VTI Security is a national commercial integrator, based in Minnesota. The company opened its doors in 1980 and has grown to over 240 employees with locations in CO, NE, TX, WI and WY.
2018 Revenue: $69 million
Q360 Go Live Date: August 1, 2017
Prior to Q360, VTI Security was using five different software systems. “I have been working for years, slowly migrating our front end systems down to as few as possible,” says Rick Allan, Chief Technology Officer at VTI. “But the real driving force was Microsoft was not going to do any more development on the service modules within Great Plains Dynamics. Since we needed enhancements and integration, it drove us to look for other software.”
VTI was also looking for good estimating software for creating proposals. “We had a homegrown application, but the front-end software and the code behind it were getting outdated,” says Allan.
“It is hard to find one solution that is really useful for unifying and controlling the entire business,” Allan reports. “I was going down the path to piecemeal together a solution using multiple software platforms that could talk to each other, but it involved multiple vendors and resellers. We were close to signing off on a solution like that, but then I found the Solutions360 team, and saw that their software solution combined everything that I was looking for within one package.”
It was also a priority to VTI that the company selling the software would be the company supporting the software. “A lot of the solutions I looked at, we had to go through a third party and not deal direct with the vendor,” says Allan.
Increased efficiency makes it easier to manage growth. This is a top priority, as VTI revenues and the number of employees have both more than doubled in the last six years.
“It’s always a challenge keeping data as clean as possible,” says Allan. “We struggle with so many different people typing information into the system, it’s hard to control the quality.” But with the proper processes in place, VTI has been able to streamline the data entry process with some of the functionalities in Q360.
“Q360 has helped quite a bit as far as numbers integrity goes, and seeing the live data is a big plus for us,” according to Allan. “We didn’t have that before, where we could actually see the impact of time billed by personnel working on the jobs. Coming into the system and instantly having the up-to-date numbers basically at any given point in time, and being able to rely on them as fairly accurate, is something we’ve never had before.”
“Q360 has helped us a lot with efficiencies,” says Allan. “We’ve worked closely with Solutions360, really honing in on the efficiency reports that are available in the system and all the data that’s in there. As a result, we’ve seen our efficiency from our field colleagues and internal colleagues increase a good 10 to 15 percent across the board since we started using Q360 software.”
“Before, we wouldn’t know how well a job came through margin-wise until weeks after it was completed. Now we see it daily – the goods being purchased, the labor being tracked – and it’s all real-time.”
A number of VTI customizations turned into improvements to the software that Solutions360 rolled into future builds and releases. “Some of the changes we made they felt would benefit everyone on the platform,” Allan reports.
A good example of this is the Access Information module that is in the system for recording passwords at customer sites. This is a problem across the integration industry. Technicians are installing IoT devices in customers’ network environments, and all of those devices have passwords and usernames, and the servers and computers technicians work on also have passwords and usernames.
“We needed a way to track this information,” says Allan. “But we needed it to be secure, and we needed to be able to control accessibility to it. So we worked with Solutions360 to develop the Access Information module, and it’s now a tab within the customer site information.”
“This is a great example of why we selected Solutions360,” Allan reports. “It is a company that I felt like we could create a business relationship with, where both sides would see value working with each other. We’re not going to have that kind of relationship working with a third party, or a VAR selling us someone else’s software. You lose that trusted business relationship.”
“This is the kind of business relationship we like to create with our customers, and we want to create those relationships with our vendors as well,” Allan concludes.