By Jill Reddy, D-Tools, Inc.
The stars were aligned on the dating website eHarmony in January of 2009. That’s when Lea and Michael both logged in and happened to meet each other, not knowing at the time that they had each just met their future spouse.
After months of dating, Lea and Michal Burke moved in together in Lea’s home located in Burlington, IA. Just as they got settled in after six weeks, much to their dismay, their home was lost in a devastating house fire. While they were hotel hopping for 30 days, then renting for three months, their house was being completely gutted and had to be remodeled from the ground up. “It was a stressful yet blissful time for us and we tried to look at the bright side of the situation. I remember the first night in the hotel and Michael saying, ‘at least we have each other,’” said Lea Burke.
During the house re-model, Michael mentioned to Lea that he had 10 years of experience with wiring, AV, and home automation because in his past, although he was a programmer by day, he did AV work by night to make some extra money. With this newly found knowledge, Lea and Michael decided that he could do all the pre-wiring on their remodel. But it didn’t stop there.
Lea and Michael decided to put a little ad in their local newspaper for Computer & AV work to see if there was any potential. As they were thinking about possible slogans, Michael suggested ‘There’s a new geek in town’ and a slogan was born. That catchphrase became the focal point of their newly founded business and generated a lot of calls. In April 2010, they landed a large residential automation job, and Burke Installed was on the map.
Burke Installed’s services split between IT and installation. On the IT side, Michael can fix computers, printers, internet connections, plus handle many other computer problems. On the installation side, he installs or sets up new electronics, TVs, DVDs, DVRs, stereos, printers, audio, and security systems. He wants to move more into the home automation market.
If the house fire and starting a new business weren’t enough stress for Lea and Michael, they were also planning a wedding in the midst of the commotion. They were happily wed on 9/10/11. As man and wife, their business started picking up and they needed help with estimates and proposals. Lea did research online and stumbled upon D-Tools website. It caught her eye and she knew it was the right solution from the get go.
Lea noted: “We needed software that would give us a polished and professional look, and since we were fairly new, we also needed a solution that would help manage our time. D-Tools guided me along so that I could create estimates then send to Michael for editing and updating. It was exactly what we needed.”
Along with estimation, D-Tools Software also helped Burke Installed pay closer attention to details. While Michael is out in the field doing installs, Lea is busy working on estimates, and because D-Tools tracks equipment and accessories, they are no longer leaving details out that could lead to a loss of revenue. They are also leveraging D-Tools to help bill for the accurate amount of labor, a problem they faced prior to implementing D-Tools.
Burke Installed also notes the planning and project management capabilities that D-Tools has provided. They can now keep their projects more organized because all notes about the project are contained together and updates made by either Lea or Michael are reflected through the whole proposal. While Michael is out working, Lea can work on additional estimates, print it from D-Tools, send to Michael, and he can make edits immediately, ultimately saving time.
“Since implementing D-Tools into our business, we are much more thorough, and we make sure that every aspect of the estimate gets into the proposal, so we are not losing time or money,” Lea said. “D-Tools has prepared us for the growth we anticipate and it will be a part of our business every step of the way.”