Core Processes Part 1: Overview
This is the first part in a series of blog postings which will discuss the core processes undertaken by typical D-Tools customers. The purpose here is to get a high-level view of the things that low voltage design and install companies need to do in order to operate and be successful. It won’t be a comprehensive list (I’ll leave marketing, financing, personnel management, infrastructure development and relationship building out of it), but it will include the primary processes which are needed to complete projects and account for how much profit (or loss) is made on these projects.
When it comes down to it, D-Tools software is all about managing the information needed to perform these processes. For this reason, these blog entries will focus on these key questions:
- What information is needed to perform the process?
- What are the required outputs of the process?
- Where does this information come from/go to?
Better understanding these questions, and the processes behind them, will allow us to provide our customers better tools for making their business more efficient, competitive, and profitable.
Having said all that, here are the processes that will be discussed in future postings:
Getting the Job
Getting the customer to sign off on an estimate/proposal so work can begin.
Estimating Job Costs
An essential part of bidding the job correctly, a system integrator must have a good idea how much the job will cost if they hope to show a profit when it’s all done.
Designing the Job
Working out the details of what needs to get done is an important part of estimating costs. It is also essential to purchasing the right parts and installing the job correctly.
At some point, either during the bidding process or just after, jobs must be put on a schedule and dates promised to the client.
In any installation business, there are parts to be ordered based on the design. These parts must be available when it is time to start the installation.
Customer requirements often change during the course of planning and installing a job. A system integrator must be able to implement and track changes to the project in order to be successful.
Time to get to work and put all the pieces together into a functioning system.
Billing the Client
If you don’t get paid, you don’t make money.
Many jobs will require ongoing service after the installation is complete.
Now that everything is finished, did I make any money? This is critical feedback for improving internal processes.
Did I miss anything or get something wrong? All comments and opinions are very welcome. Look for additional postings in weeks to come.