“Nobody can even come close to simPRO technical support. It’s a five-star support team, no questions asked. Everyone we’ve dealt with in simPRO support always takes the time to listen and help. I know I always have someone who has my back.”
Bob Snyder, President & Business Manager
Kalispell, Montana, USA
Digital Communications Systems is a highly-rated technology integrator in the Northwest Montana area. The business provides network cabling, high-end security system installations, commercial AV services and other digital solutions. In a world that is run on technology, Digital Communications Systems is committed to exceeding the IT needs of its customers.
Bob Snyder, President and Business Manager of Digital Communications Systems, works to handle business operations and keep the company moving in a positive direction.
In this interview, Bob shares the journey of finding a software solution to meet the unique needs of their business, and how simPRO has made life easier for him and the entire team.
Finding a software solution to run business operations
In 2004, Digital Communications Systems implemented a robust accounting software into the business. This software helped run the business from an accounting and operational standpoint. Along with accounting software, they also used spreadsheets to keep control of projects. However, at a certain point, they began to hit a wall.
“As our company grew and the business changed, the requirements changed. We found that running on accounting software just wasn’t meeting our needs, and we were having more and more issues when it came to controlling operations and attempting to forecast business finances,” Bob said.
Around 2015, they decided to look for other alternatives to integrate with their accounting software and also accomplish what they needed to successfully run the business. This task proved to be more difficult than expected.
“We went through four different software companies looking for a good fit for our business. A lot of them had great claims of what they could do, but the bottom line was that none of them met our expectations,” Bob said.
“In some cases, the software seemed great, but the implementation process was difficult and there was a lack of support. And, the biggest frustration was when we bought a software thinking it would work, but then found out that it actually wouldn’t accomplish what we needed it to.”
The process of trying out new software packages was not an easy one.
“We have kind of a unique business in some respects. Some software packages worked on the operational side, but didn’t integrate with our accounting package, which we still wanted to use. Some told us they could work for our business model, but they really weren’t developed for our kind of business,” Bob said.
After several unsuccessful attempts to implement new software, Bob had grown discouraged.
“At this point, I figured there was nothing out there that would work for our business. I thought we may need to hire someone to write custom software for us, or I would spend a ton of time developing spreadsheets,” Bob explained.
“But then, someone recommended simPRO. I did some research and thought it looked like simPRO might work for us. I was so tired because we had wasted thousands of dollars in software and years worth of time trying to get other systems to work. simPRO was going to be our last try.”
A software solution with five-star support
Fortunately for Digital Communication Systems, the last attempt to implement software was the most successful.
“simPRO was probably the closest we found to a solution that would work with our business model. There are some things that don’t work as well as we’d like, but we knew we wouldn’t find something 100 percent perfect. And simPRO is by far the best,” Bob said.
In fact, from the very beginning, it was clear that simPRO and Digital Communication Systems were a match.
“One of the biggest selling points for me was that the simPRO team was willing to come to our office and help us set up the new system. We were able to phase in portions of simPRO at a time while still learning the best procedures to help the software work for our business,” Bob said.
“Also, nobody can even come close to simPRO technical support. It’s a five-star support team, no questions asked. Everyone we’ve dealt with in simPRO support always takes the time to listen and help. The simPRO team has always stuck with me and has always been there. I know I always have someone who has my back.”
Better processes for project management and tracking jobs
Once implementation was complete, Bob began to see major improvements in how his staff managed projects.
“Moving from a quote to a job to an invoice has been much smoother now that we use simPRO,” he said.
“And, we are tracking our change orders much better now. We can easily add them to a project and not lose track of items that have been purchased or taken out of inventory for that particular change order. Everything is added to the ticket for billing and it doesn’t get lost. Also, I love the progress billing in simPRO, too. That has been really helpful for us.”
Bob also found that it was much easier to track job details once simPRO was implemented in the business.
“Before simPRO, details could get lost going from a quote to a job ticket. We were using paper before, and we’d have to wait for the ticket to come back to the office and then be fed into an invoice,” he explained.
“Or sometimes, materials never got on the paperwork and never got invoiced. When you’re talking just nuts and bolts, that’s one thing. But a lot of times, these were big ticket items. Then, when we would do our annual inventories, we’d have a list of materials we should have in stock, but they wouldn’t be there.”
With simPRO, it is easier for Bob and his team to make sure that everything is documented.
“Now that information can be entered ahead of time, and it’s no longer the responsibility of the technician. Everything is documented for us and for the customer, which has been huge for our business,” he said.
Creating detailed quotes
Bob has seen a major difference in the specificity of the quotes they create for customers, now that they use simPRO.
“With simPRO, the quotes we’re putting together are a lot more granular and detailed, and I’m doing them in about the same amount of time as I did before we had simPRO,” he said.
“Our previous quotes didn’t have the amount of detail as they do now because we can break quotes down into labor categories in simPRO rather than just sending the customer a lump sum of things.”
Access to additional software training
For customers who want to refresh their knowledge of simPRO or discover other ways to use the software, simPRO offers additional training sessions beyond the initial implementation training. This is something that Bob looks forward to using.
“We’re going to work with a simPRO expert who has worked with companies similar to ours, and we’ll go through and have them review our operational workflow and show us where we can better use the software,” he said.
“Often when you start using new software, you don’t always use every single feature in the most optimal way. So, there are some things we want to evaluate and see how we can make them work better. simPRO works well for us, but there are some things we can fine tune.”
Word of Advice?
When asked what he would say to a similar business that is considering simPRO, Bob has this advice:
“There are three factors in simPRO that I didn’t find in any other software we tried. One, is accessibility to technical support that no one else can touch. Two, is flexibility within the software itself. simPRO really listens to their customers and will make changes if enough people are asking for it. Three, is a software company that works hard to provide me, and all customers, with a solution that is above and beyond anyone else.
“My relationship with simPRO has been great from day one.
“For me, it’s important to work with someone who is willing to partner with me and has my best interests in mind. I really look at this as a partnership. Right now, I know I can’t run the business without simPRO. I can’t go back to only running on accounting software. It just wouldn’t work.
“If simPRO can meet the needs of my business, then I know that any similar business can also find a fit with simPRO.”
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