-Tools, I know that system like the back of my hand.  When I go into a meeting, my knowledge of the system shines through to the client, which instills the assurance that we are the right company for the job.  Because of the confidence and preparedness D-Tools gives me, I walk into a meeting knowing I have already won the bid.”

“As a growing business, our primary goal to continue to expand and keep gaining franchises, we have already landed one of the Top 10 Franchises, Buffalo Wild Wings, and we know this would not have been possible without the help of D-Tools Software.  We look forward to what the future brings and can only go up from here!”


  • Audio Video Lifestyles has decreased their time spent on jobs by 50-75%
  • Audio Video Lifestyles has increased profitability by 15-20% per job
  • Audio Video Lifestyles has reduced their product costs $300,000-$500,000 by accounting for all equipment while increasing product revenue by 15% by accurately charging clients.

For more information, please contact:

Jill Reddy
Marketing & PR Manager