Haas Design Decreases Project Completion Time by 75% Using D-Tools Software
Haas Design Company provides Audio & Video Systems, Lighting Control Systems, Motorized Shading Solutions, Networking and Controls systems for residential and commercial projects. They take pride in providing solutions that are reliable, cost-effective and easy to use. With over 20 years in the professional media systems integration business, Haas Design Company has the knowledge, experience and resources to handle any size residential or commercial project. Their customers include broadcast, corporate and government clients along with residential clients looking for a knowledgeable Integrator to help them design, install, and program complex systems.
Tim Haas, Owner and Founder of Haas Design, has been the AV Systems or Lighting controls business his entire working life. Prior to implementing the D-Tools platform, he used MS Word, Excel, Project and Visio to design, bid and track projects. He noted, “These particular applications are excellent by themselves but nothing beats a tool developed for a specific and specialized purpose, like D-Tools.”
“ We’ve been fortunate to work with Toyota Motor Manufacturing for over 20 years and one of the key things they’ve taught use is that everything in life is a process and every process can and must be improved over time to remain competitive, and custom electronics integration is no different,” said Tim Haas. “The D-Tools product simply blows us away using individual software pieces.”
Some of the challenges Haas Design found when using excel was that they didn’t have a consistent database with prices (let alone other information like accessories, power, dimensions, etc) that they could start with to build quotes from, so they literally had to input new prices from manufacturers’ spreadsheets for each new job. Secondly they routinely found errors in different formulas that were used. Even when paying close attention to detail to spreadsheets, errors were created when rows or columns were inserted. Tim found this to be a very frustrating and time-consuming challenge as he notes, “Nothing is more frustrating than to find a calculation error in a spreadsheet after you’ve sent the numbers to a customer which resulted in a huge waste of time for us.”
Tim describes himself as a visual thinker so he often starts his projects in Visio in order to understand how signals are going to flow and the D-Tools/Visio integration is a huge plus for him. “To be able to actually create a proposal while developing the flow in Visio is magic. To me, the Visio integration into the products database, enabling me to track everything as its being created, is the only way to work. Of course once the system is designed and includes all the cables, plates, labor, and major components, D-Tools turns all that hard work into a complete and well-grouped proposal that is easy for a customer to understand . That is the icing on the cake!”
Haas Design has increased jobs just based on the clarity and straightforwardness of the proposal that D-Tools provides. The equipment photos and design really make it easy for Haas customers to visualize what they are actually buying. To be able to generate and edit proposals as easily and quickly as D-Tools offers, was simply unobtainable for Haas using traditional Microsoft Tools.
In addition to generating more business, D-Tools has also help Haas Design save time in the design phase. “I’m sure we’ve saved close to 75% of design time over the old method. Additionally as our database gets built up and refined, the design process goes even faster since we have more product information to work with.”
Tim Haas is in his third year of running his own business and his close ratio is near 80% due to the professional and efficient proposals D-Tools helps him create. “I believe having a clean, easy to understand, picture based, proposal gives us an edge over the competition. The visibility of our designs and how project edits ripple through and impact our profit on a project is huge for us and D-Tools has given us this eye-opening opportunity.”
“As we continue to grow and take on new projects, D-Tools will be the backbone that makes our projects successful.”
-Tim Haas, Haas Design
*Stay tuned for the second installment of the Haas Design Case study, where Tim will outline an interesting Lighthouse project that features D-Tools along with MVP Partners Lutron, and RTI!