Solutions360 and D-Tools share a common vision to help integrators increase profit margins

profit-margins-300x199-9907369It is no small task for AV system integrators to increase profit margins. It takes having a strong brand value, consistent measurement of performance and solid leadership. Even with all those fancy ingredients, there is room for that recipe to miss the mark when unforeseeable project hiccups derail your planning and tack on unexpected costs.

So, what do we recommend?

Charge more!

Pricing is always a factor when making a purchase decision, but it’s not the only consideration. Ultimately, clients choose the integrator who they believe can solve their problem most efficiently and deliver the desired results.

Below are a few tips from D-Tools that can help you present pricing confidently to achieve your profit margin goals:

Take advantage of category suggested labor

Every product you add from the D-Tools Product Library has a suggested installation time associated with it that you can easily adjust. Why? Experience has taught us that the most accurate and efficient way to manage labor is to start at the equipment level – which ultimately bubbles up to the proposal. This “set it and forget it” approach to managing labor significantly speeds up the quoting process and can help identify areas where you may be underbidding labor.

Stacking multiple types of labor that you sell (at different rates) onto a single product is also valuable.

Please proceed with caution; your quotes may become more expensive.

Capture miscellaneous costs

There are always surprises on projects and pricing adjustments that you make on the fly to help get the job done. By using D-Tools price adjustments field, you can easily capture and prepare for those costs as a flat amount or percentage of the job and transfer them onto the client.

Now you’re covered for those extra runs of cable, the zip ties, and don’t forget about the connectors.

Start charging for system design

AV system design time is often overlooked or given away.

Realizing that most companies can and should charge for this (even if done by sales or a technician) will help increase your bottom line. The good news is most people feel comfortable paying it, knowing that it goes towards the cost of the project.

So, make your quote stickier by providing a drawing using visual quoting and gain commitment early in the process. If they end up choosing another provider, at least you were compensated for your time.

Charge for materials management

Charge different rates for different labor types.

Receiving, staging, picking, and delivering items to a job is a key function of completing the project. It requires time and planning.

Simply create a new labor type and add it to the appropriate equipment (see screenshot above).

Offer training

Helping clients become familiar with how to operate their systems and supporting them is a given (especially in the beginning).

However, defining the scope of what that means and for how long will set appropriate expectations upfront.  Allow any training requests beyond those parameters to be considered additional.

Extend your customer journey

By offering service plan options or preventative maintenance, you can engage clients to select a plan that allows you to continue servicing them beyond project completion.

Clients love having peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens, they are covered, and it allows your business to ensure their systems continue to perform as expected while building recurring revenue. Truly a win-win scenario.


As we get back to the workplace, demand continues to grow.

As projects become more complex, we hope these tips help you increase profit margins and protect you from the unexpected… your integration business is worth it!


This article first appeared on D-Tools Insights and has been republished with their express permission.

Read the original story here – D-Tools Cloud Tips – 6 Easy Ways to Protect Your Margins on Jobs




Are you taking advantage of the Solutions360 and D-Tools integration?

A direct integration between D-Tools System Integrator and Solutions360’s Q360 ERP software enables a comprehensive workflow that helps companies plan, budget, sell, engineer, install, and service electronic systems, as well as predict, and report on their organizations’ financial results.

The combination of D-Tools software for systems integrators and Q360 provides immediate access to project reporting and relational information (such as product and labor) that can drive project profitability and increase efficiencies across the business.


The integration leverages the strengths of both applications, and provides a complete and seamless end-to-end workflow from the initial contact through quoting, system design, procurement, installation and service.


Starting in Solutions 360, sales opportunities are created and passed over to D-Tools SI for project quoting, detailed av system design & engineered drawings. The resulting project information (including locations, systems, product cost/price, and labor estimates) is returned to Q360 for product procurement, project management, invoicing and reporting.

The Solutions360 integration with D-Tools adds resource management and financial planning with a focus on project profitability for D-Tools SI users.

Q360 users benefit from D-Tools SI’s data-driven project quoting capability that leverages D-Tools’ comprehensive product library – including detailed specifications such as model, description, pricing, dimensions, inputs and outputs, installation phase, estimated labor times, CAD drawings and Visio images, and much more, from thousands of manufacturers. This product information is leveraged throughout the proposal, system design, project management and ordering process.

Users generate fast, accurate, and detailed AV proposals complete with locations, systems, products and related accessories, and labor estimates that can be published to the web for review, comment, and e-sign approvals.

The same data-driven process is used to quickly generate detailed engineering drawings – line, plan, rack and interior elevations, functional schematics – via D-Tools’ integration with CAD software drawings and Visio through a simple drag and drop interface. Drawing files auto-generate a variety of client, installation, and management reports, such as wire schedules and wire labels to ensure complete and efficient installation and improve communication with field technicians, customers, and other trades.



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