Smart Buildings

How Do You Track the Moving Parts of a Technology Project?


Estimating and project management can make or break your technology projects in terms of time, money and effort.


As demand for integrators’ services continues to increase, the backlog of proposals also continues to grow. Most clients don’t want to wait too long for an estimate, and they may consider your delays to be an indicator of how the project will go if you get the bid.


One of the keys to keeping projects on the rails and maintaining client relationships from the very beginning is aligning project workflow from start to finish—making sure that all internal departments are on the same page, don’t have to wait on one another and can communicate clearly. This includes sales, system design, installation, back-office management, procurement and service.


Another key to success is being able to generate accurate and professional-looking bids quickly—without requiring lots of personnel resources to make it happen. Especially in a tight labor market, you need to find every way to stretch as much productivity from your existing team as possible—without overextending them, burning them out or requiring overtime. Instead of attempting to hire more workers, which is difficult in this environment, you can improve efficiency by finding ways to help your dedicated employees be better at what they do.


Finally, once you win the job, the level of project management you’re able to provide will determine whether the project continues to move forward as planned and promised.


The Importance of Software

Using industry-specific software is one way to keep up with proposal backlogs, align your teams, generate bids and manage projects—as long as the software is the right choice for your team, projects and clients.


According to Commercial Integrator’s 2021 Software Deep Dive Study, the typical commercial integrator uses six pieces of software to run their business—but the typical commercial integrator has also completely abandoned three of those pieces of software for being too cumbersome or due to lack of employee buy-in. When integrators can find the right software to support their company operations, the results are worth it. They say it adds a median of 13.4% to the bottom line.


While quoting solutions and drawing tools can improve efficiency, there are many other options available to integrators to improve project productivity even more.


To help you in this quest, we partnered with D-Tools, which offers two versions of software to help you properly budget, install, manage and track technology projects. Both software solutions are currently available as free trials to Belden Partner Alliance members. You can give them a try to see how D-Tools software might boost your productivity levels.


1. Utilize D-Tools Cloud for Your Small Projects

To streamline the sales, proposal, design and project management phases of a project, D-Tools Cloud was designed for your small jobs that span from days to weeks.


Once you sign up for the free trial, you’ll see that D-Tools Cloud:


  • Is intuitive and easy to navigate without lots of help; you can start working in it right away
  • Helps you quickly create proposals
  • Offers the convenience of visual and image quoting
  • Lets you collect credit card payments
  • Integrates with QuickBooks Online
  • Has CRM capabilities to manage your sales opportunities and pipeline
  • Supports product ordering for one or multiple projects


2. Utilize D-Tools Systems Integrator (SI) for Your Large Projects

D-Tools’ on-premises solution, System Integrator, a full-featured software solution to help integrators handle everything from estimation, detailed documentation (including engineering drawings), installation and ongoing service. It’s intended to help you design and manage mid- to large-sized projects (think six- or seven-figure projects) that span from weeks to months.


Once you sign up for the free trial, you’ll see that D-Tools SI:


  • Generates complete engineering drawings for clear communication with teams and clients
  • Supports detailed project planning (like Gantt charts) for better planning and scheduling across multiple projects
  • Allows for robust business reporting and analytics of key performance indicators
  • Supports integrations to improve job costing and time sheet management, as well as inventory management
  • Lets you create purchase orders from service orders
  • Provides a Power over Ethernet calculator to determine balances of available power
  • Manages remote field and service technicians from any device to deliver jobs on time and on budget
  • Supports customizable checklists you can attach to projects, tasks and service orders
  • Helps manage change orders without disrupting project flow


Using software to track the moving parts of a project in real time can do more than keep your project on track—it can also impress your clients, too. How many integrators can quickly report back to clients with specific and accurate information about project progress at any time?


Try Out Productivity Tools

From fiber same-day shipping to project management education and training, we like to do everything we can to make your projects run faster and better. That’s why we teamed up with D-Tools to offer Belden Partner Alliance members a special extended free trial of D-Tools Cloud so you can see first-hand how the tool can increase productivity and improve your bottom line.


This free trial also grants you access to our entire product line within the platform, complete with your specific pricing level. Get started here.





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